Saturday, July 25, 2020

2020: My Busiest Convention Year Ever?

Because I live in the middle of a gaming "black hole", it's tough for me to get to the table without driving an hour north or south of my present location. And, as all GMs know, trying to get a game together remotely is like herding cats. That's why I try to attend two or three conventions every year. It's where I'm guaranteed to have full tables of eager players ready to play. This year's global C19 pandemic squelched that, by cancelling face-to-face tabletop gaming events worldwide.

Or did it?

The first scheduled event this year I was planning to attend was Gary Con, which was also one of the first directly affected (i.e., shut down) by the pandemic. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the gaming community as we all saw the writing on the wall for the rest of the year. However, in an inspiring show of community and never-say-die, the Gary Con staff and organizers hurriedly assembled "Virtual Gary Con", which became solely an online convention. Admittedly, I had never run an online event before, nor had I played in one as I'm admittedly a grognard about such things. But I also wanted to show my support for a convention that I really enjoy and that was having a tough time this year. So I studied up, signed up for a Zoom account, and ran four online games over the weekend.

Shortly thereafter, Goodman Games wanted to test the online waters (and support Tabletop Events) by hosting their own virtual event, Cyclops Con! It's no secret I really enjoy their Mutant Crawl Classics line so - once again - I signed up and ran three more games online. A little less than two months later, Goodman Games' DCC Days expanded to encompass an online event as well, and thus DCC Days Online was launched. And, yet again, I ran three more online games.

So, for those of you who need help with the math, in 5 months, I went from an online gaming know-nothing to running 10 online events with a running time of around 40 hours. And next week, I'm running two events for Gen Con Online - each 4 hours long - taking me to 48 hours of gaming. Heck, even in my best convention-attending years, I've never run that many accumulated hours in a year.

And the year's not even close to being over. Here's hoping I see you at the virtual table this year.

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