Showing posts with label convention. Show all posts
Showing posts with label convention. Show all posts

Monday, October 24, 2016

My Necronomicon (FL) 2016 Schedule


Once again, this weekend I will be a guest at Necronomicon in Tampa Florida, October 28-30, 2016. The real guests will be Steven Barnes & Steven Brust.

My appearances are just on Saturday, so my availability will be limited (at best). If you're interested, contact me via the various social media. Hopefully some of you gaming-type-people in the Tampa Bay area will be around for the fun.

Here is my schedule:

12:00:00 PM
Audubon F
What's New in Gaming? 
4:00:00 PM
Audubon F
Characters That Aren't a Reflection of You

Only one of these is directly gaming-related, but I will find my ways to relate things to what I know. I hope to see some of you that weekend. The "What's New In Gaming" panel with myself and Hal Greenberg is always entertaining.



Monday, March 14, 2016

Fanboy Expo Experiences And Talk


Fanboy Expo is a series of pop culture conventions in Florida and Tennessee. I've never attended one of their conventions (Lakeland is a bit out of the way for me to go to a show) but I have been asked by my brother Jason Helton to share his experiences at the most recent show in Florida.

I don't often talk about my brother, expect to mention him in passing when we attend conventions together. He is a life long fan of comics, professional wrestling and other of those things that we have started to lump under the umbrella of "pop culture." He travels around the Florida area attending conventions, so that he can meet the people who make the comics that he has enjoyed, and the people who do other forms of his favorite entertainment.

I asked Jason to write about his experiences at the convention, after negative talk was removed from the Fanboy Expo Facebook page.

This past weekend, he went to his first (and last) Fanboy Expo.
I attended my first and last Fanboy Expo on Saturday, March 12, 2016 in Lakeland, Florida.
First the positives of my experience: their website was accurate about the guests who canceled as of the night before, about separate lines for methods of payment, and the site map being given out at the ticket window.
The negatives I experienced: There was an $8.00 parking fee to the facility that is nowhere on the Fanboy Expo website.  When I mentioned to the cashier it got me a response of “I didn’t know either.”  
One comic guest was Tom Nguyen, an artist who has worked on books from DC Comics like Batman, Green Lantern and the JLA.  When giving a site map at the time of ticket purchase it showed where his table was to be located, but there was no table at the location, or anyplace else on the convention floor.  I asked a badged staffer and that staffer responded with, “Oh, he is our photographer for our photo ops.  Let me go see something.”  The staffer went to room where a photo op was being done.  The staffer came back saying Tom will be doing a photo op for at least 45 minutes and would sign after that.  At no place on the Fanboy Expo website did they mention any of this.  There was no mention of it at all at the Expo site.
I asked at an information booth to complain to someone.
I spoke with a person named David.  When I complained about the parking fee and availability of Tom, he did not respond the parking, and to say that Tom was there as a staff photographer. David then apologized that some older guests were taking longer on photo ops than expected.  David said he would get my items signed and even ask for a sketch to be done for me but I would still have to wait until the current op was done.  When I stated I didn’t want to wait my response from David was,” It is what it is.”   I then countered with why this information was not mentioned on the website or onsite and nothing.  I said I would not come back to a Fanboy Expo and David saluted me and said there was nothing else to say and walked away from me.
I put two posts about my experiences on the Fanboy Expo Facebook page, and both were removed within 30 minutes of the posts.
After Jason spoke to me about this on Saturday afternoon, I reached out to a few people that I know in the local comics scene and asked them for their thoughts on the Fanboy Expo shows.

"Disorganized" came up more than once. Advertising was not adequate for the convention, and attendance for the show was proportional to that.

The show is branded as a comic convention, but the obvious emphasis (as you could notice from Jason's experience above) was on the celebrity guests. Even this emphasis was not well-handled, as I received reports of attendees that were upset by the cancellation of former professional wrestler Ric Flair.

I was told that sales for vendors were not great, and that the arrangement of areas (like the Artist Alley) was cramped and badly planned out.

