The question that was asked of me the most during GottaCon was, “Are you going to be able to enjoy any of the games during the weekend?” My response, “Nope. I’m in the panel room all weekend working.” Most often, that would be followed by, “Then why do you do this if you can’t also enjoy the weekend and game?”
The thing is, I had a BLAST! Despite the stress, despite every thing surrounding the planning and execution of the panels that caused huge amounts of discomfort, despite the fatigue and hardly getting a moment to breathe, my role during GottaCon was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
Again, for those who haven’t been following along, I’m not a social gamer. Because I’m not social and I have to spend my entire day being social, when I finally do find some time to game, I need that time to ignore people. I need to use that time to kill things in game so that I don’t kill someone in real life. You may laugh at me joking about killing people, but I would be no fun at all if I didn’t have games to escape people.
Also, you really do not want to play with me. If we were to ignore the fact that I would not have a good time in a social gaming setting, I would ruin your enjoyment of it. During one of the panels, we talked about rules lawyers. Yup, that’s me. And I am probably one of the worst rules lawyers you could ever encounter. The smallest deviation and you will hear about it longer than what is probably necessary.
Despite not being a social gamer, I love that social gaming exists. Where I need a good dungeon crawler with minimal story, FPS or RTS to unwind and de-stress, others need to gather with their friends and play. I love that gaming exists, period, regardless of format. To me, they are each equally valid. I don’t care what game you decide to pick up and play, just long as you are gaming. GAME, DAMN IT!
For me, the reason why I love attending GottaCon is because I can help facilitate people’s need to play games with other. I can celebrate the love of games with others. I can share my love of gaming with others, via discussion, and, in turn, hear about the games that cause others to be excited and give them great joy. I may not be a people person but I do love to share the things I am passionate about and the things others are passionate about. While I would prefer to do it one-on-one and not in a group, I suck it up, push the uncomfortable feeling aside, because the rewards, the pleasure I receive watching others have fun gaming, makes it all worth it.
I want people to game. I want people to talk about gaming. I want to help make gaming easily accessible, to every one in a way that suits their specific gaming needs.
Another great reward from this last GottaCon was seeing the fruit of my labour. There were many times that I was afraid all of my planning would fall apart and the whole thing would be one huge disaster. Then to be able to see it all come together, without a hitch—if you don’t count one of the special guest getting rear ended in his cab by another cab—is nearly as good as an orgasm. Was that too explicit? I don’t care.
After the first discussion panel was over and I could see how happy both the guests and attendees were, I smiled and finally let out a huge sigh of relief. I made it possible for gamers to share with each other and have conversations together about the things they are passionate about.
Even though I said yesterday that if someone were to ask me today if I’d organise it again, I’d say, “No”, the reality is that I’d say, “HELL YEAH!” How can I say no to helping gamers come together, play together and share together? I will continue to put myself into really uncomfortable situations because the rewards far outweigh the negative things associated with organising such an event.
I love games. I love gamers. Especially because they are an extremely forgiving group of individuals. It was nice to see people nod with me knowingly, either because they were like me or they knew a person like me, as I talked about my personal foibles. We may be the nastiest group of people online, but it is all talk. In person, I’ve yet to have a bad experience with a fellow gamer. The community that gamers have built is amazing and I’m proud to be a part of it. I’m also proud that my boys are a part of it.
Also, in some weird way, as I watched the panels unfold, I felt like a proud parent. As I sat there, listening to every thing everyone had to contribute, it was all I could do to stop the goofy smile threatening to spread across my face. Seeing 8 – 9 months of hard work become something tangible, and watching others enjoy it, will be one of the highlights of my life.
If you were at GottaCon this past weekend, thank you for sharing your love of games with me. Even if you and I did not meet, simply by attending GottaCon, you shared with me in ways that I am extremely thankful for.
Thank you for gaming.