Gen Con 2009: The Lost Photo Parade

Yu-Gi-Oh-ize me!

It is I, Token the White Guy, rarer than a Blue Eyes White Dragon and yet far less in demand!

Every August since 2003 our hometown of Indianapolis has hosted the Wonder of the World that is Gen Con, one of America’s oldest and largest gaming conventions. Whether your gaming mode is RPGs, tabletop games, TCGs, dice games, family board games, or video games, Gen Con has its sights aimed in your direction. Try a new game, pick up supplies for your current campaigns, network with gamers from faraway lands, or just wander the premises and gaze upon the wonders. Attendance over the past two years has topped 60,000 and shows no signs of slowing down. On the occasion of their 50th celebration in 2017, as phenomenal as it was by all accounts, I’m surprised a squad of fire marshals didn’t simply shut the whole city down.

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Gen Con 2008 Memories: Super-Heroes, Costumes, and Old Friends

Hygena!

A souvenir of that one time we knew someone who’d survived a reality TV show and pulled off the rare miracle of giving us a reason to want to watch reality TV. Photo by the Defuser.

[Today kicked off Gen Con Indy, where enthusiastic hordes of gamers and related geek types have returned to game, and game, and game and game and game. North America’s largest tabletop convention has called Indianapolis home since 2003. In 2008, my wife Anne and I attended for our first time for a special reason.

Despite our recent computer disaster, we’ve recovered many of our photos from four different sources to varying degrees of quality. As my own way of marking the occasion and unearthing unshared items from our personal archives, presented above is a photo of the two of us with someone we knew at the show. More about her in a moment.

The following writeup was previously posted a week later for about ten or fifteen friends. I’ve subjected it to minimal Special Edition-ing to scrub a few in-jokes and satisfy my own fussiness. I also wrote a brief article about the experience for a short-lived wannabe news site, but that’s lost forever and someday I will have my revenge upon those responsible for pulling the plug without giving me a heads-up first. Not that I’m bitter.]

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Experiment #3: Red Sonja

Red Sonja.

Right this way for 150 brief words or so…

Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 6 of 6: Things Besides Costumes

Gaming!

Gamers gaming with games. The costumes are incidental.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I attended Gen Con 2014 and took pictures as usual.

The first five parts were all costumes, costumes, costumes. In this, the final chapter in the Gen Con 2014 saga: slightly fewer costumes. Because there are other persons, places, and things at entertainment conventions besides costumes. Yes, really.

Right this way for one last roundup!

Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 5 of 6: Last Call for Costumes

Khal Drogo!

Not taking Khal Drogo seriously would prove to be his last mistake. After the scene of carnage, his friends divided up the contents of his pockets between them.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I attended Gen Con 2014 and took pictures as usual.

Parts One through Three were the Costume Contest winners and contenders. Part Four was cosplay in the exhibit hall, the other halls, the other rooms, out and about, and wherever. Part Five: more of those, but the last usable ones in our collection. If you’re not shown here, either our destinies didn’t cross on that fateful Saturday, or we crossed at mistimed moments (really sorry I missed Pirate Harley Quinn), or we have a tragically blurry pic of you that’s not worth anyone’s upload time. Better luck next year, maybe?

For those who know every fictional character ever invented, this entry shall be your geek-culture playground, as it contains the largest number of “WHO DAT” cosplay moments. If you recognize any of the unnamed folks in these pics, now’s your chance to label them with pride.

Right this way for the last of the famous international cosplayers!

Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 4 of 6: Costumes Around the Show Floor

Ms. Marvel!

The all-new Ms. Marvel!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I attended Gen Con 2014 and took pictures as usual.

Parts One through Three were folks in the Costume Contest. In Parts Four and Five: convention attendees who opted out of competition but availed themselves of the activities and walking space all over the bustling, crowded exhibit hall. More lighting, more time to concentrate, and no dozens of rows of chairs separating us from the cosplayers. Much better results in general.

Right this way for costumes. Yes, MORE of them.

Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 3 of 6: Costume Contest, Last Call

Purple Bane!

Purple Bane, Purple Bane! I encountered him on the show floor before he popped up in the Contest. His stage appearance included his own version of the song, with backing track by, apropos of Bane, the Revolution.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I attended Gen Con 2014 and took pictures as usual.

