Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Absence Does Make The Heart Grow Fonder

So in the process of trying to be productive today, I’ve been thinking about gaming! It’s been a nerd/dork-filled weekend of convention travels. If anyone wants to get uppity, we’re all dorks. Not just those going to conventions. Everyone is a dork in their own way. Don’t deny it. You do stupid things sometimes, like tripping over your own feet, or banging into walls without realizing it. Everyone is a dork.

While I’ve been busy in con-mode going from panels to panels, costume contests, and dealer room crawling, there’s one thing I’ve been missing. The gaming room. It’s been squished down by many places into tabletop and card games. Which is fine, it’s just not my thing. I can’t remember the last time I was at a convention and played a video game.

I miss it.

That feeling of being in a room with the rest of the gaming geek culture, talking about the things we love, having friendly competitions against one another, doing speed runs on Mario to see who really is the fastest with the fat little plumber. We “argue” about which fighting game really is the best, Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat (because those are the only two that exist to us purist). We giggle at the DDR kids, and then flail as we attempt to do it ourselves and fall flat on our faces. We sit in the dark room in the offshoot of the main convention center as we spent countless hours, and days, making our thumbs raw from the controllers in our hands. The only scent in the room is that of Mt. Dew…which I wish wasn’t the gamer’s drink of choice. I hate that stuff.

Yep. I miss that. And at the last convention, there wasn’t a video gamer’s playden. There was an area for tabletops, but that’s it. Unless you are a convention strictly focused on gaming like PAX or E3, the gaming crowd really isn’t as predominate as it use to be. Unless you’re a cosplayer. Even then, our kind seems to be more and more like the red-headed stepchild of the convention group. Always off in the corner, playing by themselves. No one wants to go near them because we’re “special”. Not the kind of special to put us on the short bus, but also the type that people don’t want to be near us.

It’s sad when you think about it.

While I was immersed in the culture of this last convention, with it being so much more open to fantasy and sci-fi then previous ones I have attended, the game crowd just wasn’t there. And I stuck out like a sore thumb being one of two Final Fantasy cosplayers. What’s up with that?

I’m not saying that we need to take back the reigns of the convention culture. We’ve always been off to the side, by ourselves. But we’re a dying breed. What will it take for us to reclaim our lost territory? I’m dreading the day when A-Kon removes the gaming section completely. “That won’t happen. They’ve been around forever.” But it will. It’s been steadily declining in activity since they keep pushing it further away from the convention center, and the room gets smaller and smaller.

I’m not sure what it will take to get people back into the gaming area, but it would be nice to see them make a strong return. Maybe more free Mt. Dew. Ew. Could we at least try to get gamers to go with Coke or Pepsi? At least those don’t leave that horrible post-Dew odor. And bathing/Febreeze. That might help too.


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