GenCon is overrated and a nightmare for actually gaming
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Posted by guygardner2020

1. Will Call....not even touching this one because everyone including the local news covered this issue.
2. "Special Services" - If you have a disability GenCon is NOT for you. I seen people in walkers, canes, and crutches being made to stand in line for an armband that lets them.... wait for it...not stand in line! We had to do this everyday.
3. Gaming - Dice Tower Con has less than 3000 attendees and its library and opening gaming area is larger than what GenCon had sectioned off in Lucas Oil. 
4. TICKETS!!! I realize that you people(long term attendees) might be OK with this practice, but the rest of the Con world thinks it is crazy to have a $110 ticket then spend easily that much more on event tickets! Back to the gaming library, to use the library 24/7 alone would  be $80 extra!
5. Hotels - Indy just simply does not have the hotel rooms nor parking to handle 60,000+ people. Quite a few official hotels are 15-20 miles away and still cost $135-$170 a night.
6. Rude - I watched people run into and over my 15 year old all con and not a one stopped and said sorry or even acknowledge they had just bumped into a kid. I go to Dragon Con every year and never really have this issue.
7. Saftey - I wont touch specific events here, again see youtube, news, or even this forums for those. I will say this: I seen maybe 4 cops inside the con the whole time. Dragon Con has 4 cops on one set of escalators in the Marriott. If something required security it would involve a lot of running by unarmed(batons only) guards and cops from outside the event. On paper I am sure it makes sense to have a room staffed with Cops waiting(I assume this exist) but in reality they would be swimming upstream and delayed if a response was needed.
8. Staff - The staff seemed to know only their job and had NO information about the rest of the con. Every time I asked a question it was "let me check with someone" usually that someone had a queue of at least 3 staff already waiting to ask questions. The only booth that I seen run smoothly was the lost and found, and I would like to say those people have that down to a science. 

Im tired of writing so I will stop here, but if I were GenCon Administrators I would look to Dragon Con for a lot of ideas and procedures to help with these issues. As for me personally I will not be back unless I get a connected hotel and even then I really think DiceTower, Origins, or BGG Con might be money better spent.

-Not a Troll just a long time con goer whose first GenCon was disappointing.

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Posted by lord thrifty the cromulent

I'm sorry you didn't have a good time.  It's really not for everyone.  I am sort of neutral on the convention and wouldn't actually attend if I didn't already live in Indianapolis.  Part of that could be that it doesn't align too much with my hobbies -- I'm not super into gaming apart from electronic gaming.  But I find a thing or two here that is fun.

The charges for events aren't really on GenCon though.  They charge the $110 admission charge and then I believe it's all up to the event organizers how much they want to charge.  GenCon is primarily just facilitating a lot of this.

For the gaming library, you can't actually get access to it 24/7 because the convention only runs for 4 days.  From 8 AM Thursday to 4 PM Sunday is actually only 80 hours.  An 8 hour block would cost you $4, so getting all 10 of those is only $40.  Although I can't imagine why you would want it continuously for all 80 hours, even in the middle of the night.

The security thing seems like a strange objection.  Not sure how much trouble you are expecting to think we need a ton of armed police inside the convention center though.  It's been pretty peaceful so far as is.

Will call had long lines but for an extra 10 bucks this is a non-issue.  They moved as quickly as they could but they had to keep it centralized in one spot to keep track of all the physical objects they had to keep track of.  They really don't have the space to build it much wider.  If you buy your tickets too late to have them shipped, you can always set an alarm and grab them in the middle of the night.

$170 a night for a hotel room in a major city during a period of high demand is not unreasonable at all... 

