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GenCon: An Amazing Convention of Geeks, Gaming, and More!

Updated on March 2, 2013

GenCon 2012: The Ultimate Geek's Gaming Convention

In August of 2012, I joined my fellow geeks in a trial of my geekhood. In other words, I attended my very first gaming convention. Saturday was a whirl of costumes, games, vendors, artists, contests, seminars, entertainment, and much more. While the convention lasts four days, I was limited to just one day--Saturday.

Word to the wise: one day is not enough. There is just too much to see and do!

So will I go to Gen Con in 2013? Well, let's just say I'm already planning my costume..

Photo Credit: All photos on this page were taken by Belinda342

GenCon Dungeons & Dragons Statue
GenCon Dungeons & Dragons Statue

More Than Just a Gaming Convention

Gen Con is far more than just a gaming convention. There is something for everyone here...and yes, I do mean everyone! Geeks, of course, are the main focus for the convention--and there is plenty to occupy their time. Tables abound throughout the entire convention center (which, by the way, is huge!) for people to sit down and play one of their favorite games. If you are interested in joining a gaming tournament, there are lots to choose from. And just walking through the vendors is an all day process.

But what if you aren't all that much of a geek? No worries, friend. There are several seminars offered for people with varying interests. If you are a writer, you are in luck, as there are several writer workshops that you can attend. Do you like to watch anime? Not only are there several anime vendors sprinkled through the hall, but there are also several "screening" rooms where you can take a break from your walking and catch a great anime episode.

Not a geek, writer, or anime fan? Well, GenCon thought of that too. They also offer what they call Spouse Activities. So if you are attending just to please your significant other, there is plenty that you will find of interest. From a place to get a wonderful massage to a crafting room where you can sit and just enjoy your favorite craft--or learn a new one!

Trust me, you won't be bored at GenCon, no matter what your tastes are! And if you love to people watch, then this is an incredible place to practice that. Costumes abound here, and there really aren't any rules when it comes to them either. I saw several Steampunk costumes, and a spattering of super heroes, but there was also a fantastic Captain Jack Sparrow, and others too numerous to mention. I've included a video a little down the page of the 2012 GenCon Costume parade. Watch it and you'll see what I mean!

Artist Vendor Spotlight

Nene Thomas: Fantasy Artist

The GenCon 2012 exhibition hall was packed with fantastic vendors and artists. Each of them seemed even more brilliantly talented than the last. It was really, really hard to pick a favorite...until I wondered into Nene Thomas' booth. My heartbeat quickened and I gazed longingly at all of the absolutely incredible artwork displayed before me. Several already had SOLD signs on them, and no wonder.

Her display featured her prints, some already matted and framed, bookmarks, postcards, her 2013 calendar, and more. This is one of my favorites from her collection.

More Nene Thomas on Amazon

Nene's collection on Amazon includes calendars, puzzles, limited edition art prints, posters, figurines, and more. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Nene Thomas Carousel Horse Angel CHECK PRICE

Nene Thomas ~ WIND MOON CHECK PRICE

Misty Bride, Nene Thomas 1000 PC PuzzleCHECK PRICE


A Few More of My Gen Con Favorites - Visit Their Websites!

As I said earlier, it's hard to choose favorites among so many talented people. There were booths that sold nothing but dice and dice bags, booths that concentrated on role-playing games, and pretty much everything in between too.

I collected the websites of a few of my favorites. I hope you'll visit them too. They deserve it!

GenCon Indy 2012 on YouTube

Where is GenCon?

For the past several years, GenCon has been held at the Indianapolis Convention Center in Downtown Indianapolis. The convention center has a lot of space and facilities to offer the convention goers, and the Skypaths of downtown connect the center with several area hotels and more. You don't even have to go outside to go from one to the other!

While the convention hall doesn't offer a lot of variety in the way of food, there are several area restaurants (including TGI Fridays where we had dinner) within a block or two of the center. You can also access the Circle Center Mall thru one of the skypaths--they have a pretty good foodcourt there too.