Part One was the Costume Contest Winners; Part Two was more entrants to same, many of whom sported equally fine work and/or delivered entertaining performances in their own right. This time: our last remaining Costume Contest pics, some of which are beyond usability, but I like to be as inclusive as possible, often to a fault. If you were in the Contest and you’re not in any of those three entries, you have our sincerest apologies.

Right this way for still more competition!

Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 2 of 6: More from the Costume Contest

Hawkwoman!

Hawkwoman! Or possibly Hawkgirl. I’m going with Hawkwoman.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I attended Gen Con 2014 and took pictures as usual.

Last time was the Costume Contest Winners. This time: some of the other Costume Contest entrants, whose fine works will star in Parts Two and Three. I’m splitting them up because I like to keep my photodumps to a fairly consistent size. When I go too far overboard in a single entry, chances are I’ve been at the computer too long and I’m putting myself at risk of falling to pieces if I don’t step away for a while.

Right this way for more costumed contenders!

Gen Con 2014 Photos, Part 1 of 6: the Costume Contest Winners

Toothless!

Toothless! America’s new favorite reptile (sorry, Godzilla), the star of the How to Train Your Dragon series. Winner of this year’s Staff Favorite award.

This weekend our starstruck hometown of Indianapolis hosted the 47th edition of Gen Con, one of America’s oldest and largest gaming conventions. Whether your gaming mode is RPGs, tabletop games, TCGs, dice games, family board games, or video games, Gen Con has its sights aimed in your direction. Try a new game, pick up supplies for your current campaigns, network with gamers from faraway lands, or just wander the premises and gaze upon the wonders. Attendance in 2013 exceeded 49,000, an impressive 20% increase over 2012. Judging by how overcrowded the main exhibit hall became by mid-afternoon Saturday this year, I’d say they’re on target for another increase.

This was my fifth GenCon and my wife’s fourth, even though we’re not certified pro gamers. Some of our personal geek interests intersect with enough of the available exhibits, dealers, and special events that we’re rarely bored except in the occasional line, but those come with the territory. I have somewhat obsolete working knowledge of the early days of gaming. In my youth I used to spend dollar after dollar on the original Advanced Dungeons and Dragons hardcovers and modules, as well as various other TSR RPGs (Top Secret!, Star Frontiers, Marvel Super-Heroes, et al.) and a subscription to both Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Adventures (starting with issue #1!) until all my childhood friends moved away and took their Player Characters with them.

Anyway: we took too many photos because too many people did interesting things. Our photos will be paced out in a six-part series that I hope to post on a slightly-more-than-daily basis over the next few days, Lord willing and if non-internet responsibilities don’t interfere. We begin with the easiest place to start: the winners of the 29th annual Gen Con Costume Contest.

Caveat for newcomers to MCC: some of our photos aren’t the greatest ever. The 500 Ballroom is poorly lit at all times whether any conventions are using it or not. Flash photography was forbidden, which is just as well because using the flash from the non-Press-Pass, non-VIP seats produces even worse results. This is something my wife and I enjoy doing, to show our appreciation and awe for those with the flair for this particular aspect of the scene. We apologize in advance for the costumes we missed, and for the opportunities we blew because of our limitations and hindrances.

Comments and especially corrections are always welcome and appreciated. (That’s my standing policy for every MCC entry anyway, not just the Gen Con six-parter.) I’m not plugged directly into every single geek scene out there. Very few geeks are, even the famous ones with their own YouTube channels. If you notice any wanton acts of mislabeling, please don’t hesitate to call me out. I enjoy learning about new worlds and universes, giving credit where it’s due, and dispelling my old man’s ignorance.

Right this way for the winners!

Post-Convention Photo-Sick Blues

Goldens, Wizard World Chicago 2013

The next time my wife and I decide to attend major geek conventions two weekends in a row, someone needs to remind me to sleep twice as much first.

Today at the comic shop, one of the owners confirmed they and the other customers have been suffering from “GenCon hangover week”. We don’t drink, but the effects are similar. We’ve been wiped out the last few days, soldiering on in our jobs, ignoring the lingering muscle strains, and lamenting that we’re no longer surrounded by those who Get It. That last part’s always the hardest to handle.

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