Enthusiast conventions are among the best things in the world, and it's sad to me that I just started attending them after my apathy toward journalling kicked in. I should scroll through my last few years and see if I’ve mentioned any of the conventions we’ve been to.
We went to Gen Con 50 last week, and it was in all ways incredible.
We've been to four Gen Cons, and this year we were thinking we would definitely go to the Big 50, but that maybe we would switch it out for other cons after then. But halfway through, we were already reconsidering. Board games are our bread and butter, and Gen Con is nearly the king of board game conventions. (Theoretically, it was originally a wargame and roleplaying game convention, but it soaked up the board game renaissance) Practically anywhere you walk, you can sit down and watch or even join in on a game of some kind. Important People come and revel in being One Of Us. Kickstarters show off their new games. The air is abuzz. You can soak in the geekiness. Game conventions don't have as many cosplayers per capita as anime conventions, but the ones who show are so high quality. You can be YOU at Gen Con, and as long as you aren't a jerk you won't be judged. This is the world I want to live in.
So, of course, the week after Gen Con it's time to sign up for Naka-Kon, Overland Park's anime convention. Naka-Kon is more focused on anime and Japanese games than Gen Con is on RPGs and Board Games, but it's still a wonderful place to be yourself and especially to binge on the new trends in anime. They have a fun secondary focus on video game music: we've seen Nobuo Uematsu in concert there twice. It also happens to crop up each year on or about my birthday, so I have special nostalgia for it. We've been to Naka-Kon five years in a row, and it will be our sixth year in 2018. This year, we were considering maybe switching it out for other cons... I think we're just going to have to steel ourselves for going to a third con.
The only downside to conventions, besides having to leave, is Con Crud. Stephie and I got hit by it hard when we got back to Columbia. That said, it waited to strike until the afternoon after the eclipse was over, so at least our nerdy germs were generous to us.
I suppose I should mention the eclipse, since it was a once-in-a-lifetime event? August 21st, 2017, the moon completely obscured the sun over Columbia, MO, plunging us into a midday twilight for a little over two minutes. We went to a festival. It was very pretty. It wasn't a Con, though.