Now that my wonderful vacation is over, I can tell you about my fun trip to the state of Indiana with a lot of nerdy people. We left Northwest Arkansas early Wednesday morning and arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana around 5 pm. I think that next time we go to GenCon, we will either be having our badges mailed to us or just purchase a badge whenever we get there. The will call (if you pre-ordered your tickets and were picking them up at the con) line was crazy long, but thankfully it was fast moving.
We got finally got our badges and headed off to the hotel room that was 30 minutes away(but Free) and worked out our game plan for the next four days. Since I’m not that big of a gamer anymore, my plan was to go to some of the workshops and shop at the different vendor booths.
Thursday morning everyone had the same idea…Hit the Exhibit Hall! Or Vender’s Hall, or Demo Tables, or the giant room where all the cool stuff is. Being the first day of the Con, the crowd was very big to get into the Exhibit hall. As soon as it turned 9 am we all kind of calmly rushed through every open door they had to get into this massive room full to the brim of games, cards, shirts, dice, and just about everything else nerd related you could think of. Holding our badges high for the con staff to see we broke upon the floor like a tidal wave of eager gamers hoping to be the first to the best booths. My thoughts were to get as far away from the doors as quickly as possible so I could look at everything without fearing for my life. Okay, I didn’t really fear for my life but it was a little scarey right by the front doors. You could walk through the entire hall and think that you’ve seen every since booth, but then you’ll go down an isle that you had been down several times and find a booth that you could have sworn wasn’t there before. That happened to me on Sunday; I saw almost an entire isle that I hadn’t seen the entire Con. Mind blown right!
The workshops I chose to do were: making a leather item, making a foam sword, and making a chainmail item. Personally, each item was super easy to make but that’s probably because I do well with directions and crafting comes natural to me. For the leather item I chose to make a pair of bracers (the things that go over your forearms). Really we just used a pattern to cut out the leather and punched holes where the cord would go through. We have to do the rest at home. The Foam sword was soo easy. We took a thin PVC pipe, shoved it through a pool noodle and wrapped it up with fabric and duct tape. I guess now I have a weapon that I’m ok with hitting the neighborhood kids that are messing with our porch stuff! (Just Kidding! I would never hit children with a foam sword!) The chainmail was a little more complicated, but whenever I got the pattern down it went pretty fast. I made a necklace and a bracelet with the same pattern.
Friday and Saturday I wore my Skyrim costume around the entire convention center. Saturday was the costume contest, so I wanted to do one more test run with the armor before I actually was judged on it. Which was really good because things started coming apart on me. On Friday I ended up having 26 people stop me and ask for a picture and I had one guy that took a short video of me. I was told by murmurous people that they thought that my costume was really good and that I did a good job on it. That made me feel really good because I had some doubt about it before the Con. My costume was hot though, and I’m not talking attractive hot! I’m surprised that I didn’t suffer from a mini heat stroke from wearing that thing. Will I wear it again…probably. Will I be making changes to the costume…definitely! You never know how well your creation will hold up until you put it through the process of wearing it around for an entire day.
The day of the costume contest finally came. I got through pre-judging just fine and had to wait pretty much the whole day until the actual costume contest. Whenever I was my turn on deck I thought that my heart was going to come out of my chest and fall past the curtain onto the stage while a female Link from Legends of Zelda was preforming. My name was announced (pronounced incorrectly), and I strode onto stage. Thankfully the house lights were turned down so I wasn’t able to see the crowd. I couldn’t even hear if the crowd was cheering because I was concentrating on the Emcee and the music that I had playing. I made it seem like I was fighting a dragon. I really hope that everyone got what I was doing, because it would have looked really weird otherwise. Sadly I didn’t win, but that’s ok! I did what I came to GenCon to do. My friends that I came with watched the whole costume contest and said that my costume and performance was better than some of the people in the professional category. But I think that they were a little biased. :)
I am really glad that I had the chance to get to go back to GenCon. Even though the Con really hasn’t changed, I have, and that’s not a bad thing. I’m not saying that I’ve outgrown gaming(especially because I was the youngest in our group that went), I’ve just changed the way that I see things. Maybe the reason why I didn’t play test a lot of the games was because I’ve become a little comfortable with what I know. Or maybe because I was shy and didn’t want to interact with people (maybe going to an event with 50,000+ people is a bad idea then). I did talk to people that I was playing games with so I wasn’t a total hermit. I did get to see the actor and fellow nerd Will Wheaton. He walked right past me in the Vendor’s room and I couldn’t do anything because I was freaking out about it! That might have been the highlight of the trip for me. I’m not sure if I’ll be going again next year, mainly because I really want to go back to the beach in Florida and soak up lovely sun and feel the sand beneath my feet, but we shall see.