10/04/2015

No More Local Cons for Gaming?

No More Local Cons for Gaming?
I'll admit this isn't so much a PC story as a player story.....if that.

I recently got news that a local convention might be going away. It was/is a multi-faceted convention that was a bit hit or miss with me because...well because of the multi-faceted aspect. Hard to pay money to attend a con to run & play games when you have mobs of teens running around in costume.

From what I've heard, from multiple sources, a lot of the local conventions, save maybe this one, are pretty much means for folks to dump their kids off for a weekend of screwing around unsupervised.

Contrary to some folk's opinion I'm not totally stupid.....I know con runners have to put something on that appeals to their core audience, and aside from the ill-fated "Tree City Comic-Con", these aren't enterprises you intend to get rich off of. Running a local convention is a huge resource suck and largely a royal pain in the ass.

My wife and I have gone to quite a few conventions over the years, but we've had to largely cut back to only a couple a year. Partially because of life and partially because some conventions just aren't worth what they used to be. One con in Salt Lake City used to be the beginning of our summer of fun, but over the years we realized we were paying the convention to basically give us a room to dump us in and forget about us. Aside from our gaming, everything else we were doing involved free parts of the convention, so why were a group of us shelling out $50 a piece?

For a couple of years the Mrs. and I just stayed at another hotel and got the same group of players to come over and game all day in the side room they served breakfast in (but wasn't used for the other 20 hours of the day). We could then take our extra $100 (actually more when you factored in the better & cheaper hotel room) and walk over to the convention to tour the free parts.

Eventually that convention went away....while I wonder why I have to assume it was because they folks running it catered to their own particular fandom and let everything else wither away....like the RPG groups.

So here we are with no "local" conventions. I'm thinking it might be time to get the band together for a weekend of gaming (here or maybe in SLC) or trying my hand at organizing something on a smaller scale....I might have to check out Aethercon this year as well.

I know there has to be some folks without a local con.....do you guys just save up your pennies for a big trip, or do something on your own?