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Posted by traveller


  1. Yea, it was not good this year.  Some advice for next year (if you go) take the mail option solves that problem.
  2. Since it sounds as if you were in need of the "special services", you would be perfect to ask this question, What do you feel can be done to make the experience better?  How we Gencon improve this area?
  3. Was the open gaming area/library full and you couldn't get a space?
  4. Really, how do you think these groups offset the costs of coming to the con to run events.  I know of one group that has no game company sponsorship, all costs are covered by the ticket prices.  This year alone group spent 37k on hotels, supplies, etc.  Without those tickets to events, do you think you would have very many events?  
  5. This is the same complaint of every large con, its the nature of the beast.  You get the same complaints for the Super Bowl too.
  6. This isn't a Gencon thing, its a human race issue.  Some people get it, some don't.  Personally, I try to look out for people but that is just me.
  7. Actually, the news had no reports of safety issues within Gencon.  There was an incident behind the scenes, that did result with an appropriate response from Gencon.  Police have often stated that it a pleasure to work the Gencon event because it does not suffer the usual problems that gatherings of its size would normally have.
  8. I've had different results with staff, but on occasion, especially if it was someone new this can happen.

Sorry if your first Gencon was not everything you wanted it to be.  I do hope you try again, but if not, I hope you experience at other conventions is good.

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Posted by mbroadwater

I used to go to DragonCon all the time. You might not have seen people running into others and being rude, but I saw it all. The. Time. So many drunks not watching where they are going.

Gencon security was done through the ICC. D*C has no central convention center so has to have cops. Gencon (and DragonCon, for that matter) are both quite safe.

I'm guessing you've never waited in the DragonCon will call line? I've seen it as long as what happened the first days of this years GenCon more often than I've seen it short.

A quick glance at http://gaming.dragoncon.org/event/search shows me a lot of gaming events that charge to play.

As a person who has been to both DragonCon and GenCon numerous times, I really, really hope that GenCon doesn't take any advice from the goat rodeo that is DragonCon.

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Posted by guygardner2020 lord thrifty the cromulent

mstabosz wrote:
I'm sorry you didn't have a good time.  It's really not for everyone.  I am sort of neutral on the convention and wouldn't actually attend if I didn't already live in Indianapolis.  Part of that could be that it doesn't align too much with my hobbies -- I'm not super into gaming apart from electronic gaming.  But I find a thing or two here that is fun.
The charges for events aren't really on GenCon though.  They charge the $110 admission charge and then I believe it's all up to the event organizers how much they want to charge.  GenCon is primarily just facilitating a lot of this.
For the gaming library, you can't actually get access to it 24/7 because the convention only runs for 4 days.  From 8 AM Thursday to 4 PM Sunday is actually only 80 hours.  An 8 hour block would cost you $4, so getting all 10 of those is only $40.  Although I can't imagine why you would want it continuously for all 80 hours, even in the middle of the night.
The security thing seems like a strange objection.  Not sure how much trouble you are expecting to think we need a ton of armed police inside the convention center though.  It's been pretty peaceful so far as is.
Will call had long lines but for an extra 10 bucks this is a non-issue.  They moved as quickly as they could but they had to keep it centralized in one spot to keep track of all the physical objects they had to keep track of.  They really don't have the space to build it much wider.  If you buy your tickets too late to have them shipped, you can always set an alarm and grab them in the middle of the night.
$170 a night for a hotel room in a major city during a period of high demand is not unreasonable at all... 
1 The blocks ran from $4-$8; Saturday Friday were all $6 and $8. 
2 Since you are not a avid gamer you might not realize this, but most board game conventions have  people playing at all times of the day. 3-4 in the morning gaming is nothing. If I want to play a game between 8am and 4pm , 4pm-12am, and any game after 12am that is three sets of tickets for one 24hr period.
3 Plenty of Cons do not use a paid ticket, I am not sure how this isnt a GenCon issue?
4 Post 9/11- man any grouping of 60,000+ people should have a LOT of police. We have people shooting up schools and killing a lot of people. In an open event like this it could be hundreds before any real response.
5 I assume you have never been to Dragon Con and dont know how quick Will Call should be. but Dragon Con is bigger and doesnt  preship a SINGLE badge. All badges are handed out at the con. The most you wait in line at Dragon Con is 15-20 minutes and that line at doors open on Thursday makes the GenCon line look small.
6 $170 is way too much I stay in the Hilton every year at DragonCon and its ~$200. 

