I am currently at the Laguardia airport at the Indianapolis gate waiting on the plane that’ll take me to Gencon. There’s a man to the left of me who’s spent the last half hour discussing with someone on the phone that if they’re going to fly out for Thanksgiving to fly out of Newark. He is insistent that if they fly out of there they will save 20-30 dollars, but they need to order their tickets today. I don’t know why the person on the other end of the phone doesn’t understand this, add I don’t know why this man is so insistent about $20, or even why they are planning thanksgiving tickets now. I assume everyone at this gate is also going to Gencon, the best boardgaming convention in the country, so all of us should have better things on our minds than Thanksgiving or Newark.
This will be my first time going to Gencon, but I’ve been a boardgame fan for years. Actually, at this point, decades. The height of my boardgaming love was around 2010, but I’ve recently gotten back into it in a big way. But it seems like this subculture moves so fast, that a game that’s only 5 years old is already a verified classic, and anyone who played a game in 2007 is treated like an elder. I am an elder boardgamesman, yet still flying coach on American Airlines out of La Guardia. For I am elder, but also humble.
I’m not really a congoing sort, but I was invited to Gencon from an old friend; an elder friend, one who I haven’t really seen since college. We’ve talked much since then, but it’s always been online. So I am excited to play games over four days and see the bright hot midwest, but I’m mostly excited to just see my friend in person–to see their face again and hear what’s new before I ask if they wanna play Reef Encounter while we wait for a cab from the airport, cos of course I brought games with me.
Gencon will have thousands of games, multiple libraries of classic and hot games plus an entire dealer’s hall of new games to try–but I still had to bring a few. I’ve made it a practice(compulsion?) to always have a game on me–simply because I always want to play a game. And it’s bad to come to any party, or family gathering, or bank visit, and ask everyone there “hey wanna play a boardgame? I brought a pretty sweet eurogame about tax collecting we could try”. You have to bring it up only in the right moment. But if you find yourself in that moment, where the party is winding down and someone asks if there’s any boardgames, and you didn’t think to bring one with you? that’s even worse. that’s an embarassment I never want to experience, so have a fantastic trick-taking card game that plays 3-8 players on me at any time.
For this trip I brought that game (Fuji Flush) plus the games Reef Encounter, Fabled Fruit, Yomi, and Gosu. And I know the friends I’m meeting will be bringing 4 to 5 games themselves, so our hotel room will have 15 games to play at any one time and I can’t tell you how excited I am. As excited as a middle aged businessman finding out that he can save 20 dollars if he flies out of Newark. and let me tell you, i’m sitting right next to that man, and he’s still talking about it, and you best believe he is excited.