As so-called geek culture rises in popularity in this country, there are going to be people trying to cash in on that. Comic-Con International in San Diego makes a lot of people a lot of money, and people see that, and want to be the next big convention. However, running a good convention takes a lot more than wanting one, or even "being a fan." It takes skill in organization, skill in marketing and a desire to build a community around your event. Without that community, all that is left is shilling.

I know that the Florida convention scene is exploding. There are more conventions within a few hours drive of where I live than there ever have been. There are conventions in Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Lakeland. There are good conventions that thrive, building a strong community and local infrastructure that get people excited about being a part of things, rather than just consuming. I have said before that my favorite local convention is the Tampa Bay Comic-Con. They do a lot of things right, and they have the constant growth to prove that. Conventions try to muscle their way into an area (I'm looking at you Wizard World Orlando) and others seem to collapse under the wright of their own size and mismanagement. It seems that even a buy out from a larger convention company can help them out, or keep them from losing the faith of vendors or their own staff.

Comic and Pop Culture/Geek Culture conventions are going to make a lot of people a lot of money, before the bad conventions start to burn people out. These are the things that we need to think about when we support a local (or even national) convention. Do they (the convention) support the local fan community? Do they support the creators that come as guests? If the answer to either of these is no, then it isn't a good convention.

Obviously, there are a lot more factors that can go into the decision of whether or not a show is good or bad, but these are easy, and they are fundamental. There is more to "treating a guest well" than providing a well-stocked green room, or providing a hotel room. Time is money, as they say, and if the time of the guests isn't treated as being important by making sure that their attendance is well-promoted and well-attended, and that people are spending money, then that convention is not fulfilling their promise to that guest.

Convention guests are a two-way street. It is important to a convention that they get good guests, because this means (in theory) that they can draw more foot traffic. This increased foot traffic should, in theory, mean that the guests are getting more attention, and making some money.

I'm not saying that a convention owes it to guests that they show a profit. The guests have to work at this as well. Just being invited to a show does not insure financial success, and the optimal way for this is for everyone to work together to make the show and the guests successful. If just isn't something that we see happening a lot.

Now, as someone who likes going to conventions I want a thriving local convention scene. I want conventions to succeed. That takes work, and it isn't always something that we see.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Necronomicon FL Schedule


Amidst all of the hustle and buzz of the moving and the house selling, I am emerging from my cave for a few days to attend Necronomicon in Tampa on October 9th & 10th. My availability will be limited, so if you want to meet up, or play a game, contact me in advance so that we can work something out.

Here's my schedule for the con:

DAY
TIME
ROOM
EVENT NAME
Friday
2:00:00 PM
White Ibis South
High SF
Saturday
10:00:00 AM
SHC South
How to Get Started Publishing Games
Saturday
11:00:00 AM
SHC South
What Makes a Game Fun
Saturday
12:00:00 PM
SHC South
What's New in Gaming
Saturday
5:00:00 PM
Audubon C
Space Opera Then/Military SF Now

I'll be hosting the Space Opera Then/Military SF Now panel, so my expertise isn't as important to that. The block of gaming panels will likely be entertaining, as least I hope so. If anyone wants to meet for a late lunch or some gaming midday on Saturday, get in touch.

The convention will be at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, on Bayport Drive.

Hopefully I will see some familiar faces.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I Hear You Like Maps, So I Put Maps In Your Maps


Okay, so it turns out that I lied...I do have another post. As gamers, I know that all of you have maps...so here are some maps related to Gen Con. Save them to your phones and/or mobile devices and make sure that you don't get lost on your adventure this upcoming week.

You can also find a PDF of the Exhibition Hall here.

These are all .PNG files, so you should be able to blow them up without them getting fuzzy.

Downtown Indianapolis (Around The Convention Center)


Indiana Convention Center (1st and 2nd Floors)


The Nearby Hotels Where Con Events Are Scheduled





Remember to assign a mapper to your adventuring group while and Gen Con, and may the Odds Always Be In Your Favor!

