29 Mar History of a Gamer, part III-the end of the “Trilogy”
Where to begin, eh? Oh, I know! Probably where I left off…which would be GenCon 2014. For those not familiar with GenCon (shame on you, since you’re reading a gaming blog right now!), it takes its name from its original location in Lake Geneva, WI. Incidentally (or rather, not at all), Lake Geneva was the home of the late Gary Gygax, co-designer of Dungeons and Dragons. It was therefore derived from the well-known Geneva Convention, which is a clever but misleading name for a Con dedicated to gaming. Hence, I believe, the truncated nature of its new title. Also, GenCon was located all over Wisconsin (notably in Milwaukee) until finally landing in Indianapolis, IN in 2003.
It was something I had heard about in High School, but never something I had really thought of attending or learned that much about. I believe our beloved CFO attended in the summer of 1996 in Milwaukee, possibly taking a couple of pesky “dual-lands” off my hands to complete a revised set that we sold for what I’m sure we thought was major cash.
In any case, it was decided in 2014 that I would attend GenCon for the first time. By this point in my life, I’d been spending the last eight years of my life impersonating X-Men’s Wolverine at University of Michigan (Wolverines) football games. I didn’t realize it, but I’d been branching into the idea of Cosplay as a result. I was also retaining some old Halloween costumes, and the icing on the Cosplay cake was the acquisition of a pair of lightsabers: one orange, and one blue.
I had Wolverine pretty much down pat. I had the claws, I had the sideburns, and I had the puffy muscles. I also had a pretty decent Obi-Wan look and a black cloak and some goth makeup that made me into Darth Septimus (Sith Saturday!). I was excited to be dressed up as someone other than myself at a major event. But I was not ready for how much fun I would have.
(I’m so Goth-TR)
I’d gone to a smaller con in an old Superman costume, and that had been ok. But at GenCon, I felt like something of a low-level celebrity. A low-level celebrity mixed with a Jedi, Wolverine, and a Sith. And that was awesome. But the most awesome thing was the exhibit hall. Booth after booth, row after row of games, gamers, and lots of other people just like me. People use the term “like a kid in a candy store,” but I don’t remember ever being that excited about candy in my entire life. I was manic about this.
I probably looked at half the games over that four-day weekend. I know that meeting new people and playing games took up some time. I might have demoed about five percent of them. But I was in some kind of gamer heaven. The inner nerd that was infatuated with Descent was now truly in love with GenCon. That was one of the single best weekends of my entire life. I owe a lot of that to my Older Sister and the CFO of STG.
The following year, our COO (not that any of us knew it yet) would join us at GenCon. Bernard and I had already started kicking around the idea of making our own game, inspired but the excitement of GenCon and so many like-minded gamers. We had another amazing year, and the talk turned to making games of our own. We didn’t know it then, exactly, but at GenCon 2015 Slightly Twisted Games was born. We would spend the next year working on a few gaming ideas, and at GenCon 2016 we would learn a great deal in addition to having a lot of fun. It’s our hope that at GenCon 2017, we will be talking about our successful Kickstarter campaign, for a little game called Glory.