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Posted by kidlidar lord thrifty the cromulent

mstabosz wrote:
I'm sorry you didn't have a good time.  It's really not for everyone.  I am sort of neutral on the convention and wouldn't actually attend if I didn't already live in Indianapolis.  Part of that could be that it doesn't align too much with my hobbies -- I'm not super into gaming apart from electronic gaming.  But I find a thing or two here that is fun.
The charges for events aren't really on GenCon though.  They charge the $110 admission charge and then I believe it's all up to the event organizers how much they want to charge.  GenCon is primarily just facilitating a lot of this.
For the gaming library, you can't actually get access to it 24/7 because the convention only runs for 4 days.  From 8 AM Thursday to 4 PM Sunday is actually only 80 hours.  An 8 hour block would cost you $4, so getting all 10 of those is only $40.  Although I can't imagine why you would want it continuously for all 80 hours, even in the middle of the night.
The security thing seems like a strange objection.  Not sure how much trouble you are expecting to think we need a ton of armed police inside the convention center though.  It's been pretty peaceful so far as is.
Will call had long lines but for an extra 10 bucks this is a non-issue.  They moved as quickly as they could but they had to keep it centralized in one spot to keep track of all the physical objects they had to keep track of.  They really don't have the space to build it much wider.  If you buy your tickets too late to have them shipped, you can always set an alarm and grab them in the middle of the night.
$170 a night for a hotel room in a major city during a period of high demand is not unreasonable at all... 
Gen con charges $1.00 per hr per player, so that if you run a 4 hr event, you have to charge $4.  As a gamemaster, you have the option to add more money onto the ticket price (mine are $10.00, and it costs me about $6 in materials per player).

Security:  I actually agree with you.  I'm a police officer w/24 years experience.  The only police available at gen con are outside on a traffic direction detail and are actually paid by the ICC. (I checked)  Any active shooter situation would end really bad.

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Posted by cman811

Conversely, I do not want there to be a lot of cops around. 

as for the will call line, go at a different time. It's open 24 hrs. Dont go there at 9 when you have an event at 10. Dont sign up for an event if you know you're gonna cut it close cuz you're flying in that morning. Be more flexible. 

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Posted by lordnlkon

Sorry you feel that way, I personally think Gencon is easily one of the best cons of the year. Enjoy your time at the other cons.

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Posted by random_axcess

Overall anything that becomes popular unfortunately becomes a spectacle moving further away from the niche it was to a broad diverse mass of vagueness to try and please everyone. A lot of Gen Con's problems can be drawn back to this as old timers remember better days with rose colored glasses.

With that said for a long time con goer you seem very ill prepared for what GenCon currently is.  Smaller cons will have mostly free games as they are all voluntary and their profit is made from attendance.  Any Larger convention like Origins and even DragonCon that you reference have mostly paid for gaming to make money on the space used.  I do not understand your complaint with this as a "long time con goer".

On the subject of rudeness I will unfortunately agree.  Not that everyone is rude but the influx of people has removed the family aspect and replaced it with a rush of self urgency.  It is a result of growth and unfortunately cannot be solved by simply asking people to be "nice" which is subjective in itself.

The Safety aspect was probably one of the most disheartening things to happen this year.  Someone was attacked, that attacker was allowed to be at his booth in the con selling his game the next day (even though GenCon was fully notified).  Said person did not disappear until the police were looking for him later.  No one knows if GenCon actually revoked his badge at any point since they banned people from twitch for asking, closed the forum thread, and will not comment about it when asked. GenCon handled this very poorly and continue to do so, it is unfortunate to think about what could be allowed to happen in the future.