One word of warning, though, if you want a room at one of the connecting hotels you'd better move fast...they sell out very quickly! If you are lucky enough to snag one, expect to pay a premium price for it. The hotels know they can get it!

A markerHome of GenCon -
100 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46225
get directions

Have You Ever Been to a Gaming Convention? - Let Us Know!

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    • profile image

      nifwlseirff 4 years ago

      Not a gaming convention, but a few other similar genre conventions - great fun!

    • belinda342 profile image
      Author

      belinda342 5 years ago

      @LaraineRoses: Next year my whole group intends to go in costume. We may match--may not. I'll try to remember to either do a 2013 lens with pics of our costumes or at the least update this one. Thanks for the idea!

    • belinda342 profile image
      Author

      belinda342 5 years ago

      @Th3WitchingHour: If you decide to come next year, be sure to let me know...maybe we can meet up! Still haven't decided on costume yet. So many possibilities!

    • profile image

      Th3WitchingHour 5 years ago

      I've been to a couple small conventions but I'm so disappointed I missed this one! Oh well there's always next year. I still need to make my costume anyhow.

    • profile image

      esichrissa 5 years ago

      no. i want to witness one

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I watched the video .. what a parade .. best one I've ever seen! That alone would make a trip there worthwhile. I hope that you post the costume you'll be wearing next year.

      **Angel blessings**

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Not yet, but I'm up for it first chance I get.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Whew, the Gen Con folks have thought of everything, gamers will be in heaven and those of us that aren't gamers will find out own heaven with massages and creating in the craft room. How cool that ou had such a wonderful experience that you are already planning for next years convention and will reveal your new costume for the event...fun!

    • futureme lm profile image

      futureme lm 5 years ago

      No, but looks fun!

    • jennabee25 profile image

      Jenn Dixon 5 years ago from PA

      No, but I've been to a sci-fi one. Looks like fun!

    • profile image

      SkullandaOnEtsy 5 years ago

      We always want to go but never can.

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image

      IMKZRNU2 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Been too busy raising kids to go before but we are planning on going to LeakyCon next year....not exactly a gaming convention but still geeky :)

    • tobydavis profile image

      tobydavis 5 years ago

      Nope! ...but a Geek-tastic lens, never the less! :-)

    • TriciaLymeMom profile image

      TriciaLymeMom 5 years ago

      looks like it was a blast...hoping to take my son to a gaming convention some day :)

    • aefhamilton lm profile image

      aefhamilton lm 5 years ago

      Great stuff! Wish i'd been there!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      Like your angel image. I'd be interested to know more about it and could I add it to my angel lens? (Written under the name of Lady English!)

    • neotony profile image

      neotony 5 years ago

      no but it looks like fun!

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 5 years ago

      I've always wanted to go to at least a science fiction, but I never have, these days I'd settle for going to a Jane Austen's ball or a steampunk-con.

    • belinda342 profile image
      Author

      belinda342 5 years ago

      @Toddw35: Thank you! I have to admit, I was so enthralled with seeing everything with my eyes, that too often I forgot I had a camera with me. My daughter-in-law was more diligent in taking pictures, though. I'll see if she would be willing to share. If so, I'll add a costume photo gallery soon.

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 5 years ago from Ohio

      SquidAngel blessings.

    • MJsConsignments profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago from Central Ohio, USA

      Nope, because I'm not much of a gamer but I'm a geek at heart and I wouldn't feel a bit out of place if I got tossed into one. I speak geek! Blessed!

    • royyap profile image

      royyap 5 years ago

      Only been to one. Last year's Tokyo Game Show.

    • Toddw35 profile image

      Toddw35 5 years ago

      Good lens, the various ComicCons are like looking at one large Halloween night,lol. Could you add more pics of the various costumed people at the convention? I guess the Youtube video counts, but still, it would be a cool thing to see. I love this lens!!

