I am back from GenCon!
Yep, that's right, and what an amazing experience it was! The people, the events, the facility, the acquisitions...everything about the convention was pretty amazing. So much awesome in fact, that it's going to take about four blog posts to cover it all. I'll release these in a short burst so you won't be hit with more than 1 post every couple of days, but I do want to be able to capture it all the best I can.
I've heard many people repeat both on Twitter, and while at the convention, that it's the People that really made their GenCon experience worthwhile this time out. I couldn't agree more. For well over a year now, I've been chatting with folks on Twitter, or engaging them in podcasts, and I was truly impressed with the genuine nature of the folks I met. The people I met were real. Not only that, they were just as awesome in person, as they are online. I had hopes that GenCon would be a "social" experience for me, and I wasn't disappointed.
What follows then, is me dropping ALL THE NAMES of some of the great folks I met at GenCon. If you're listed here, it means you made an impact on my GenCon experience. If you don't see your name here, don't worry. I was probably in a daze, sleepy from food or activity, or distracted by something shiny. Like I said above, everyone was awesome. Even you. One thing, I've listed most folks by their Twitter handle. If you want to know their real name, look them up. I'm not going to do all the work for you.
I knew my GenCon experience was going to be awesome when the first folks I met at my hotel were @geeksdreamgirl and @davethegame. Just as gracious in person as they are online, E. was nice enough to give myself, my son, and my niece a nice giveaway from ThinkGeek. In my most embarrassing moment I introduced my niece, Dani, as my nephew. Awkward. Also, Dave looks a little like a young Timothy Hutton. Maybe THIS is why he enjoy Leverage so much?
I met a lot of folks that same evening at Drunken D&D Wednesday night. The list is pretty long but includes, @Rolling20s "Mr. GenCon" as I called him (dude was everywhere YOU want to be), the ever charming @chattyDM, who did not disappoint by flirting with my wife, Anna (@FELTit). I also met (for the first time in person) my fellow podcasters: @sarahdarkmagic, her husband @FTHurley, @ThadeousC, @SlyFlourish (and his wife @rosamoonshadow), and the Pod Father himself, @Squach. The suave @newbiedm was there as well (he set me up something awesome in the Fiasco portion of the game that night). The charming @dndPrincessAria was there observing the show with @WolfSamurai and @TheAngryDM (who is not really so angry, but don't tell him that). Also there was the steely-eyed Jenga player and professional architect @Bartoneus. A special note about this guy. Even though he's now an Ennie Award Winning Blogger (for Critical Hits), he never failed to stop by and say "Hi", whenever he passed us by in the hotel or wherever. Genuinely nice guy. In addition, @Nullzone42 and @GenCon4James were rocking the Velocity Lounge that night as well. Finally, who can forget "Team Chompy". @adamjford and @chelseachan were there being awesome with CHOMPY himself (this was quite an honor). Anna & I both received a Coffee Crisp bar which was a tasty treat the U.S. misses out regularly on. Also, I met @terrestrialboy and his wife @BeautifulBethie. They're organizers of our local KantCon in Kansas City. It's a mini-con I hope to be regularly attending soon.
While at the convention, I had the privilege of meeting several of the fine folks at Wizards of the Coast such as @michaelrobles, @Trevor_WotC, @gregbilsland, @mikemearls, and Jeremy Crawford. I wouldn't want to forget popular freelancers @matt_james_rpg & @rjschawlb either. All of these cats were approachable and friendly (despite what you hear about Rob Schwalb).
The last list (and it's certainly not the least) is all the folks I met while doing various activities, meals, or just walking around. Had a fantastic breakfast with @d20Monkey (my favorite RPG web comic artist), @Level30Yinzer, Obsidian Portal workhorse, @dreadgazeebo, and his wonderful wife, @momanatrix. @highmoon and @newbiedm stopped by as well! Anna and I also managed to have dinner with @D20Blonde and her husband @TheUniverseGM (their son, Archer, is a CUTIE!). Their friend @RodrigotheBard was there as well, along with Mr. GenCon and Thad who joined us too! At the D&D trivia night, I met the incomparable @KatoKatonian and is amazing fiance, @merrydragon. They're getting married soon. Kato was kind enough to allow Anna & I to dip into his D20 bag, which is not really as dirty as it sounds. Those dice better roll great, Kato. I also met @WastexGames who helped us rock the Trivia contest! Last but not least, I got to meet @ObsidianPortal founder, @micahwedemeyer as well! He and Jerry (@dreadgazeebo) helped our DM Roundtable panel go smoothly!
Seriously, I have never been as inundated with awesome people at any single point in my life. To think that I get to come back next year and do it all over again, is a hell of a thing. With that said, there are certain people still "on my list" who I want to meet. Folks like @DMSamuel, @gamefiend, @ArcaneSpringbrd, @theweem, @rdonoghue, @ChrisSSims, @fredhicks and @RyanMacklin (although I'm not sure I'm cool enough to meet Mr. Macklin).
That's one hell of a list. If you're not following any of these folks on Twitter, you are (as the kids so often say these days) DOING IT WRONG. Thanks to all of you for making GenCon 2011 an incredible memory rich experience that will last a lifetime.
Until next time...
Game excellently with one another.