Gen Con 2000: Arrival
Wednesday 9 August 2000: The Flight Out
Leaving Los Angeles is as easy as can be. Usually there is some sort of problem, but not this time around. We take the redeye out of Los Angeles International Airport to General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America. There is no meal on the flight, but the Midwest Express machine had already explained that. We do get a snack and the traditional complimentary champagne. I drink some orange juice since I was too exhausted from my Gen Con preparations to drink during the flight (!) I sleep for most of the flight. Midwest Express and Varig are the only airlines with seats comfortable enough to rest. All other airlines have rather uncomfortable seats created just to prevent you from sleeping.
Aside from a sudden lightning hit while en route to Milwaukee, we arrive uneventfully. The luggage appears on the baggage carousel almost immediately.
Thursday 10 August 2000: At Gen Con
Drat! My plan to get a portable phone is thwarted. Apparently, car rental companies will only rent them to people when they are renting a car. So much for that plan. We take a station wagon taxi with a friendly cab driver. She, like most locals, seems happy to have the game conventioneers in town. Having tens of thousands of hungry gamers descend on Milwaukee for a few days can only help the economy. Gamers as a group are friendly and non-violent, regardless of what insane, fornicating television pseudo-evangelists will say to steal money from the elderly. This is clear here in town. They love us!
We arrive at the Hilton, which is right across from the Convention Center. I arrive feeling very happy, but completely exhausted. We plan to drop off our luggage at the hotel and check in later, since we know that the early check-in time isn't until 12 noon. Good news: our room is empty and they'll let us check in right away. We head up to our room, drop off our luggage and freshen up. We are ready for Gen Con.
The queue to get our badges is typical: at least four lines, one for each entrance to the convention center but all going to the same place. Technically, we haven't even reached the line to get our badges yet. These are the lines just to get inside the Convention Center.
I spot RPGA's Phil Martinez and Lawrence Ramirez in line and say hi to them before heading back to my line...
...then the doors open and the cattle rush in. Even though it's poorly organized, we manage to get our badges relatively quickly. They have one line that funnels into several smaller lines, based on your last name. Tatyanna gets her badge first, even though she started out behind us in the main line. Lucky girl, her last name starts with a W. Next year we'll use the name Zimbalist. :)
Thursday 10 August 2000: Split Up
We head back to the Hilton and I pass out, while Neal and Cristiana head out to run FMG demos. We notice that the tracks in the program book are separated by type of event. What I mean is that if you are not sure of what to do -- or just have a free slot -- it's confusing, because you cannot view all your options at once. You have to decide whether you want to look at roleplaying or boardgaming or ccg'ing, etc. Each is listed in a separate section. I hope this ends and next year they'll list all events together, or have an alternate book. Better yet for us technophiliacs, have this information available for the Newton/Palm.
Boardgaming is a bizarre wasteland. Fat Messiah Games got knocked off the track for gaming events. Good luck running games. How will people know when and where to show up?