Wednesday, September 10, 2008

GenCon Oz Part 8

This is Part 8 of my day at GenCon Oz on Sunday 6 July 2008. Here are links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7.

After wandering around the collectable miniatures and cards area, I strolled past the roleplaying games area. Roleplaying games (RPGs) were my main gaming interest from my early teens to my early twenties. I've played many RPGs over the years including Dungeons & Dragons (Basic, 1st and 2nd editions), Gamma World, Top Secret, Boot Hill, Shadowrun, Star Wars, Traveller and Star Frontiers. If GenCon Oz had been held twenty years ago then it would have been in the RPG area that you would have found me.

Part of the RPG area

Most gaming conventions I've attended have been either at schools or universities and roleplaying sessions were usually held in closed rooms. I was initially unsure at how distracting it would be for players sitting at tables in an open area. However, the GenCon convention hall had a very high ceiling and the background noise wasn't that bad at all. I didn't get a chance to chat to any of the RPGers to see how they found it, though the majority of them seemed to be having a great time.

These people look like they're having fun

Viewing the roleplaying area brought back fond memories of my early gaming days with my friends at high school. We used to play D&D after school almost every day. I lost touch with a lot of school friends and in my late teens my interests turned to other social activities. In my early twenties I got back into roleplaying through a friend at work. We had a group of five of us who were of similar ages and interests and we met regularly every couple of weeks at one of our houses. We'd usually start playing around 10.00 am on a Saturday, stop for a BBQ lunch, continue playing, maybe order pizzas for dinner, continue playing, and finish up around 2.00 am on the Sunday. Those were the days.

I remember one night of particularly exciting gaming while we were taking a break to have a couple of beers and play a few hands of Hearts. I made the comment, "Guys, remember this night, savour it and enjoy it because in a few years we'll probably be married with children and won't be able to do this sort of thing any more." A few of us had girlfriends at that time and there were some knowing nods. For me it was a poignant moment. I was a couple of years older than them and realised that this time of mateship and little responsibility would eventually come to an end.

And so it did. They've all married or moved interstate. Some have little kids like myself. We've transitioned into a new phase of life where all day and all night gaming is a rare thing which must be planned months in advance, if it happens at all.

Anyway, enough of my reminiscing! Back to my day at GenCon Oz. I had noticed that Wizards of the Coast had a couple of demo tables set up to show off the recently released Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. As it was nearing the closing time of the last day of the convention I eagerly made my may over to that area to see if I could join in.

I'll cover that in part 9.

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