Yesterday’s Geek Week Game Con at the Langdon Street Cafe in Montpelier was a rousing success. I won’t say we took the place over, but we definitely outnumbered the ungeeky by a significant margin during peak playing hours in the afternoon.
This is the third week I’ve attended Geek Week in one form or another. One of the secondary pleasures of going to Geek Week is watching it grow and build its audience. Two years ago, there were five people playing Illuminati on a Wednesday night. Last year, there were two tables going at once. This year, at the zenith, there must have been at least six, if not seven, tables rocking the board game lifestyle.
This year, I got in a session of Arkham Horror with the Creasers and a pair of outings aboard Red November with Nick and Will, two people I’ve seen around the Vermont gaming scene, but hadn’t had the chance to meet properly. That’s what I liked best about yesterday: we had a converging of distinct game-playing communities: Burlington, the Northeast Kingdom, the Upper Valley and the host locale, Montpelier.
Game days are a great means to stretch beyond the usual boundaries of social circles and geographical regions. People congregate in a location, spend a few hours playing games and then go their own ways. It’s an easy, low commitment way to engage with or otherwise explore the dynamics of interacting with other people in the hobby. The bonds one makes or renews with people are the real virtue of participating in a game day. My first connections with the Vermont tabletop game scene came from taking the plunge on a game day hosted by Bakuretsucon back in, I don’t know, 2003? Seven years later, I’m still meeting new people and learning about the social relations aspect of the hobby.
Without interacting with that social network, I don’t know if I ever would have participated in Geek Week. And that would be a shame, because it’s only gotten better from my perspective. Thanks to Ben Matchstick for putting the whole week together, and the Sunday game con in particular. And here’s to Geek Week 5.0 in 2011!