Convergence 2013, part 8: Final thoughts

Convergence is still the con where I talk about gaming the most. Why not at other conventions, like Con of the North (where there’s tons of gaming) or WisCon (where discussions are such a major focus, and so deep and meaningful)? For one thing, Convergence has a huge contingent of gamers, so there are enough people around to support discussions about gaming. For another, the focus is largely on panels about gaming, rather than gaming itself. (Convergence probably has fewer than two dozen RPG sessions in a typical weekend, compared to probably a hundred or more at Con of the North. And unlike CotN, it’s not really possible to sign up for games ahead of time, and there’s a lot going on, so it seems frequent that scheduled games don’t happen for lack of players.) And for whatever reason, it just has critical mass to support discussions about gaming. Which is fine by me, because they’re usually quite interesting.

I hope that, in the future, Convergence will start to split different kinds of gaming into different panels. It may result in smaller audiences, but having to address all console games, tabletop RPGs, boardgames and everything else in a single panel gets very frustrating after a while.

Folks said hi to me a few times in the halls and wanted to talk about panels I’d been on. That’s kind of a nice feeling.

In spite of its hugeness, Convergence actually felt no bigger than last year, or perhaps even smaller. And that’s with breaking out into an additional hotel. Thursday afternoon, the majority of the con actually was less crowded — because so many people were stuck in the registration line. But the rest of the time, it also seemed like traffic was manageable, or at least as manageable as it had been in 2012. Maybe traffic patterns were better? Or maybe spreading into the additional hotel helped? Or maybe the shock of being so crowded has started to wear off?

I remember when I went to one of the huge Minicons — 26 or 27, I want to say — feeling annoyed that gaming was stuck across the street in the additional hotel. But I think that may be preferable to having it on the 22nd floor, with the waits for the elevator as bad as they are.

Convergence continues to be a major highlight of the year for me. It’s going through some growing pains, but it seems like the concomm is working to continually improve the con. I know I’ll be back next year.

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