Excitement is in the air, as we’ve got just about a month until The Best Four Days in Gaming takes place when Gen Con 2014 opens its doors to eager gamers from around the world. Gen Con is an event that thousands look forward to each year, myself included. Last year attendees broke records and set new ones, as I am sure we’ll turn around and accomplish again this year. Staff at the Gen Con office are getting prepared for an amazing event, and some new details have emerged that attendees will want to make note of.
Below is a new list of points that all have to do with Gen Con, both last year and this coming year:
- Last year attendance broke through the roof at over 49,000 attendees from all 50 states and 32 different countries. A turnstile figure of over 159,000 was recorded.
- This year attendees can expect to see 370+ exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall, spanning 5 acres of game demos, new products, and much more.
- There will be over 14,000 events to choose from, and the event list has been live for some time. These events include free-to-play games, tournaments, casual gaming, demos, seminars, workshops, crafting events, and more.
- Many charity events will be taking place at the con this year, and all proceeds will be going to the Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana’s BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids.
- Cones of Dunshire, popularized by the television show Parks & Recreation and published by Mayfair games, will debut this year at Gen Con. An event where players can try the game will be taking place at 7PM on Saturday, August 16th on Georgia Street.
- This year marks the 29th annual costume contest, where participants will be awarded numerous types of awards. (I’m even cosplaying this year!)
- More than 100 films and digital projects will compete in Gen Con’s Annual Film Festival.
- The eGaming Arena is bigger than ever this year, allowing attendees to take a break from the table and enjoy co-op, dance, and retro-gaming events.
- This year’s Author Guest of Honor is Jim Butcher, author of the Dresden Files, and he’ll be leading a group of other authors in the Annual Writer’s Symposium. The Author’s Avenue will be in full swing, offering many different authors a chance to get their work out to the masses.
- Following up with the Author’s Avenue will be the Artist’s Alley, a wondrous place where artists of many different mediums can showcase their work. This year’s Artist Guest of Honor is none other than Terese Nielsen, best known for her work for Marvel and Dark Horse illustrations, though she also has illustrated several Magic: the Gathering cards.
Aside from the above bullet points, there will be even more entertainment at this year’s event. Just outside the convention center, on Georgia Street, there will be a myriad of free, open to the public, outdoor activities that attendees can enjoy. The Wednesday pre-show concert kicks off at 5PM when Indiana-based Sun King Brewing will host a tapping party to reveal Gen Con 2014’s official beer, The Froth of Kahn, a coffee-infused ale. Tapping will begin at 6PM sharp. A couple of bands will be on-site this year to lend some musical flavor to the convention, such as Five Year Mission (a Star Trek-themed band) and independent songwriter Sarah Donner will be playing during the concert. Finally, just as usual, there will be plenty of food trucks hanging out along Georgia Street – over 40 to be exact – all throughout the convention.
For those who want some family action at this year’s event, the Family Fun Pavilion has got you covered. This is an area completely dedicated to games that cater to all ages. If you’re looking to learn your little ones on the art of gaming, look for no place other than the Training Grounds. Lastly, acclaimed Women’s Grand Master and 2-time USA Chess Champion Jennifer Shahade will be playing 50 chess games against kids aged 12 and under starting at 10AM on Sunday, August 17th.
Gen Con is already shaping up to be a great convention this year, and it hasn’t let me down yet. We’ve got plenty of things planned for this year, and in the next couple of weeks we’ll be posting the details right here. Make sure you get your bags packed, polish those dice, sleeve those cards, and make sure you get plenty of rest because you don’t want to miss out on The Best Four Days in Gaming this year!