Sunday, September 11, 2011

Speak Out With Your Geek Out

Wow, two blog posts in one week! A new personal best!

This coming week celebrates Speak Out With Your Geek Out, a wonderful and widespread celebration of Geekdom unilaterally declared by Monica Valentinelli in her blog, Flames Rising blog. As a teacher and public gamer, my geek is out there most of the time, but I want to join her and many others in making sure everyone around me knows that I'm a gamer geek and happy to be one. I encourage you to join the movement as well. It's a good thing to do for those of us comfortable in our various interests and hobbies, and it will give permission to many others presently more shy about doing so.

In my day job, I teach Chinese studies, and my favorite find at Gen Con this year was a t-shirt from Gamer Concepts that reads, 扮演角色类游戏玩家, translating more or less as role player. Woohoo!

Have fun!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dragon*Con 2011

I had such a good time at Dragon Con in my hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, this year, it took me most of the week to recover!

I was scheduled to run a HeroQuest Glorantha game every four hours from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm Saturday and Sunday and from 9:00 to 4:00 on Monday. Almost all of these had enough people show up to play, and I had a great time with friends old and new. In my couple of gaps, other than eating I was able to watch the whole parade and play in another GM's game of dark future and magic. Very cool and fun!

Other than that, I had little time to cruise around the convention, which spread across more than five conference hotels downtown. What I saw looked full of fun with more costumes than ever, ranging from classic to whimsical. Dragon Con now draws loads of men and women, families with many, many kids, and people of diverse backgrounds of all sorts. It's a weekend of acceptance and creativity, a celebration of our imaginations, variations, and common wish to play with our imaginations and have some fun.

The roleplaying crowd was mostly a middle-aged crowd, though I had several people in their twenties and a great player in middle school. My games mostly drew men, and only one had participants of other than European ancestry. Roleplaying at Dragon Con seems to have stabilized at about the same number year to year, filling half a dozen or so conference rooms with several score people coming to play in each time slot. Ongoing Campaign Games, mostly AD&D, draw about half the players, and Shadowrun gamers have their own conference room and schedule. Some players, like myself, came to the convention for games most of the time, but at least half of them were popping in for only a game or two in the weekend, spending the rest of their time enjoying other venues as well.

Less populous but present games other than the big ones and my own HeroQuest scenarios included Dresden Files, Call of Cthulhu, Conan, and Fudge. There were others, but I didn't get to hear them all mentioned before I was sent off with my own group each session. Players were enthusiastic, and GMs, even on Monday when we were all tired, were delighted to be able to run their games and spun tales of wonder and fun all around me over the course of the weekend. Dragon Con is not one of the largest RPG gatherings, but it provides a reliable setting for gamers from all across the Southeastern USA and beyond to come together to enjoy their hobby and one another.

And it takes place in the biggest party of Labor Day, so next year, come on down, y'all!

Have fun!