Special services is hands down your most valid complaint, every year there is a thread about it after the con and every year it has not been addressed.  At this point unless something happens to one of the attendees it is doubtful anything will change.

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Posted by lord thrifty the cromulent guygardner2020

guygardner2020 wrote:
mstabosz wrote:
I'm sorry you didn't have a good time.  It's really not for everyone.  I am sort of neutral on the convention and wouldn't actually attend if I didn't already live in Indianapolis.  Part of that could be that it doesn't align too much with my hobbies -- I'm not super into gaming apart from electronic gaming.  But I find a thing or two here that is fun.
The charges for events aren't really on GenCon though.  They charge the $110 admission charge and then I believe it's all up to the event organizers how much they want to charge.  GenCon is primarily just facilitating a lot of this.
For the gaming library, you can't actually get access to it 24/7 because the convention only runs for 4 days.  From 8 AM Thursday to 4 PM Sunday is actually only 80 hours.  An 8 hour block would cost you $4, so getting all 10 of those is only $40.  Although I can't imagine why you would want it continuously for all 80 hours, even in the middle of the night.
The security thing seems like a strange objection.  Not sure how much trouble you are expecting to think we need a ton of armed police inside the convention center though.  It's been pretty peaceful so far as is.
Will call had long lines but for an extra 10 bucks this is a non-issue.  They moved as quickly as they could but they had to keep it centralized in one spot to keep track of all the physical objects they had to keep track of.  They really don't have the space to build it much wider.  If you buy your tickets too late to have them shipped, you can always set an alarm and grab them in the middle of the night.
$170 a night for a hotel room in a major city during a period of high demand is not unreasonable at all... 

5 I assume you have never been to Dragon Con and dont know how quick Will Call should be. but Dragon Con is bigger and doesnt  preship a SINGLE badge. All badges are handed out at the con. The most you wait in line at Dragon Con is 15-20 minutes and that line at doors open on Thursday makes the GenCon line look small.
6 $170 is way too much I stay in the Hilton every year at DragonCon and its ~$200. 
GenCon provides an easy way out of the badge pickup for a $10 shipping fee.  It's really not their fault if you decide not to avail yourself of this option.  I really don't have a lot of sympathy for people who were stuck in that line. 

I don't know how DragonCon services a similar number of people any quicker, unless they have triple the number of people handing out badges.  But then what are those extra people doing the rest of the time when the badges have been picked up. 

Your math on the hotel costs makes no sense.  You're admitting that the Hilton at DragonCon is more expensive.

As user mbroadwater pointed out, there are plenty of events that cost money at DragonCon as well.

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Posted by traveller

Security is controlled by ICC.  If you think there should be a greater visual armed team you should direct your concerns to them.  Personally, I saw their yellow and blue CSC security team every 100-200 feet.

As to the alleged attack that took place in a bar in the city at a venue that had nothing to do with Gencon beyond happening during the time the con was in town.  See Indystar news article Gencon was not notified by the authorities to the alleged incident and would have no reason to evict an innocent person.  This is a hot button issue for many people and as seen on these forums (and just about everywhere else) it is difficult for some people to discus the incident without resorting to direct attacks against those who disagree with them (this is on both sides of the issue).  I would not expect Gencon to respond publicly to what could be a criminal investigate by the police.  As to shutting down social media activity related to this, clearly they are concerned over legal liabilities over people making accusations against someone who may or may not be involved in a crime.

If you think this is the first time that someone should/has been removed from the con, I think you might be a little naive.  I would expect that when someone is removed from the con it is done in a way that does not detract from the enjoyment of others.  An Gencon does enforce their policies be you a single day badge holder or large exhibitor.  

As to special services, share your experience about what was done wrong with customerservice(at)gencon.com , and if you have an example of where it was done better share that to, its the only way to have things change.

