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Gen Con Convention Diary

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t’s late August, and that means Gen Con, “The Best Four Days in Gaming” will descend upon downtown Indianapolis once again. Last year, the convention drew a record 49,000 gamers, geeks and pop culture fans from around the world, and this year’s convention is already heating up. Although the con does not begin until Thursday, many visitors and locals already have begun filtering into the Indiana Convention Center to get their badges and tickets for four days of gaming, comics, costumes, crafts and sci-fi and fantasy in all shapes and forms. Among the convention-goers this year is the Film Yap’s Ben Johnson, who will be snapping pics and and providing some commentary — in between the 48 hours of gaming he has scheduled over the next three days. Gen Con may be a gaming convention, but many of the licensed properties you’ll see at Gen Con (including Marvel Comics, Dr. Who, Star Trek and Star Wars) have become staples of both film and television, so there is plenty to interest all the movie fans out there!

Aug. 13: I arrived at the convention center around 5:30 on Wednesday, and even though the will call booth had been open since noon, the place was packed!

Even though the will call line stretched across nearly the entire length of the convention center, things moved swiftly as the Gen Con staffers were organized and polite. Within less than 10 minutes, I was approaching the booth to pick up my four-day badge and event tickets.

After getting my stuff, it was time to walk around and take in some of the sights. Even though the games don’t officially start, if you get thousands of gamers together with time to kill, they will, of course, do what comes naturally:

The collectible card game fans have already gotten a start on this year’s “Cardhalla,” a house of cards that will grow truly massive over the next four days.

Paizo Publishing, the company that puts out the best-selling tabletop RPG on the market is at Gen Con, of course, and today they announced a partnership with Obsidian Entertainment, makers of the “Fallout: New Vegas” and “South Park: The Stick of Truth” video games. Obsidian will be producing a tablet app game based on
“Pathfinder”; could a PC or console game be far behind?

Outside the convention center, things were jumping as the many food vendors (including more than 40 food truck companies) had already gotten a head start.

Indianapolis’ own Sun King Brewing, one of two official promotional partners for Gen Con 2014, was in full force as it unveiled this year’s special Gen Con-themed brew: “The Froth of Khan,” a delicious dark brown ale with coffee flavors.

And while fans enjoyed good food and good beer, next door “Five Year Mission,” an Indy-based alt rock “Star Trek” tribute band, provided the tunes:

Overall, it was a great start for Gen Con on a beautiful Wednesday evening in Indianapolis:

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