• Critical Grind Gaming

Road to Gen Con - Pro Tips

Here's a few things I learned along the way.




Pro Tips:

Just a things I’ve learned along the way.

  • Shower Daily.

Sometimes twice a day. Don’t be afraid to shower. If you need to shower in the morning to wake up and then you come back feeling gross, take another shower. There is no such things as too many showers. It’ll keep you from catching the plague and keep you from offending everyone around you with your Con Stench/

  • Breakfast!

If your hotel offers breakfast, wake up early and take advantage. If not, bring breakfast items with you for on-the-go. Zipper bags and cereal. Bagels. Granola bars. Whatever is available… you’re going to want to eat something in the morning to have your energy for the day.

  • Sleep as much as possible before you go. Set a bedtime and go to bed on time. You will not be sleeping much while you’re there so you want to be well-rested.

  • Budget.

I like to set a budget for the whole trip. This is my MAX spending amount for food, games, events, drinks, etc…

  • Take time for lunch. You’ll be glad you did.

Island Noodles is a staple. The line is long, but moves pretty quick and is definitely worth it.

Here is the Food truck Schedule. I can not take credit for this. A very kind person from the Fans of Gen Con Facebook Group shared it: Food Truck Schedule

  • Show up early for your events.

As my high school theater teacher would say, “Early is on-time. On-time is late. Late is unacceptable.”

Realistically though, if you show up late to an event you have a ticket for, someone with generics could take your spot.

  • Wear comfortable, close-toed, shoes

Not sandals. Not flip flops. Roller Bags, Strollers, and other people’s feet WILL attack your little toes. It’s inevitable.

  • Don’t be afraid to go alone.

Make friends with strangers in line.

Play games with people you’ve never met before.

Remember, these are your people

  • Stay Flexible

It’s great to plan ahead but understand that not everything is going to work out the way you have in your head. Just roll with it.

  • Go to Cardhalla if you can. (bring cash to donate and loose change)

Cardhalla is where people sit down and build the most epic card houses you’ve ever seen. People work on it all day and night Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Saturday night, people gather around and donate money to a good cause. The first throw is auctioned off and then everyone is invited to throw coins at these magnificent structures and bring them tumbling down.

The winning bid last year was $2,589, Cards Against Humanity added an additional $1,000. Then after everything was demolished, the coins are collected and counted. The coins added up to $1,206.20. Cardhalla raised $4,795.20 for the charity, Child Advocated, which is an organization dedicated to protecting and serving abused children.

  • Cosplay is NOT consent.

You’re going to see these signs everywhere. They’re not suggestions.

Just because someone is in costume, does not give you permission to touch them.

Don’t take pictures without their permission. I’ll be honest, when I first heard this I thought it was silly. I thought, “They’re in costume. They want their picture taken.” But after cosplaying, and talking to cosplayer friends, I realized the heart of this statement. Yes, take their picture… but ask first. They will want to pose. They will want to get their prop ready, and face the camera, and smile… or not, depending on their character. They will not want to be in the middle of a conversation, packing their new game in their backpack, or shoving pizza in their mouth.

  • Be NICE to the people running the games and manning the booths.

They are busting their butts trying to give you an excellent gaming experience, talking to thousands of people a day. Don’t be one that drags them down.

  • Don’t be jerk.

Just a general rule in life. Don’t be a jerk. No one wants to be around someone who is mean. You’re no fun to play with.

I have been very fortunate so far to not have any negative interactions with people at Gen Con. So far, all of my experiences have been very positive. I witnessed more injuries and attitude at Book Con this year than I have at Gen Con in the last two years.



Any other tips and suggestions?

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