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Monday, November 13, 2006



Blogger is not allowing me to post photos at the moment. Check back for BGG.CON pictures soon.

Well, it's over and if you were unable to attend you are probably tired of reading about it. I shared a cab to the con with Jonathon Franklin (Grandslam) and he joked that BGG.CON would be the most covered event in Dallas since the Kennedy assassination. Even so BGG.CON was as much fun as you have been lead to believe. I went with high hopes, and those hopes were exceeded. I did not meet a single hygienically challenged individual, I did not meet a single rude person, I did not meet a single person who was there to win at any cost, nor anyone who was out to prove that he was the most knowledgeable gamer in the room.

There were basically two main types of gamers present. Those who were there to play as many new games as possible, and those who were there to play with as many people as possible. Both groups put having fun above winning.

There were a few glitches that annoyed the organizers much more than it did any of the attendees. There were a few hints dropped that the Westin was not cooperating with food and beverage availability, and even hindered the organizers attempts to keep the attendees hydrated and fed. I had the opportunity to talk with different staff at different times and they were all feeling quite frustrated with the Westin.

Although I am sure that the Westin hosts numerous conferences in the course of a year, I doubt they have hosted anything like BGG.CON. I would guess that most conference attendees are attending on their company's dime and the conference is either a chance for the participants to take a mini, Dallas vacation or the conference is an extension of their job. BGG.CON was going strong for 22 hours each day. Few BGGers were interested in the Dallas night life. There were no organized lunch breaks for participants to hit the food court in the lower level of the hotel, and the food court closed fairly early. There was a small store near the food court that sold single bottles of soda, but the store was far enough out of the way that it was a hassle to get sodas very often.

It is my understanding that the Westin wouldn't even let the organizers bring soda to the event, sell it, and split the proceeds with the Westin.

With another successful event under their belt Derk, Aldie and Co. have proven that the first BGG.CON was not a flash in the pan and that the event has the potential to be a success in years to come. It seems as though the event will not be held at the Westin next year if they still refuse to cooperate.

It is my opinion that the event is destined to soon outgrow the Westin regardless of any problems that may have arisen. Just as Boardgamegeek.com started as a minor game website for a fairly close-knit group of boardgamers and quickly grew into the boardgame site that every other boardgame site references, BGG.CON will become the premier boardgame event in the Western Hemisphere. People who only attend one or two game conventions in a year will slowly start going to Dallas just to see what all the fuss is about. Once they do it will be over, BGG.CON will become the convention, or one of two conventions that they choose to attend.

Having said that BGG.CON is not for everyone. If you are an aggressive gamer, a smelly gamer, or perhaps no one likes you, then you will probably not enjoy BGG.CON. If you fit one of those broad categories you may have a hard time finding gamers to play with you in Dallas.

Here's a news flash for stinky/aggressive gamers: most people don't want to play with you. You will still need to go to the usual conventions and sign up for organized tournaments. People in tournaments are forced to play with you, people in open gaming choose not to play with you.

It was great to meet you, Brian. Next time we should sit across the gaming table rather than just the BBQ table.

Dude, you were pretty intimidating chowing down on those ribs. After seeing that aggressive show of force I felt much more comfortable gaming with Ava and Daniel.
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