Monday, July 20, 2015

#GenCon Food Truck Listings


Updated 7/24/15: Here is a downloadable PDF of the schedule for the food trucks. It tells you times and locations for the trucks, which you can use in conjunction with the info below. I'm storing it on my Google Drive for now.

Over at the MadFoamingCat's Fumbled Creations blog, +Sarah Landis has put together a list of the food trucks at Gen Con this year, and a tentative schedule of who will be where.

You can find her post here.

This is a resource that Gen Con really falls down on. Last year's schedule was a mess, and I spent a couple of days tracking down websites for menus and Twitter and Facebook for more direct contacts with the various trucks appearing. This seems like something that Gen Con should be doing, rather than bloggers. I am glad that Sarah put this together, because I was stalling doing this myself because it was such a pain in the ass last year.

Thank you, Sarah, for doing what Gen Con should have already provided to everyone.

PS: I haven't compared her list to the one that I compiled last year, but if there are any duplicate trucks that I tracked down the Twitter/Facebook accounts for you can find my old post here.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at Gen Con in a week and a half.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Study Into Convention Attendee Statistics


An email about Eventbrite's study of convention attendees showed up in my inbox the other day. The statistics are interesting, I think:
Gender and the Single's Scene
The demographics of fandom convention attendees are now trending equally male and female. In Eventbrite's survey of the fan community, respondents were 48.9% female, 48.7% male, and 2.4% non-binary/other. Although the split is close to 50-50 male-female for attendees, the survey found differences in male and female attendee's interests. Women reported they were most interested in comic and genre-based media (59%), while men said they were most interested in comics/graphic novels (64%).
Looking at the single's scene, 50% of romantically available attendees are men, while 47% are women. Additionally, the survey found that single men are more likely to go to a fan event alone (29%) than single women (18%).
Any emphasis in the quotes is mine. Yes, the conventions that they did these studies at appear to just be comic-related, but from attendance at Gen Con and other conventions, that my observations hold these statistics across the board. Gaming conventions may not be as close in these numbers, but they really seem to be getting there.
Con Attendees Spend Big
The majority of survey respondents (59%) said they spend between $100 and $500 at fan events they attend, not including basic costs such as tickets, food and parking. Overall, the most popular purchases that fans "always or usually" buy at conventions across all groups surveyed are original art and prints (37%), toys, figures and collectable (28%), fashion merchandise and t-shirts, and collectible comics and graphic novels (both at 27%). And, despite anecdotal reports to the contrary, only around 20% of people reported that they regularly purchase celebrity autographs at conventions. With nearly 38% reporting they "never buy" these items, they ranked among the least popular purchases according to the survey data.
Survey findings also revealed that 10% of con-goers reach into their wallets and shell out $500 or more at fan events over and above logistical costs and more men than women (66% vs. 33%) spend $500 or more at fan events.
Cosplayers Pay to Play
Serious cosplayers are repeat attendees; 64% of them attend three or more fan events per year and 27% attend five or more fan events per year. When they attend, seven in ten will spend $100 or more at the event. Age and gender are also factors; the majority of cosplayers (60%) are between the ages of 23 and 39 and female (65%).
Primary fan interests for cosplayers are unique to that group as well. The top three interests reported by cosplayers were anime/manga (29%), comic and genre-based media/entertainment (21%), and science fiction and/or fantasy (18%).
It is fashionable for other "fandoms" to bash cosplayers, but I think that one thing that gamers and genre fans need to understand is that cosplayers have always been a part of the fandom. If you go back to some of the photos from conventions as far back as the 50s and 60s you'll find a lot of people cosplaying their favorite characters.

We really need to get over this and realize that the thing that all of us wanted has happened: geekery has mainstream appeal and greater numbers of people want to be involved in these fandoms. We need to remember that there aren't rules to being a "true" or "proper" fan of something. You just are a fan.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Cosplay Is Not Consent


Convention season is in full swing, and the big cons are just around the corner. And apparently, for some geeks and convention goers, the lesson that you can look at but not touch the people in the costumes is still not being understood. A person dressing up in a costume, no matter how revealing or covering it might be, is not an invitation to touch them.