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Posted by divachelle guygardner2020

guygardner2020 wrote:
2. "Special Services" - If you have a disability GenCon is NOT for you. I seen people in walkers, canes, and crutches being made to stand in line for an armband that lets them.... wait for it...not stand in line! We had to do this everyday.
You did not have to do that every day. I obtained my blue wristband for Special Services on Wednesday afternoon, and hooked it to my lanyard. I used that same blue band through the entire con without issue.

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Posted by braewe

The line on wednesday went very quickly and efficiently, not sure what happened on Thursday, BUT I can tell you the lines for Youmacon, at least, make even thursday pale by comparison. And as others have pointed out, you CAN have your badge mailed, or come at a slower hour, it is a 24 hour service. Wednesday evening there was literally almost no line at all.

Have to agree about the special services, though not just the lines. Gen Con is extremely spread out. My ankle was acting up this year and even though our hotel was close, our events went from the JW to Union Station, to the ICC, back to the JW, then the stadium. Ow. I was regretting deciding to walk. Especially when our group would decide to get lunch at the mall food court...when we were at the JW. And the next event. Was at the JW. I never minded this before. This year. I did.

I have not used the gaming library here at Gen Con, but I have at Winter Fantasy(same library) and it seemed fine to me there. Was it full?

I have never been to DragonCon so cannot compare there, however, the other conventions I have been to that have free gaming have very LIMITED gaming. Nowhere NEAR 13k events or however many it was this year. Origins has somewhat cheaper badges but the other tickets are comparable.
The reason for the extra charge here and other places is that if it were to be a flat fee the badge price would be /ridiculous/. I do not wish to pay for everyone else's True Dungeon tickets, thank you very much. Plus, not sure how reimbursements for various companies and hosts would be handled. I looked up your Dice Tower Con that you compared Gen Con to, and they are offering 375 events. Total. Comparing that con to Gen Con like me saying, Hey come to my party, beer is on me, for 10 people, and me telling 2000 people that beer is on me. One is doable (ie volunteers) and one is not (expense is just too much). Also a glance at the DragonCon events indicates that hey, you need to buy tickets there too.

Security-I may not see police everywhere, but I did see ICC security everywhere IN THE ICC. I will agree that Gen Con could be a terrorist target, there certainly are lots of us attending, but so are lots of other things, and honestly, I'm not quite sure how sticking four police officers in one location in the ICC would stop such a thing from occurring.

Seems if the Hilton was $200 there that hotel prices are in line. Hotel prices are about the same now even WITHOUT extra events these days if you want a nice hotel. If you don't, there definitely were cheaper options out there.

Staff: I run games for Catalyst. Specifically Shadowrun and Dragonfire. I can definitely answer questions about those but I know NOTHING about Battletech and would have to ask. I imagine it's much the same for Gencon staff. In fact, your comment, to me, is a compliment. "They know their job" and they actually ASK if they get a question they don't know, as opposed to the sadly common, 'sort of know their job and make something up if they do not know it' I often encounter.

In the end, only you can decide if one convention is for you or if another suits you better. I do love me some GenCon, but I also thoroughly enjoy the other conventions I've attended, from the very small Winter Fantasy to the alarmingly growing Youmacon (22k+ last year WHAT THE HECK!! I remember when it was tiny enough to fit into a 2 story hotel!!), to Origins. Hey, I like gaming.

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Posted by lord thrifty the cromulent braewe

braewe wrote:
The line on wednesday went very quickly and efficiently, not sure what happened on Thursday, BUT I can tell you the lines for Youmacon, at least, make even thursday pale by comparison.
I took a video of the line late Thursday morning: https://youtu.be/XycS3Gyq4bo

For any who are curious. 

