Countdown to GenCon 2012

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Time To Make A Difference

Gamers are generally good people. Sure you meet the annoying rules lawyer, or the total asshat now and then, but overall gamers are a really good, caring bunch. Some say we really don't do anything to help the world, but recent events put that theory to shame. I bought product today from two different sources, and the money is going to very good causes. I'm not going to say I donated, because what was offered for my money in each case is greater than the value of what I gave. I almost feel greedy because of it, but I know the money I spent is ultimately going to help others, so I'm OK with that. The real heroes here are those who donated their products or profit to these causes.

The first cause is one that really got to me. I can't imagine what this woman is going through. Few things scare me like the threat of going blind, and this poor lady is facing it as a single mother. Her daughter may be headed that direction as well. Please take a look at this site and donate if you can. You get gaming product for your donation, so seriously...take a look. It's $10. That's less than two fancy coffees at Starbucks.

http://twoscooterspress.com/2011/02/buy-the-sight-benefit-bundle-today/

The second cause is all over the news. We've all heard about the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.  This is the nightmare of many countries:  A major quake strikes a major population center. There are still many unaccounted for people, and to quote @CatherineQ: "300 people missing in NZ is equivalent to 30,000 people missing in the US. NZ is a small country." Catherine is a astrophysicist from New Zealand currently living in the U.S.. Sure, some will say New Zealand is well off, and doesn't need our support. I remind those people that it was the charity of others from the within the U.S. and around the world that made the most difference during the hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans. How can you, as a gamer, help out? Simple.  DriveThru RPG has put together a New Zealand quake relief bundle for $20. It's got something in it for every gamer. What amazes me about this is the amount of stuff DriveThru has put into the bundle. There's over $320 in gaming goodness in it. Yes...$320 for your $20, and your $20 goes to earthquake relief for New Zealand. Come on folks! This is truly a no-brainer. Follow the link below, and donate please.

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=88713

I hope those who read this are moved to give money. If not, I hope you bought these bundles like I have, because with what you get you can't call it a donation. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

More Gen Con Attendance News

My prospects are continuing look better for actually making it to Gen Con this year. One thing that will work in my favor is making it as inexpensive as possible. To that end when I booked my room at the Westin, I paused before hitting the "single king size bed" option, and got a two double bed room instead. It occurred to me that a roommate would significantly cut down on cost, and someone who found out they could attend at the last second could have a place to stay. Since I booked the room, I could decide if I was comfortable with the person, our not. That's an all-win situation. As you can probably guess, that scenario seems to have played out, and I have a probable roommate for my room. Nothing is concrete yet, but I'm really happy to be in a situation where I'm probably going to save some cash, and a person who really should be going to Gen Con is going to have a good room to lodge in. Things are really looking up, and it's all coming together for me not only being able to attend, but also stacking the odds in my favor for having a great, stress-free time.
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pictures: The New Areas of the Convention Center and the J. W. Marriott

It's been a big few weeks for Indianapolis in the facilities arena.  Both the expansion to the convention center and the new J. W. Marriott hotel have been completed, and are open.  I stopped by and took some pictures of what I could.  Without further ado...




This is shot just inside the new, main conference center entrance.  There's a lot of glass and light in this area. It's nice and bright.


There's a nice little eating area right by the entrance.  It's the same places as the similar area by the overpass to the Marriott, but with much more seating room.





Here's the corridor that runs north-south.  It ends in an escalator that goes below the street and ends up in Lucas Oil Stadium.  This means possible easier access to surface parking.  I think there's also access to the Crowne Plaza hotel down this direction, but I haven't checked it out yet.


















Looking the other direction (east-west), we have this corridor.  It runs parallel to the main corridor in the old section of the convention center.  There's lots of new space on both sides of this.







Under the escalator you can see in the distance in the last picture is this nice, cozy little area.  Not sure what's going behind the bar, but hopefully something good.  Not a bad place for a quick game of something between events.


This is taken on the far west end of the hall, looking east towards the main entrance on the second floor.  the space is very light and well done (depending on your opinion of that industrial carpeting, lol).







This was a hard shot, but it's looking from the new area, back north to the old portion of the conference center.









Stats..you want stats?  Here you go.  New addition doubles the size of the conference center.  254,000 sq. ft. of new exhibit hall and 63,000 sq. ft. of new meeting rooms for a total of roughly 930,000 sq. ft. of space for Gen Con now :).


Here at the west end of the old center is the set of overpasses that takes you to the new J. W. Marriott and the assorted Marriott suite hotels.  This thing looks like a booze flask.  All it needs is a big silver water tank up top to complete the image.  Seriously though, it's very nice inside.




This is the main entrance to the new J. W. Marriott.  Very swanky for those staying here.  I think they even have a parking garage, so you can put that car you pulled up in someplace (parking has traditionally been an issue downtown).


The J.W. is designed with a very modern feel.  The lobby is well laid out, and currently bursting with helpful staff.  What you can't see in this picture is the very nice sports bar you will run into if you continue in the direction the camera is pointing.




Turning around from the last picture, there's this cozy area.  Lot's of areas to lounge in.  If we don't have gamers at least playing Zombie Dice back in here, we've all failed as con goers :).





The conference center area of the hotel has a lot of these little sitting areas.  Each is done differently, with a different style.  Again...we need to put these to good use I think.





Finally, from the conference center portion of the J.W., you have a great view of Victory Field.  If there are any games going on during Gen Con, you'll be able to see them from here, should you care to.  All you  can see now though, is the remnants of the ice storm we just got hit with.


I hope you all enjoyed this little photo tour of the new facilities.  I'm no "member of the press", so I didn't get inside any of the halls, or get to see the rooms (or even the biggest ballroom in the midwest, located at the J. W. Marriott).  Still, this should whet your appetite for some awesome gaming coming in August.