This past weekend at Atlanta's MomoCon, an anime and gaming convention, a cosplayer not only was repeatedly touched without permission, but the convention organizers and their security staff further harassed the woman and blamed her and her costume for what happened.


What we have here is compounded harassment. This is a major bad on the part of the convention staff. While I wouldn't call them a safe space, a convention should be protecting the safety and well-being of their attendees. Sexual harassment is in any form or shape is not good. I'm not sure who taught these people that it was okay, but it isn't.

How many times are we going to have to say this before it sinks in to the heads of these people? It is never right to touch people in any manner without their consent or approval. Wearing a costume is not consent.

This should also never lead to body shaming or so-called "slut shaming." It doesn't really matter how much skin you think is appropriate, if a person is covered to extent required by local law the rest is moot.  Community standards will also cause this to vary dramatic. I live in Florida, in a beach community, where it isn't unusual to see women in bikinis (or men in swimwear) at grocery stores or gas stations.  I hate the term "slut shaming" because it adds a moral element of "well, your clothing was inappropriate, but we are going to defend it anyway." No, you just defend it.

This is an angry post, because this is something that shouldn't still be going on in an enlightened society. It shouldn't be happening on the streets of our cities, and it shouldn't be happening at conventions. We need to treat each other with the respect that we want to be treated with ourselves.

So, what should you do, when dealing with cosplayers at a convention?

  1. Always ask for permission to take someone's picture. Also make sure that you know a convention's rules for picture taking. Many conventions will have rules that you cannot take a person's picture without asking permission.
  2. If having your picture taken with a cosplayer first ask if you can touch them, and ask them what sort of touch they are comfortable with. Come on, guys, don't just grab their asses or breasts because you think you can. Be as respectful of them at a convention as you would if you were in a restaurant or any other semi-public space. 
  3. Once you know their limits/guidelines, respect them. Don't smile and nod your head in agreement, and then grab them anyway while your friend snaps a picture. This isn't respectful.
If you see harassment of any sort occurring, quickly contact security. If you can't find security, ask the cosplayer if they need help and then help them find security. If see you harassment occurring at a convention you need to make sure that you report it, and don't underestimate the effectiveness of social media.

I know, some will take offense at this post and claim that I am making it just to score points, or (even worse from my view) to get sex. If your world view is so cynical that you see basic human decency as nothing more than currency used to attain sexual favors, I'm not sure that we have anything to talk about. I know that I don't want you reading my blog, if that is how you feel about women and sex.

We need to stop defending this behavior, and we need to call it out when we see it. We need to tell our friends that this is not okay, and harassment is not cool. Hopefully soon enough we won't have the need to keep reminding people of all of this. I'm not going to hold my breath on that.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Things To Do At Gen Con - Food Truck Rally

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS POST IS FROM 2014. 


Food is always a fun challenge at any convention. The food in the hall is always expensive and usually not the best. One of the things that Gen Con has tried to do to help with that is to have rallies of area food trucks around the convention center during the show. Here is the schedule of times, locations and trucks for each day.

I'll say it, I'm a picky eater. Not in the way that a lot of picky eaters won't eat things, but more in that I'm not a big fan of greasy foods (although diners can still be my Kryptonite) and I don't really care much for bar food or the big chain restaurants. I like unique and interesting, and I like flavorful. Break out of the bonds of the usual convention junk food and give some of these places a try. I bet you might find them interesting.

I've also tried to track down the website and Twitter for as many of these as I could find. You can thank me at Gen Con by sharing your fancy french fries with me. I know that people have special dietary restrictions and quirks, so being able to get a look at the truck and their menu in advance should help out. Having grown up in Indiana, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that some of these trucks don't have a web presence.

Remember that the schedule is subject to change, but with all of this information, you should be able to track down food even if they end up not at Gen Con directly.