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Posted by jbship628

It was weird, because this year for the first time ever, I had to wait outside in Will Call.  I usually got there between 4 and 6 on previous Wednesdays, and I was usually somewhere between Hall C and Hall B, and that was generally the peak of the line.  I wasn't there last year, so I don't know.  This year however, one of the guys in my hotel room reported almost waiting barely 10-15 minutes at about 6pm, but by the time I got there at 9pm (I had to wait for other people to arrive at the hotel), it was out the door.  I tried to wait it out a bit to see if it would go down, but by 10:15, I decided to just suck it up.  I waited a further one hour and 20 minutes to get through the Will Call line.

It was crazy, but at the same time, I didn't really have a problem with it because why the heck else do you arrive on Wednesday?  To wait in the Will Call line. (And/or check in things to the auction/consignment)  So even though it was over an hour, I just chatted with the people around me and it didn't seem all that bad really.  I felt bad for the poor guy stuck outside with the "Line Ends Here" sign, but at least it was a pleasant late evening temperature and humidity wise.  Now I know if I go Will Call to get there earlier in the day. (Though if I go to the Trade Day next year like I want, I will have to have it mailed to me anyway)

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Posted by jbship628

BTW, I was riding with a couple who were first-timers to Gen Con. And on the way to the show, we were talking about pre-planning for next year.  I already have my kids booked at a summer camp the week of Gen Con next year, so I'm already IN.  They had said no matter how good the con was, they were probably hitting up Origins next year because they have family in Columbus so it would be cheaper.

By Sunday, they were telling me how they are very likely to almost assuredly going to do BOTH because they had such a good time at Gen Con, even as first timers.  (They are taking their own kids to Origins since family is around the area, then just doing Gen Con as a couples vacation for themselves)

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Posted by buffythecatslayer

Not a Troll just a long time con goer whose first GenCon was disappointing.

Simple solution, don’t go again.

The only one of your points I agree with was the c-f that was Special Services. As I pointed out in another thread, there was nearly an hour wait in a line with 8 people, and no accommodations were made for people on crutches/canes.

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Posted by bstripp guygardner2020

guygardner2020 wrote:
1. Will Call....not even touching this one because everyone including the local news covered this issue.
2. "Special Services" - If you have a disability GenCon is NOT for you. I seen people in walkers, canes, and crutches being made to stand in line for an armband that lets them.... wait for it...not stand in line! We had to do this everyday.
3. Gaming - Dice Tower Con has less than 3000 attendees and its library and opening gaming area is larger than what GenCon had sectioned off in Lucas Oil. 
4. TICKETS!!! I realize that you people(long term attendees) might be OK with this practice, but the rest of the Con world thinks it is crazy to have a $110 ticket then spend easily that much more on event tickets! Back to the gaming library, to use the library 24/7 alone would  be $80 extra!
5. Hotels - Indy just simply does not have the hotel rooms nor parking to handle 60,000+ people. Quite a few official hotels are 15-20 miles away and still cost $135-$170 a night.
6. Rude - I watched people run into and over my 15 year old all con and not a one stopped and said sorry or even acknowledge they had just bumped into a kid. I go to Dragon Con every year and never really have this issue.
7. Saftey - I wont touch specific events here, again see youtube, news, or even this forums for those. I will say this: I seen maybe 4 cops inside the con the whole time. Dragon Con has 4 cops on one set of escalators in the Marriott. If something required security it would involve a lot of running by unarmed(batons only) guards and cops from outside the event. On paper I am sure it makes sense to have a room staffed with Cops waiting(I assume this exist) but in reality they would be swimming upstream and delayed if a response was needed.
8. Staff - The staff seemed to know only their job and had NO information about the rest of the con. Every time I asked a question it was "let me check with someone" usually that someone had a queue of at least 3 staff already waiting to ask questions. The only booth that I seen run smoothly was the lost and found, and I would like to say those people have that down to a science. 
Im tired of writing so I will stop here, but if I were GenCon Administrators I would look to Dragon Con for a lot of ideas and procedures to help with these issues. As for me personally I will not be back unless I get a connected hotel and even then I really think DiceTower, Origins, or BGG Con might be money better spent.
-Not a Troll just a long time con goer whose first GenCon was disappointing.

