Friday, December 28, 2012

76 Days Till GaryCon! Memories of GaryCon II- Part 2

So Friday morning started with my Learn to Hack game and the table was packed. I had about 8 people signed up and all of them showed. Since this was the first time I was demoing a game for people, I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough time. Back then you registered in four hour blocks, and I was sure I needed at least six hours to get things done. So I signed up for two sessions with the plan to take as long as was needed.

The session went really well as far as the players went. The thief was a combat machine taking out kobolds left and right while the dwarven mage struggled to keep up with the rest of the party. By the end of the session, my voice was almost gone and I retired to my room for a few hours before returning to the floor to chat some more with +Derek White, +David Kenzer and +Jolly Blackburn. At the end of the day, we hit the bar where a bluegrass band was playing. We took in the sounds and enjoyed a few adult beverages before calling it a night.

The next day started very slow. Originally, I had anticipated needing to work that morning as at the time I had a part-time teaching job. But since the class I was supposed to teach was cancelled, I had my morning free. So I set out for the Chicago suburbs to drag my brother kicking and screaming to GaryCon.

This is the face of a man who wanted to sleep in on Saturday.

Michael was quickly introduced to the Geekpreacher. Michael quickly apologized for not talking much as he described himself as "socially awkward". To his credit, Derek pointed out that the fact that showing up for the convention meant that he wasn't really socially awkward. He elaborated further that since gaming is a social activity, no one at GaryCon could truly be socially awkward. This improved Michael's mood considerably as we coined the new phrase "awkwardly social" to describe your typical gamer.

My brother had brought his copy of Mertwig's Maze with him to the convention in case anyone wanted to play. It didn't take long for him to find out that the game's creator, Tom Wham, was at GaryCon. So with that in mind, he spent the afternoon working up the courage to ask for an autograph. Meanwhile, I prepared for the game I was playing later that night. At about 9pm, in the middle of a tension-packed game of Aces & Eights, Michael came to my table to let me know that not only did he get the game signed, he also got to sit down and talk to Jean Wells for about ten minutes. "I had to go back to the room and geek out," was his reply afterwards.

The Aces & Eights game ended early due to an impromptu shootout on the train. So my brother and I grabbed the Geekpreacher and his buddy Redd and headed to the bar to play Give Me The Brain and The Red Dragon Inn. The next morning we took part in The Lodge's breakfast buffet before heading for home. On the ride home my brother, who not more than 24 hours earlier was peeved at the thought of going to Lake Geneva, turned to me and said, "Next year, I'm taking time off so I can attend the entire convention."

And thus a family tradition began.

(EDIT- "Awkwardly social" is the term we came up with. Not 'socially awkward' which already exists.)

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