this is the real thing. We rode into Milwaukee on karma and my parents
'93 minivan (thanks Mom and Dad!), and decided to take a leisurely
tour of the city before heading to the convention area proper. Ok,
actually we got lost due to the crappy directions from the pre-registration
booklet, but we did eventually make it downtown to the convention
[Actually we had no directions, I think the
slaadi ate them -the editor]
So, what are
my initial reactions to GEN CON? As a man of journalistic integrity
and professionalism, I don't think I've ever been face to face with
so many people who are actually geekier than I am. It's not that
these are bad people - in fact, far from it. The gaming community
is quite possibly one of the most accepting I've come in contact
with. However, the unusually large proportion of guys with scrubby
(my own choice of word) looking beards, long hair and tucked-in
T-shirts is overwhelming to say the least. However, even among all
of this, I know that a good time is to be had here in Milwaukee.
Already I have made friends and connections to this place that may
last a lifetime.
first such person to brighten my life was the convention center
entrance security officer,
Karen. Karen not only opened my eyes to all of the glory of the
convention lobby area, she was also willing to pose for us in front
of a life-size realistic statue of a guy named Syl Sijan. According
to Karen, the statue was crafted by Syl's son Marc, who made it
in tribute to his father. Needless to say, I was moved to tears
by this heart-warming tale of a loving father-son relationship.
found me collapsed behind a trash can crying my eyes out, where
he quickly slapped some sense into me, and we were off once more.
We had to find out the heart of the beast known as registration.
I decided that the best way to cover this would be through the eyes
of a third party - someone who we could all relate to in one way
or another. It took a careful combing of the crowds surrounding
the registration area, but we finally settled on a man of whom I
am extremely proud. His name is Brett Roberts.
can I say, this guy is pure gold. Not only does he have the determination
and grit to be a hard-core gamer, Brett has something even more
important - the heart of a champion. I think everyone can learn
a little something from him. Just one glance at the cow-hide pattern
hat on his head shows how much love he has for his fellow man.
another picture of Brett. Now I know that this doesn't really show
how registration works, but honestly, do you really care about registration
On route to
our hotel, we got lost again, although this time we at least got
to drive along the shore of Lake Michigan. About this time, Nathan
was feeling the true effects of sleep deprivation and started to
make weird comments about people wearing pants in the water. It
seemed to me that Nathan's mental state was roughly equivalent to
the physical prowess of this man in the hat above.
had me stop in the middle of traffic to take this picture below.
what conclusions do I have? Well, if the meager crowds of today
have shown anything of the future, then I expect to see thousands
of nerds, geeks, and dorks before the weekend is over.
the bright side, if things go bad, I've made a back-up plan of activities
using pamphlets from my hotel's lobby. I'll start the day with a
tour of the Miller Brewery, where I plan on sampling as much as
I can before I am blacklisted by the place, then head to local Juneau
Park and rent a paddleboat. I'll rampage all over Lake Michigan,
and hopefully I'll be quick enough to flee before the local cops
arrive. To cap off this evening, I'll hit it big at the Potawatomi
Bingo Casino, where I'll clean up on Blackjack and Video Poker.
Well, bye for
now. If you're lucky, I might have some actual news for you lucky,
lucky people tomorrow.