It is the Monday after Gen Con.
What seemed like an eternity of fun and excitement has actually passed very quickly. I am settling back into the daily routine of life. Instead of getting up to head to a fun gaming event I will now head back to the gym to work off those four days over overindulgence.
This return to normality is only slightly tinged with sadness as it will be some time before I see some of these friends again. Despite this sadness, I return to daily life reinvigorated for having been at Gen Con.
For four days, I have been able to hang out with over forty thousand people who share my passion. Despite the many differences that sometimes keep us apart, we were united for four days as gamers and it was epic. Old friends were able to meet up again and new friendships were formed.
Our hobby has a reputation for being unwelcoming of those with differing opinions. The frequent kerfluffles that rage across the internet in regards to editions or type of game you enjoy playing are readily available proof of this. Yet, At Gen Con, we come together and revel in the unity of our hobby. You can find fans of Pathfinder sitting down to try a game of Fiasco or listen as s story gamer shares with a group his fondness for the Old School Renaissance in Dungeon & Dragons.
In addition to this broad acceptance as a gamer, there is a more intimate group of people that one surrounds themselves with at Gen Con. Throughout the year, you communicate with this group of people spread across the world. You’ve met them through Twitter, Facebook, Google +, a podcast or their blog. You share this common connection of gaming but come to know them as friends and care about their well-being. You are able to not only share your joy of gaming but the everyday niceties that time and distance have made impossible. There are dinners, drinking and wonderful conversations that last until the wee hours of the morning. You surround yourself with a second family that makes Gen Con special.
This four days of constant activity is physically grueling but so well worth it. Each of these connections that happens at Gen Con replenishes the emotional reserves. Just like everything in life, things don’t run smoothly. Instead of these things just wearing you down the though of the next game of drinks with friends buoys you up and provides you with a fresh perspective to take back to normal life.
I know that this is an experience that not everyone at Gen Con experiences but it is certainly one that I wish everyone did. It is something that I am coming to cherish and would dearly miss now that I have found it.
(Many thanks to Adam for planting the seed for this post.)