It's been a good three years since my last gaming convention and I thought I knew what I was getting into. I mean really, if you've been to one, you've been to them all, right?
Each con is unique in its own, very special way. And when you spend 95% of it from one specific vantage point (the other five percent breaking down into bathroom and coffee time) you start to draw some opinions.
Opinion #1: Columbus is cool.
Ok, I hear you pointing noisy fingers, "But you're from the Midwest! You wouldn't know cool if it came up and bit you with haute dentistry!" This is true, but I've also traveled around and have a simple criteria: if there's a selection of good restaurants within easy walking distance to the convention hall, easy access to good coffee, good architecture, nice people, and a vibe that makes me consider coming back without a con, then it qualifies as cool.
Opinion #2: GAMA's got your back.
No, they can't be everywhere at once but between board members, volunteers, and security, I was never wanting for help. Now if only they'd have run coffee for us, that would have upped the game. Next year GAMA!
Opinion #3: Origins attracts a quality crowd.
Now there's gamers, and then there's Gamers. In my mind, it's not the size of your library that counts, but the capacity of your enthusiasm. The crowd that appeared before me over the course of Origins' four days was eternally that: enthusiastic. One part savvy consumer, one part addict, two parts geek (/Black Books/ One part Fu Manchu, all bastard. \Black Books\). At the Atlas booth I found myself involved in many conversations of the best kind, "Which is the better written RPG: Unknown Armies or Over the Edge?" I might explain a new product to one fan only to have them turn around and tell the next guy that tells the gal next to him and then the kid on the end.
Opinion #4: Hawking Atlas Games is a pretty good gig.
Selling fun is crazy good. There's not enough of it in the world.
If you've never been to Origins, consider it for 2010. We'll be there!