Wednesday, April 15, 2020

"The World's Gametable": Staying Home Yet Attending Conventions

When the current global pandemic prompted the cancellation of Gary Con this year, I admit I was crushed. It's one of my favorite events to attend, so knowing I was gonna be missing out on several days of back-to-back gaming with my friends was a bitter pill to swallow. However due to some last-minute adjustments and a sweeping push by both GMs and players to migrate online, Gary Con XII lived on as "Virtual Gary Con," complete with hundreds of online events, seminars, and general drunken after-hours get-togethers. By the time the weekend ended, I ran 16 hours of games, watched a seminar or two, and hung out with about 30 other gamers from around the world as we drank and swapped tales from the table.

I attended Gary Con, all without leaving my basement rec room. And it was a blast.

Since then, spring gaming conventions in danger of being cancelled have made a similar adjustment to take place in the electronic aether. KoboldCon now launches May 1 in an online format, and this coming weekend sees the premiere of Cyclops Con, Goodman Games' new online event. Origins Game Faire is one of the recent events that has switched over to an online format (though details are still worked out at this time).

For many of us, we may have the opportunity to attend game conventions across the nation - and even worldwide - that we would otherwise never have a chance to attend. (I already have my eye on running some virtual games for some west coast events.)

Online gaming has always been a thing with many gamers, with services like Roll20, Astral Tabletop, and Fantasy Grounds remaining popular, as well as boardgaming apps like But it seems like the recent circumstantial push toward online gaming have forced grognards (like myself) and others to give it a try. Whether through a gaming-specific service or through other online telecommunication services like Discord, Skype, Zoom, or even chatrooms, it appears that online gaming will be The World's Gametable in the coming months.

So look for this face staring back at you from your screen this summer!

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