Kenny Klein with Stapler

Kenny Klein with Stapler

Monday, August 19, 2013

GenCon 2013

I know I haven't written a post here in ages. Three months, maybe more. Sorry... first there was the Kickstarter (thanks for your support!). Then there was the tour (which I am still on). But finally here I am, with news from GenCon, the world's largest gaming event.

Calling itself "The best four days in gaming," GenCon's focus is games: role playing games, video games, card games... created by the inventors of Dungeons And Dragons, GenCon is pretty much where role playing games began.

Not much of a gamer (my life IS a role playing game...), and hired to play music and do presentations, I enjoy the costumes, pageantry and sheer immenseness of GenCon. Here are some of the 1,000 photos I shot at the con this year...

The hallways of GenCon, which is held in the Indianapolis Convention Center and its surrounding hotels and buildings (and spreads into the mall, restaurants and parks) are always full of costumed gamers, cute anime girls, comic book characters, and constant goings-on. Here are just a few of the people I met and hung with.

Bad jokes number one: Batman and Spock walk into a bar...

Where a pirate, a Klingon, a Wookie and a goth girl are playing a gig...

No, wait! Where a pirate, a Klingon, a Wookie, a goth girl and a belly dancer are playing a gig...

And the bartender...

says "watch out for balloon Cthulu!"

OK, I'm still working on that joke. But it all really happened.

In the past year or two, the Doctor Who series has become a major geek trend. Doctor Who is a British show about a time lord who uses a space ship called the Tardis to travel through the time-space continuum. The Tardis is disguised as an English police telephone box. For the last few years, women attending cons have dressed as the Tardis...

But I now see many women dressing as the Doctor (who has always been portrayed by a male actor in the show):

The Doctor has been played by ten actors over the life of the show (a premise of the series is that the Doctor is constantly renewing his form, so a new actor is hired each time this occurs). Each actor brings some new prop into his portrayal. The classic Doctor wore a colorful scarf (above) while a later Doctor wore a bow tie (below). 

I'm pretty sure the above costume is a reference to the episode "Dinosaurs On A Spaceship"

More costumes:

My girlfriend Lauren's very favorite fantasy author, Mercedes Lackey, was a guest of honor this year. So being a dutiful, loving boyfriend, I waited two hours on line (with Wolverine and Rainbow Bright, both seen above) for an autograph. Lackey was wonderful...

She signed Lauren's book...

Then called Lauren on the phone! Lauren had a bit of a crazed fan moment.

Cons are exhilarating and exhausting. By the Sunday of GenCon, some con goers simply roll out of bed and into the game rooms (above); others sack out on the floor of the hallways (below).

Many keep their furry critters close for security:

GenCon donates generously to charity each year. One charity event is the building of a city out of gaming cards (combining charity with the theme of the con). Any con goer can create a building, tower or wall in what becomes the massive card city.

It's popular among children...

On Saturday evening, con goers may throw coins at the towers to knock them down. All of the coins go to the charity.

More hallway madness:

When I asked to photograph this girl (who I believe is Hit Girl), she said "It's about time someone asked! I was up at five-thirty this morning making my hair do this!"

Some adorable con children:

Sad elf, above left, was very upset at having her photo made... Others were more than pleased:

More bad jokes: who would win in a fight, Batman and Batwoman...

Vs. Mario and Luigi?

Why, Mario and Luigi, if they are aided by all of the wizards in the Shire!

Yea, I'm still working on that one too. But speaking of funny stuff, the creators of Cards Against Humanity were there. I LOVE that game.

I was a huge fan of Mad Magazine as a kid (what twelve year old geek boy wasn't?). Does anyone else remember Spy Vs. Spy?

These girls do!

More hallway stuff:

I encountered Tank Girl outside the Convention Center.  Notice that there is tooth paste taped to her gun...

...Hey, when fighting corporate goons alongside your kangaroo army, you need good oral hygiene, right?

GenCon was awesome this year, as usual. I'll write about the doll meet-up we had there in a few days.

Till then, from the hallways of GenCon, this is Kenny Klein explaining it all.