I'll echo that I'm sorry you had a bad time.  However, I disagree with a lot of this.

1. Will Call: You have an option to ship badges.  I showed up Friday morning at 9:00am and waited 10 minutes.  The line was long, but it moved quickly and was very well organized.  Not sure what they should do to handle the volume of people they have.

3. I never had a problem, getting a game, or a table at any of the Gen Con's I have been at.  Some years we use the library, others we don't.  Either way, it's never been an issue.

4. Again, I have no issue with this.  Most of this money goes into comping GMs to play.  Without GMs you wouldn't have the volume of events that they do.  I'm fine with paying for event tickets and getting generics for the events that I do.  The Con has a little of everything and I'm pleased to support them with the level of games and activities that they offer.

5. This is not a Con issue, the city of Indy is very aware of how valuable space is.  Gen Con does not jack the prices up, the companies do.  If you are worried about getting gouged, stay outside of Indy.  We usually stay 10-15 minutes away and get rooms for ~$100 a night.

6. Yeah, this is a mass of people.  I don't know if it's rude, or just that in a crowd you are being jostled all the time.  I had a 16 year old there, and they were fine all weekend.  At 15, I kind of expect your child should understand what a large crowd is like.  Nor do I think that people should apologize for every bump when they happen.  Smaller Con's don't have this, because smaller Con's don't have the attendance that Gen Con does.  I said sorry to a lot of people, but I am sure I bumped into a lot more that I didn't.

7. I cant really comment, but I don't want the event turned into an armed camp because something could happen.

8. I kind of agree with the staff issue, but all the people I dealt with were friendly and got me the answers I needed.  Were they cross trained enough?  No probably not, but they are volunteers and the event is huge.

I think someone else said the same thing; sorry you didn't enjoy it, but it may not be your cup of tea.  I had a great time again, like I do every year.  I had no issues and got to do all the things I wanted too.  It IS hard to get into some of the games you want, and if that's the only reason you are going, then there are likely better, smaller, events that will allow you to get into the games that you want to play.

Good luck!  I hope you find what you are looking for!

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Posted by guygardner2020

Thanks for your opinions. I hope to attend again and everyone stays safe.

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Posted by triad1

Nah.  I don't agree with the OP much on almost all points (… I don't know about accessible stuff).  However to each their own.  I liked Gen Con just fine. 

I did Will Call on Wednesday morning without any serious wait times (I think I waited 20min-30min), so I did not stand in the nasty line that was Thursday.  I would agree that Will Call could have been more quicker when seeing that Thursday line up, but Gen Con will have to study ways to accomplish that themselves -- every little bit counts.  Dealing with random high volume moments is always a difficult problem to predict. 

The OP list was a bit too rigid, and in some parts a bit over the top, so that I think it might be better to attend other conventions more suited to those needs if they can't be personally reconciled to some degree.  *I'm not flaming here, just saying different conventions can better/worse be for different people.*  I've been going for a decade now and I've only seen things improving while matching scales of attendance.  Mind you, feedback good or bad for Gen Con should still be always considered and weighted against realistic scales of measurement, but discounted where inappropriate for the size logistics of the convention.

One point I TOTALLY disagree with was the idea of armed police inside the convention centre for security.  I think ICC does a very good enough job with security and setting the mood on a lower key.  I don't want the vibe of being in a "police state" while at the convention with police officers stationed all over -- I'm fine with them patrolling the outside areas where they really need to be and can be called in when needed.  I doubt very much that there would be a terrorist incident since I see no incentive for it at all.  I'll take my chances that a niche tabletop gaming convention would be way down on anyone's top "hit" list.  The convention has a nice friendly vibe for the most part (other than bumping into random people occasionally aside) -- keep it that way.

Regardless of decisions made on whether or not to return, I hope future conventions go better for you.

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