Also, check out the Roaming Hunger site. They seem to have a lot of information about area food trucks. This way you can plan things for yourself as well. The Roaming Hunger site also has tracking for food trucks, and it looks like they have an iPhone app as well.

Thursday August 14

11 am - 4 pm

Georgia St
Citizen Hash | Twitter
Nicey Treat | Twitter
Chef Dan's | Twitter
Scout's Treats | Twitter
Byrne's Grilled Pizza | Twitter
Gobble Gobble | Twitter
Gypsy Truck | Twitter
Big Guys BBQ | Facebook
R&R Extreme Wings | Twitter
Talkin Turkey | Twitter
Taste of the Caribbean | Twitter

Capitol Ave
Cutie Pies Pizza | Twitter
GiGi's Cupcakes | Twitter
Food For The Soul | Twitter
Groovy Guys Fries | Twitter
Big Ron's Bistro | Twitter
Tacos W/O Borders | Twitter
Simple & Good | Twitter
Taste of Memphis | Twitter
Ahh Burrito | Twitter
Soul Sista OTM | Twitter

5 pm - 11:30 pm

Georgia St
Spice Box | Twitter
Little Eataly | Twitter
Duos | Twitter
General American Donut Cpmpany | Twitter
Circle City Spuds | Twitter
Mac Genie | Twitter
SOT SOT | Twitter
The Flying Cupcake | Twitter
Da Blue Lagoon | Twitter
Taste of Heaven | Twitter
Hoosier Fat Daddy | Twitter

Capitol Ave
Serendipity | Twitter
Key's Gourmet Slider Station | Twitter
The NY Slice | Twitter
Dashboard Diner | Twitter
Nacho Mama | Twitter
Der Pretzel Wagen | Twitter
Scratchtruck | Twitter
Johnson's BBQ | Twitter
Sweet Jeanius | Twitter

Friday August 15

11 am - 4 pm

Georgia St
Spice Box
Groovy Guys Fries
Johnson's BBQ
Sweet Jeanius
Talkin Turkey
Natural Born Juicers
R&R Extreme Wings
Scratchtruck
Soul Sista OTM
Simple & Good
KG Slider Station
Big Guy's BBQ

Capitol Ave
Chef Dan's
Der Pretzel Wagon
SOT SOT
Circle City Spuds
The Flying Cupcake
Big Ron's Bistro
Da Blue Lagoon
Taste of Heaven

5 pm - 11:30 pm

Georgia St
Little Eataly
Nicey Treats
Duo
Heavenly Sweets
Serendipity
The NY Slice
Dhaba Indy
Gypsy Truck
GiGi's Cupcakes
Taste of the Caribbean
Taste of Memphis
Cutie Pies Pizza

Capitol Ave
Byrne's Grilled Pizza
Gobble Gobble
Mac Genie
Scout's Treats
Pierogi Love | Twitter
Rolin With Tha Roux | Twitter
General American
Hoosier Fat Daddy
AP Delicious Ribs | Twitter

Saturday August 16

11 am - 4 pm

Georgia St
Hoosier Fat Daddy
Groovy Guy Fries
AP Ribs
The Flying Cupcake
Gobble Gobble
KG Slider Station
Mac Genie
Dhaba Indy | Twitter
Cutie Pies Pizza
Big Ron's Bistro
Ahh Burrito

Capitol Ave
Circle City Spuds
Neighborhood Pizza
Little Eataly
Nicey Treats
R&R Extreme Wings
Serendipity
Spice Box
Da Blue Lagoon
Taste of Memphis
Gypsy Truck
Scout's Treats

5 pm - 11:30 pm

Georgia St
Nacho Mama
General American
GiGi's Cupcakes
Der Pretzel Wagen
Scratchtruck
Natural Born Juicers | Twitter
Talkin Turkey
SOT SOT
The NY Slice
Big Guys BBQ

Capitol Ave
Sweet Talk me
Rollin Wit Tha Roux
Heavenly Sweets
Johnson's BBQ
Soul Sista OTM
Taste of the Caribbean
Simple & Good
Tacos W/O Borders
Taste of Heaven

