It’s that time of year again! This weekend GenCon returns to Indianapolis for another extended weekend of gaming and related forms of competition and geekery. My wife and I aren’t fullly accredited gamers, but we frequently find interesting activities and objects tangentially included in the proceedings, so we’ve dropped in on a few Saturdays. This year marks a bold new experiment for us: we’ll be taking our nephew along for the ride. Should be fun.
This year’s GenCon kicked off early today with a pre-show party downtown on Georgia Street, east of the Indiana Convention Center. Whereas the official focus was on alcohol provided by locally owned Sun King Brewery, we non-drinkers took advantage of the large cluster of food trucks on hand.
Past visitors to our bailiwick may recall our food trucks were also out en masse at last year’s GenCon, as well as when Indy hosted Super Bowl LXVI. The trend was slow to reach the Midwest, but our city now has a few dozen such trucks milling around on any given work day and on the occasional Saturday.
My wife and I grabbed sandwiches from Soul Sista on the Move. She appreciated that their tenderloin was more pork than breading, not drowning in flour batter like the average local tenderloin.
We grabbed dessert from Heavenly Sweets — a large chocolate-chip cookie for her, a triple-chocolate cupcake for me, which their menu nicknamed the “Darth Vadar” [sic].
A special shout-out is owed to all the other local trucks gracious enough to show up tonight and help throw a heck of a party for the early birds among our 40,000+ incoming visitors:
* Big Guys BBQ
* Byrne’s Grilled Pizza
* Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort
* Flying Cupcake
* Gypsy Cafe
* Mac Genie
* Nicey Treat (more of a cart than a truck, but still)
* Pho Mi
* Der Pretzel Wagen
* Rollin’ wit da Roux
* Spice Box
* Sweet Jeanius
This Catan Van was also on the scene, but its doors never opened once to offer us snacks. How rude.
Also providing a swift kick to the festivities was local geek-rock band Five Year Mission. They have a YouTube channel with free samples, but they’re even better live. My wife groused a little when they identified “I, Mudd” as a season-3 Star Trek episode when it’s actually a season-2 episode, but I talked her out of storming the stage and trashing their instruments. You owe me one, guys.
Hundreds of fans who were ready to get busy with the Greatest Spectacle in Gaming crowded inside the Convention Center to buy or pick up their badges. The Will Call line was stunningly lengthy for a Wednesday evening, but sped ahead with pro efficiency.
A few vendors’ booths were set up in the open hallways, biding their time until they could officially begin entertaining guests. The main monitor attached to these Battletech pods was already playing a looping intro starring TV’s Jim Belushi. (Yes, really. Not a joke. Yes, that Jim Belushi.)
A few ads here and there were designed to rev up gamers’ interest in the products sure to be available in the exhibit hall in mass quantities on opening day. On an unrelated note, I’m not sure why my camera decided of its own free will that this innocent shot of a My Little Pony TCG ad cried out for a Maddy Hayes Moonlighting filter.
To be continued — on Saturday for us, anyway. We’re looking forward to it, and hope it’s a blast for one and all.
…as they’re buying the Stairway to Catan.
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