March 27, 2012

Let's Play Green Bay!

Well, as I mentioned a couple posts ago, it's nearly off to Green Bay, WI, for the Let's Play gaming convention this weekend!  The sponsors/organizers just recently posted the program and schedule of events.  Scan it if you're curious.  I'd be interested to hear thoughts on how it compares with other comparable-sized conventions.  While I, my brother-in-law, and our sons will probably spend most of our time Saturday in the open gaming library and Pokemon area, I'm looking forward to seeing what an official Settlers of Catan tournament looks like.  I'd also like to check out the demos for Wings of War.  I'm fairly knowledgeable with World War I aviation history and know this game would be right up my alley - except for it's expansion-oriented cost!  Still will be fun to see the game in action, finally.  Another activity that sounds intriguing is the "Play for Keeps."  Essentially you pay a fee to play a particular game and if you win, you get to keep the game.  The fee looks to be about a fourth of the game price, so you could likely end up just footing part of someone else's bill!  But still, a fascinating concept - I have no idea if its a new one.

I'm still not sure exactly what to expect, but am looking very much forward to it.  I'm just left with one question.  What does that make me when I take a vacation day, eschew 6 hours of overtime, pull my kids out of school, and pack up our family of 9, with mother-in-law, to drive 400 miles for one day of gaming?


  1. Hi Jason, this is Paula, one of the organizers of Let's Play. What did you think? We hope the event met your expectations. Also, if there are any suggestions you may have to make us better next year, please let us know!
    Paula Fuge
    Let's Play Events

  2. Hi, Paula - thanks for reading! I had a good time. I did think there would be more attendees, but I also expect it to grow next year, and again the year after, just by word of mouth and experience in publicity.

    This was my first ever convention, so I can't speak to personal experience, but I would think your challenge will be catering sufficiently to the four major groups of gamers: Board, Miniatures, Role-Playing, and TCG'ers. From what I read and see on other game sites, blogs, and the Geek, etc., it appears that other comparable-sized conventions generally focus on one crowd. Sure, there is some cross-over and multi-interest. There are indeed some gamers who are serious in two or more of those. But typically, because of cost and time, hobby gamers will focus in one area.

    I really like and appreciate your focus on family gaming. Because of that, I think you'll find greater success in targeting the board game and TCG crowd, rather than RPG and miniatures.

    As for Board gaming, where my interests are, it'd be cool to see if you can attract more indie designers and publishers. You have a good start - and they're really good at giving enthusiastic and individual attention to those stopping by their booths (we bought Aaron Kreader's game because he hit it off so well with my boys in demo'ing his game). Also, an expanded library, or really more just an expanded area with more volunteers to teach the games. Since gamers use conventions to "try out" games before buying, giving them as much announced and visible opportunity to do will be a boon.

    Just some thoughts. Like I said, I enjoyed it, had fun, and plan to come back next year!