You’re probably reading this blog thinking, “Who has the time, money, or energy to attend these conventions?” and the answer is – not everyone, that’s for sure! But let me tell you this: these gaming conventions have totally changed my life! How?
Well for one, I got my first job straight out of college at Gen Con, where I was dressed up as my favorite character from Dungeons & Dragons. Despite being dressed like an orc, I met with a representative from a company I absolutely loved, and they told me to come in for an interview when I wasn’t in costume. I nailed the interview, and I worked with that company for ten whopping years. That’s pretty impressive, and all because I dressed up and paid for my ticket to Gen Con about 15 years ago.
For two, it has allowed me to develop a massive sense of community that I honestly have never received anywhere else in my life. I wasn’t exactly teased as a kid, but I wasn’t embraced for my gaming addiction either. In these gaming conventions, I am totally accepted for who I am (or who I’m dressed up as), and I get to make references and be myself in ways that I can’t be in public. I’ve also made long term friends and even met my wife at one of the conventions. It’s quite the community, so don’t deprive yourself.
For three, you should never underestimate the power of knowledge. You’d be surprised how much insider information is given away at these conventions because the businesses and creators trust their community to spread the word and make their products last. I’ve been ahead of the curve, been able to tell my employer what to invest in, and also seen businesses come and go. I’ve been able to see exactly what trends are going to be hot in games in the coming year, and what people just won’t buy. It’s also a huge learning experience as a creative, where I can learn from writers, authors, and performers who all work to create these works of art that we all love.
Lastly, these conventions provide me with a sense of happiness that I just can’t experience anywhere else. As a game lover, you know the intense sensation of being immersed in your game and genuinely not caring about the outside world. These conventions are like being immersed in the games we love IN REALITY. It can’t be beat. It’s one of the best feelings in the world, I promise you.
I also highly recommend investing in these things because the return on personal investment is massive. You may be worried about forking over the money at first, but once you’re there, your whole perspective will change. Stop eating out for a month, and you’ve got trip money. Prioritize! And most of all, have fun! These conventions are life changing!