Gen Con Report

This past week I took a trip down to Indianapolis with a friend to attend Gen Con Indy 2006. I was scheduled to run four events, but I only ended up running three of them (people who’d registered for one of them didn’t show). Now, I haven’t talked about roleplaying much (if at all) on the show, but I think that tabletop and other roleplaying games fit in with digital games quite well. In my opinion, they’re the same form of expression, one that has a hundred names, all lacking, that I call “interactive art” (note that this term is also lacking, as it’s also used to refer to a form of expression that may be unrelated).

Anyway, I found time to see a lot of cool stuff at the convention.

The Forge had some fascinating offerings, as usual; I played a demo of a cool game called carry: a game about war, which is the first RPG I’ve seen that explores the wearing down of soldiers in Vietnam. There was also a strange and beautiful untitled game in the form of a hand-painted folder of false narrative. I’ll see if I can do an interview of the creator, Keith Senkowski. Most of the other stuff from The Forge looked cool, too.

There were a whole lot of other fun-looking and interesting RPGs and digital games around, but none of the others come to mind as particularly innovative in the way they approach interactivity. I think RPGs are a lot like digital games in that they are going in two directions at once. The main flow of the industry is toward highly polished and entertaining examples of more of the same, while a tiny offshoot is wandering blindly and sometimes clumsily into new territory. We’ll see where each of them ends up.

3 thoughts on “Gen Con Report

  1. Hi there,

    I’m glad that you enjoyed carry. I certainly had an awesome time running the demos (unless you checked it out on Sunday, in which case I’m sure Emily had an awesome time doing it as well). I’m really looking forward to see responses to the games as it gets out there…

    Anyway, thanks!

  2. No problem. The game’s interesting. I’m the one whose third Burden for the anti-war patriot was “not one more American must die than is necessary.” Saturday, I think. I actually wasn’t going to do a demo, but you pulled me away from browsing the books — and I had more fun because of it. Come to think of it, “fun” is an odd word to use for a game where my character reluctantly held a rifle on an innocent Vietnamese woman.

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