I’ve been meaning to write up my experiences as a guest of honor at I-Con 30 for the past week or so, but getting caught up has made that hard. It was a great convention, and I had a lot of fun doing it (especially because Michelle and I actually got to hang out at a convention together for once, which is actually really rare). I met a lot of great people during the convention, but I did want to take some time to mention at least four of them (in no particular order).
The dubious honor of “guy that had to put up with Michelle and me the most” goes to Cam Banks. His snark was legendary, his patience was endless, and what little I saw of his skill in running Leverage was inspiring. (So much so that Michelle and I both wanted to get a copy of the game, which doesn’t happen very often.) We did get to talk shop a little after the Leverage game, mostly to compare and contrast some design decisions in the context of my own attempt at a heist game (which I should post at some point). He was one of those people that, though I met him for this first time at this convention, I felt like we’ve been hanging out at cons for years. I sincerely look forward to hanging out with him again.
Someone I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with, however, was Aaron Rosenberg. Unlike with Cam, it seems like Aaron and I only really talked shop, but it was (to torture a metaphor) a very large shop with lots of different benches. Every conversation was enlightening and fascinating, and the couple of panels we had together were great conversations (even if they were a bit sparsely attended). Sadly he had some personal troubles that kept him away from the convention to start, and afterwards it just became a fair amount of scheduling conflicts. Still, what time we got to spend together was good.
Michelle ended up bonding very quickly with Frank Mentzer, and we ended up having quite a few laughs together. While we naturally had some conversations about the Old School Renaissance and the red box D&D that I grew up with, but we also had a lot of fantastic forward-looking conversations about organized play and the future of the RPG industry. And on top of all of it, he’s genuinely a fun and entertaining person to hang out with. I genuinely miss not having a chance to sit in a game with him as DM, and I hope we meet up at another convention so I can get that chance.
Probably the most surprising, though, was Gil Gerard. Michelle and I rode with him from the airport (which turned out to be a two-hour ride), and we chatted a bit. During the convention we’d run into each other in the hallway or on the floor and say hi to each other, but that’s about it. On the way home, though, we ended up on the same plane back, which was delayed. Further, the gate we were at had no seats left, so we were left standing for hours in one spot. The three of us got to talking, and it ended up being a fantastic conversation about the current state of sci-fi, Hollywood, dealing with celebrity, integrating a social media presence, and a variety of other things. It turns out he lives here in Georgia, and we might actually get together with his wife and have dinner sometime. Certainly something I wasn’t expecting!
Honestly, this convention was just the recharge I needed. It was big enough to have a good energy, but small enough that I could actually sit down and have conversation with people. I hope I can do it again in future.