For those who are unfamiliar with conventions, it's simply a gathering of a lot of people with like interests. Conventions are held annually for pretty much everything: TV shows, story genres, some things you'd probably not want to think about, and, obviously, boardgaming. Often there are special guests, events, and a number of other things related to the subject of interest. One of the best parts of a convention, you're surrounded by a number of like-minded people; all the jargon, all the related head-space, it's all fair game.
This is our first year attending BGG.con; Jackie and I have attended boardgame conventions in the past including Gencon, which we've enjoyed every year for the past 5 years. This, however, was a whole different monster. Gencon is busy and huge, there are a lot of events, special guests, and hundreds of gaming companies showing their wares; attendance is around 20-25 thousand. BGG.con had something like 6 vendors, less than 10 official events, and 900 attendees; obviously this is a much different convention, and just looking at the numbers you can tell it's much more intimate.
On arriving at the convention, we were met with two lines of around 100 people waiting to pick up their registration packets--this line moved quickly, and at the onset we were already in possession of four new games, thanks to Queen games and some of the other sponsors. Once out of the registration line, however, Jackie and I were a little lost--here, too, we were pleased, as one of the staff noticed our "First Time" ribbons on our badges, and directed us to the library and main gaming hall. After a quick pass through of the library, which is a portion of Aldie's collection and consisted of several thousand games, we went to the main hall, and within five minutes were invited to a game of Fluch der Mummie, followed by two games of Pack and Stack, both of which were taught to us by the couple that invited us over.
We also checked out a copy of Agricola, probably had a daunted look on our faces as we glanced over the 900+ pieces in the box, and thankfully Guy from Canada showed us how to play before he left for dinner, and another attendee (name forgotten) who had played Agricola before hopped into the game and made sure it ran smoothly.
I'll give a run-down explaining these games later, but here's a list of what we played on the first day of BGG.con:
Fluch der Mummie
Pack and Stack (x2)
Homesteaders (Just me, Jackie was doing homework)
Crokinole (x3, and a lesson learned--don't even consider playing Jackie for money)
I'm estimating this at around 7 hours of gaming, just on the first day. Next post on BGG.con will cover days 1 and 2, including short synopses of the games.
Happy Thanksgiving! Remember to play something good!