Sunday August 17

11 am - 5 pm

Georgia St
Nicey Treats
Hoosier Fat Daddy
Byrne's Grilled Pizza
Scout's Treats
Johnson's BBQ
Chef Dan's
Mac Genie
Soul Sista OTM
Ahh Burrito
Little Eataly
Sweet Jeanius

Capitol Ave
The NY Slice
The Flying Cupcake
Der Pretzel Wagen
Taste of the Caribbean
Heavenly Sweets
AP Ribs
Dhaba Indy
SOT SOT

Here is a basic map of downtown Indianapolis, to help you find where the places are.



Monday, August 04, 2014

Tampa Bay Comic Con

I went to the Sunday of Tampa Bay Comic Con yesterday and I had a really good time at the convention. I'm working up a more detailed piece about it for Bleeding Cool, but my initial impressions were really good ones. I saw some great cosplayers in some spectacular costumes, I got to meet some great local comic creators and I even was able to see my friend +Norbert Cartagena and his niece (who I now feel guilty that I don't remember her name). I also got to meet artist, writer and designer Jim Steranko and writer Nick Cuti (co-creator of the comic character E-Man with Joe Stanton!).

I had a really good time, and the show opened my eyes to a local community of comics creators that I admit that I didn't know about before now. However, I've got some great comics that I picked up at the convention to rectify that situation, and I got a lot of business cards and email addresses of publishers, writers and artists. I am very excited about this, and I am excited about the things that I will be getting to write about. Expect to start hearing more about all of this both here at the Dorkland! blog and over at Bleeding Cool as well.

I was also finally able to meet with Cullen Bunn face to face. We've talked before on Twitter, and I ran an interview with him here on the blog about being a gamer. He and I talked for a bit about comics and gaming, and how he might be going to Gen Con again this year. We can only hope.


More to come!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bleeding Gen Con In Less Than A Month


So, it is less than a month until Gen Con now. I will be attending as media, both for the blog here, and for the Bleeding Cool website. Coverage will be split between here and there. Also attending will be Helen, another of the bloggers here, and Josh will be manning the Dorkland! offices and handling anything that doesn't require being at the convention. If you have a Kickstarter going on before or during the convention, send us a note via the contact form and I will put you in touch with Josh.

Expect a lot of pictures uploaded each day.

Updates to the blog, and pieces for Bleeding Cool, will be uploaded during lulls in the day and in the evenings, after we are back at the hotel. My Twitter and Google+ feeds will also be good places to find my most up to date pictures and postings. Following me on Twitter will get your best information on coverage of the convention and will point you towards articles as they are published.

With the roll out of the new edition of D&D happening leading up to Gen Con, this is going to be an exciting convention, and I already have started lining up people to talk with during the convention. If you can't be at Gen Con yourself, this blog is going to be a hub of information about the convention that you won't want to miss out on.

Also, if you haven't voted for your ENnies Awards choices, please head over to the site and give the Dorkland! blog your consideration. I feel that we provide a unique "service" here at the blog that others don't give you. Our mix of news, reviews, interviews and free gaming content is, in our opinion, some of the best that you're going to find among gaming blogs.

There's also a Fundrazr page to help offset some of the costs of our coverage of the convention. It isn't cheap going to a big convention, and every little bit helps.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Summer Game Convention Returns to Milwaukee

Nexus Game Fair Event Registration Begins May 12th, 8:00pm CST

MILWAUKEE, WI – This Sunday is Mother’s Day and Nexus Game Fair is encouraging everyone to spend the day showing their love, respect and appreciation for all mothers. But on Monday, May 12th, Nexus wants you back thinking about summer convention gaming, and to be ready for the start of Event Registration!

Nexus Game Fair has over 400 individual events on their schedule, with a great variety of events spanning across the entire show. From role-playing games to miniatures and collectible card games to board games, there is certain to be something for everyone to enjoy. All events at Nexus are free, once you have registered for a badge, and there will even be tournaments for Magic the Gathering and Netrunner that offer great prizes!

