Who won the Ticket to Ride Regional Championship this past weekend. She was given a gold-plated scoring marker, and will be traveling to The Gathering of Friends in beautiful Columbus, Ohio this April to participate in the National Championships.
Color me jealous.
At my excited declaration that my sister was now invited to the GoF, she initially asked "What's the Gathering of Friends?"--a question that almost resulted in her murder. I am aware of a number of people that entered the tournament simply for this opportunity.
For those of you who aren't familiar, the Gathering of Friends is a invitation-only convention, attended by less than 500 people. Many of the regular attendees are industry professionals, be they game designers, publishers, or whatnot. The event is held by Alan Moon, the designer of the Ticket to Ride series of games--hence why the championships are being held there. In addition to the general gaming that occurs over the week-plus long event, there are special events, tournaments, a flea market, the opportunity to play game prototypes and games before their official release. Invitation to this event is sought after; every year a number of people on BGG ask "How do I get invited to the GoF? PLEEEEEESE!" However, it's not something you can just ask for, as stated before it is invitation only, though regular attendees can sometimes bring a guest.
Now my sister is training and thankfully has looked into the GoF, and is now excited. She's been looking online and seen video taken by Rick Thornquist of the 2006 event, and I believe now is beginning to understand the significance of this invitation.
So, once again, congratulations to my sister. And, if she gets to take a guest, she better take me. I think Danny (her husband) has something to do that day, and he probably wouldn't enjoy himself there anyway.