Dreamation was huge this year. Seriously. They sold out the hotel. As big as Dexcon. Big enough to viscerally feel the difference. It’s not your little tiny close-knot convention any more, and I feel good about this although it was hard to experience that on the fly. It certainly didn’t help that many of my closest friends who I really look forward to seeing in particular weren’t able to be there.
The larp tracks have exploded. They’re enormous now. The tabletop RPGs were filling up shortly after the schedules were released. The presence of Nordic-style larps have been growing at an astounding rate and show no signs of slowing down. Hell, even the organized play folks were out in force unlike any in the years since I’ve been going. And the Krista-Con events are THE games-not-to-be-scheduled-against.
It’s a surfeit of riches. New games and game designers are putting out wonderful new ideas and the convention is drawing people from further and further away each new iteration.
And it’s hard as an attendee to be in the midst of this change from the smallish weird indie con to a full force of nature.
I played John Harper’s Lasers & Feelings, a one-page scifi game that takes its name from the Doubleclicks song. I ran an OmegaZone heist. I played a Nordic larp called Before and After Silence, Nathan D. Paoletta’s new release World Wide Wrestling, Mark Richardson’s new cyberpunk game Headspace, and Puppetland. Four new-to-me games!
I got to spend time with friends from Up and down the northeast corridor, Minnesota, several different parts of Canada, New Mexico, California, Texas; it’s almost absurd the distance people are traveling to what I have in my head as this little local con. Everything changes…