Nexus Game Fair has an impressive list of industry special guests attending, who will be hosting panels and special events throughout the show. The complete list includes:

  • Jolly Blackburn (Knights of the Dinner Table)
  • Mike Carr (Dawn Patrol)
  • Chris Clark (Inner City Games Designs)
  • Dave “Zeb” Cook (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition)
  • Jeff Easley (Staff Artist, TSR, Inc.)
  • Todd Fisher (Revolution & Empire)
  • Matt Forbeck (Deadlands)
  • Kenneth Hite (Trail of Cthulhu)
  • Tim Kask (Dragon Magazine)
  • Dave Kenzer (Hackmaster)
  • James Lowder (Author, Prince of Lies)
  • Matt McElroy (Drive Thru RPG)
  • Frank Mentzer (Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set)
  • Merle Rasmussen (Top Secret)
  • Lester Smith (Dark Conspiracy)
  • Monica Valentinelli (Firefly RPG)
  • James M. Ward (Gamma World)
  • Rob Wieland (Line Developer, Firefly RPG)
  • Skip Williams (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition)


Nexus Game Fair will be hosting a massive board games library, which consists of nearly 1,100 unique titles. The library, free to attendees, is being provided and run by the Milwaukee Company of Gamers (MilCoG), an association of gamers located throughout Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

“We’re excited to bring summer convention gaming back to Milwaukee,” says Event Manager Harold Johnson, the former director of Gen Con in Milwaukee. “It’s been 12 years since Gen Con left the city and Milwaukee is eager to become a summer destination for gamers once again.”

Nexus Game Fair runs Thursday, June 19th, through Sunday, June 22nd. A 4-day badge for the convention is $45, and the convention hotel, the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, is offering a special rate of $99 per night for show attendees. Only a few rooms remain, so be sure to make your reservation soon!

For more information and to register for the show, please visit http://www.nexusgamefair.com.

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Necronomicon 2013 Schedule

This year, Necronomicon (down here in sunny Tampa Bay) is moving back to Tampa. Christopher Paolini, the author of Eragon (made into the big movie) will be the big guest of honor, but once again I will be there as a gaming guest. The convention is October 18-20th.

My panels for this year:

DAY        TIME               ROOM          EVENT NAME
Friday      5:00:00 PM      SALON G      Social Media and the Author
Friday      8:00:00 PM      SALON C      How to Keep Writing in the Face of Adversity
Friday      9:00:00 PM      SALON C      How to Get the Most out of Your Gaming Experience
Saturday  10:00:00 AM    SALON B     Game Design for Beginners
Saturday  12:00:00 PM     SALON C     Small Presses: Taking Risks the Big Guys are Afraid to Take
Sunday    10:00:00 AM    SALON C     Hidden Gems: RPGs & Boardgames


I will likely be available for opening gaming around these times, and I'm planning on bringing my Swords & Wizardry and Fate Accelerated stuff with me.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Why Things Like The ConTessa Convention Are More Important Than My Opinions On The Matter


The real reason that my opinion on the matter doesn't count has zero to do with my being a guy. The real reason why my opinion doesn't count is because, whether I agree with the existence of this online convention or not (and I do, by the way) it is something that needs to happen. I've been gaming for a long time, a very long time, and I have always been lucky to be able to share my gaming with groups that were diverse in some form or another, whether due to gender, sexuality, ethnicity or some combination of these factors. The thing is, you cannot have too much diversity. That's what makes something like ConTessa important.

Let's see more conventions like this, virtually and otherwise, where diversity is put at the forefront. Yeah, guys can't run the panels or GM the games. Not being able to do that is really going to kill anyone for a weekend, particularly when they can go back to their set ways the rest of the year. This is a good idea, whether anyone else likes it or not.

Click one of the links and join a game. Check out the +ConTessa G+ profile. Play something that you might not normally play. Have some fun and focus on the games, not the shape or color of the people. Ultimately we're all just people and it shouldn't matter who wants to run a game or a panel.