Y Duras (yduras) wrote in roleplayers,
Y Duras

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GenCon Report In Brief

I had a great time. I'll save my personal log of events for my personal journal. So:


The Good

Downtown was pretty and clean. The timed crosswalks were just neat.

The number of hotel rooms not just near, but attached to the convention center was good.

The convention center itself was spacious and easy to navigate.

The drive to Indianapolis is six hours shorter for me, which is a big plus.

The Bad

I didn't feel like there was as much available in downtown as there was in Milwaukee. There was a mall and restaurants, including at least one 24-hour burger joint, but after two days of searching, I never did find a drugstore (apparently there is a CVS somewhere, but only one person I asked for directions knew even that much).

The sheer quantity of begging homeless was a bit disturbing. I come from the New York City area, so they're not an unfamiliar sight, but I was surprised to see them in large numbers in such an otherwise sterile city.

Convention Organization/Registration

The Good

The dealer's room was its usual huge self.

The event staff was friendly and even-tempered, even on Saturday afternoon after four days of wrangling fractious gamers.

GenCon provided two email stations (three or four computers each) for attendees to check their email during the show. With a ten-minute limit, it moved pretty briskly. As Indianapolis lacks a cybercafe, this was a much appreciated amenity.

There were three 24-hour anime rooms running during the convention. I didn't get much spare time to visit them, but they were good every time I managed to swing by.

The Neutral

GenCon 2003 gets a bonus for actually emailing GMs to let us know we had to check in at the Event HQ booth, and for not making GMs go to Will Call *and* Event HQ to get checked in. It looses the bonus for placing the Event HQ (and Volunteer HQ) booth hidden in the back and providing no signs or directions indicating how to find it.

The time sheets for GMs were not too painful, once you forgive having to do them at all. They didn't make me fill out a W9 this year.

The Bad

GenCon really needs a better registration system. They had regular crashes, and nothing seemed to work right.

There were multiple errors in event descriptions and times, which they could not fix because of the regular system crashes. It looks like, after their big insistence on the huge excel sheets for event submission, they printed them out and had a temp retype them. (For example, I had two events scheduled in overlapping time slots, and had a nonexistent email cited in one of my event descriptions).

I rather miss getting locations and player lists for the games I am running rather than having to look myself up in the convention booklet. They haven't done that since the TSR days, though, so I suspect that's a lost cause.

Independant GMs still do not get reimbursed for their registration at the con anymore. They'll send us a check "in four weeks". This is something they did last year, so I don't expect them to change. It still sucks though.

The onsite booklet failed to name GMs (just the sponsoring organization or "independant") or what game system a game was going to be. Ooops.

The lines -- my god, the lines! GenCon only allowed you to purchase one generic ticket with pre-registration. I was unable to join any games on Thursday as the line for generic tickets alone (let alone regular registration) was never shorter than two hours long. I heard reports as high as four and a half hours. Some lines are unavoidable, but it was much worse this year than it has been.

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