Indianapolis – The numbers are in…
Yet another record shredding year for GenCon 2016!
The “Best Four Days in Gaming” in the past few years. This year’s show featured more than 500 exhibitors, along with continued growth of turnstile attendance with more than 201,000 attendees, a sold out pre-show Trade Day program with more than 550 attendees, over 16,500 ticketed events, and more than $35,000 raised via on-site programming for their official charity partner:
The convention this year also just seemed to feel better. There was a palpable excitement in the air that I didn’t even notice was missing from the past couple of years until I arrived. It was positively electric. Perhaps this was due to a few changes that the owners and organizers made in the hopes of enhancing the experience for the attendees. Namely, the expansion into Lucas Oil Stadium and the conference spacing found therein, as well as, among other things, a rerouting of the Annual Cosplay Parade, and a new pricing structure allowing for better planning of events. This added consideration created a much more inviting and less cloistered feel to the entire show. Unique attendance was nearly the same as last year. While that may not be another record shattered, it did serve to create a very clear dichotomy of the convention with and without the added space and considerations.
The owners and staff of GenCon were not the only ones on top of their game. The vendors, exhibitors, and contributors hit it out of the park as well. The convention is always a hotbed of gaming and geek pop culture with many events and releases that can only be found during the best four days in gaming.
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Along with a few of the show’s staples like True Dungeon (a live action dungeon crawl), the charity auction, a very nice costume contest, 24 hour gaming, and countless other reasons people come out to Indy in the middle of summer every year, there were some new goings on that caught my attention. There was not one, but two, live action escape rooms. One of which was right in the dealer hall!
Also to be found in the dealer hall, was the white-hot, penguin flicking, dexterity game, Ice Cool by Brain Games, as well as the potato-weighing mayhem of UK game designers, Big Potato Games debuting their library of games in the USA.
(Interviews with both companies and reviews of their respective games, are also forthcoming)
In addition to games, some attendees may have wandered into the exhibitor section of the hall where you could find scores of authors, craftsmen, and art like the critters created by Creature Curator, Brian Colin.
By all accounts, GenCon 2016 was a complete success. The convention will be returning to Indianapolis August 17-20, 2017 for the 50th anniversary of the show. This is sure to be a fantastic spectacle. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
As the title states, this is just an overview of this year’s show. Over the next couple of weeks, you’ll be seeing loads of GenCon content here including several interviews with some very innovative game designers, and LOTS of reviews of new titles and GenCon exclusives. We’ll also be posting audio from some of the panels that we attended given by some very important individuals in the gaming community as well as written articles about some of the highlights of the show and our Convention Tradition where we scour the con for something old, something new, something redone, and something cool.
Lastly, The CarpeGM Gamecast will soon have a new show on the feed…
With a trial by fire, no safety net, live with random strangers, we’ve recorded the first episodes of a little show that we’re calling Geek 16.
-About Gen Con
Gen Con, LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction and adventure game convention in North America. Gen Con, The Best Four Days in Gaming!™. Acquired in 2002 by former CEO and founder of Wizards of the Coast, Peter Adkison, the company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Gen Con 2016 was sponsored by Mayfair Games, Paizo, Inc., and Rio Grande Games.