    • profile image

      kgdunst 5 years ago

      Yes!! The Comic Con Chicago last month. It was the best weekend away with my hubby but not our kids. Weâre just like children. Awesome!!

    • Stacy Birch profile image

      Stacy Birch 5 years ago

      A good product to add to this good lens is the Guild. Nice work.

    • Karli McClane profile image

      Psycho Free Zone 5 years ago from USA

      No, but it sounds like a fun time!

    • profile image

      ikepius 5 years ago

      I used to think that being called a geek was insulting. Anyway I am not into games so maybe I could do some pottery... and get my hands dirty! Nice lens.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I'll get there one of these years!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Really nice lens. Personal and interesting, plus I am glad you are out doing an activity with your son.Great use of the Amazon module. Blessed and listed as a related lens to my own lens: 5-best-gifts-for-your-favorite-nerd.

    • Joeyyip profile image

      Joeyyip 5 years ago

      No..! But soon! It's in my checklist! :) Thanks for sharing!

    • Joeyyip profile image

      Joeyyip 5 years ago

      No..! But soon! It's in my checklist! :) Thanks for sharing!

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      Very good information. Thanks for sharing!

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 5 years ago from USA

      So glad to know about GenCon! Have to get this on the calendar for next year!

    • Kae Yo profile image

      Kae Yo 5 years ago

      Would love to go someday :)

    • profile image

      grannysage 5 years ago

      My son goes to this every year dressed as a vampire killing priest and he is a real priest. I almost think I heard his voice in the video. I've been to ComicCon but not to this one. It looks like fun.

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 5 years ago

      Very cool! We (my daughter and I) have been to the New York Comic Con, which has a huge gaming area -- we even wrote a lens about it. We also went to the Kotoricon anime festival (which we wrote about) but all it had was one room full of gaming things.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Never been but would love to see the artwork and costumes there. It fascinates me how creative people can be with their costumes for these events. Glad you got to go!

    • Breakdown3133 profile image

      Breakdown3133 5 years ago

      I've been to a couple back in Arizona. Would love to go to Gencon one day.

    • nickybutler profile image

      nickybutler 5 years ago

      Never been but would love to! Great lens, thanks for sharing :)

    • youthministry profile image

      Paul Turner 5 years ago from Birmingham, Al.

      I have been to smaller ones but never a big one. It's on my bucket list. Great lens.

    • designsbyharriet profile image

      Harriet 5 years ago from Indiana

      My son and his wife and son went to Gen Con for both days. They didn't dress up but they had a great time.

    • BlackSunflowerB profile image

      BlackSunflowerB 5 years ago

      I never been to one, but it looks like fun.

    • Rusty Quill profile image

      Rusty Quill 5 years ago

      oh, you brought the geek in me bubbling to the surface - (especially seeing the D&D dice in the sidebar... seems like only yesterday I was a pimply kid enamored with all things fantasy) :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      No, but it seems there is fun to be had.

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      No, but it sure looks like a lot of fun.

    • belinda342 profile image
      Author

      belinda342 5 years ago

      @adragast24: Thank you! I'll correct that now...

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Not a gamer but I know someone who'd be very interested... :)

    • adragast24 profile image

      adragast24 5 years ago

      Nice article, I really enjoy reviews from non-hardcore-geeks of such kind of events. I have taken part in a mini gaming/role-playing convention (just a 3-day weekend, about 100 people) and it was really nice.

      Just one thing: you didn't precise where the convention took place. Some people may have get it by seeing the mention "Gencon Indy2012" in the youtube video or by having a look at the URL but it isn't so obvious.

    • belinda342 profile image
      Author

      belinda342 5 years ago

      @ElizabethSheppard: They totally are a blast! Next year I'm blocking off at least 2 days for the event, 1 just wasn't near enough...

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 5 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      I have been to a convention where they HAD gaming... but not a pure gaming convention. I bet they are fun!

    • m massie profile image

      m massie 5 years ago

      no, but its fun to watch the vid!