Last Saturday was the 5th Anniversary Endgame MiniCon, and it was a blast. I arrived an hour before my game, which was a good idea since it took me about that long to set up. My Scion game went well, and I believe everyone had fun. I’ve been wanting to run a Heroes vs. Angels game for a while, and yesterday was everything I hoped for and more. It was also a nice time to reflect on the past five years.
My First Con
I’ve been to comic book conventions in the past, but the second ever minicon was my first ever RPG con. I played Paranoia XP, Exalted, and World of Darkness. I wish I could say I’ve been to every MiniCon since, but unfortunately fatherhood intervened (it was worth it 🙂 ). Since that first con I’ve played literally dozens of different games, and sat at the table as some incredible gamers.
I’ve heard a number of stories about horrible games at other cons, but I’ve never had a bad experience at a MiniCon. Yes, I’ve gamed with some dud players, but overall the GM’s have always brought the awesome and the players have responded well to it. That’s a pretty good track record, all told. It is also a fairly high bar for the organizers to maintain, good thing there are a large number of talented GM’s in the bay area willing to run games.
I’m a gamer, and I love going to MiniCons because it is time I get to spend iwth my tribe. Even before I knew anyone there, I never felt out of place. Now, walking into the room filled with friend and tribe, I know I have arrived home. Yes, there are duds that show up and drag games down. I’ve even played with a guy who was disruptive and actively tried to derail the game. But I’ve also met and gamed with some really awesome and amazing people.
One of the things that really differentiates Endgame from other gaming stores is their commitment to the gaming tribe. They want people to get together around a table and have fun, and they’ve created a space that fantastic for that. It’s well lit, well ventilated, and the noise rarely gets to be overpowering. They are also willing to spend a heck of a lot of time organizing these events, and put in long hours the day of. They aren’t doing this to get a bump in sales, they’re doing this because the know if they treat their tribe well their tribe will respond in kind. Seth Godin would be proud.
I really hope that the MiniCons continue to be popular, and that Endgame continues to host them for another five years. I also wonder if gamers in the bay area know just how good they have it.