Thursday, June 23, 2011

Origins 2011... Where did DocStout go, exactly?

By the time you read this... (usually, in fiction, here's where “I'll be dead” goes.) I'll have been in Ohio for the better part of three days, with another three and change remaining in the 2011 Origins Game Exposition. This assumes, of course, that the reader encounters the article the day it is posted. I've always wanted to start something with those words, so in any case, I'll get on with it. I first started attending Origins back in 2002, and the first two shows I attended, I traveled and attended the convention alone. My game convention experience started with Gen Con back in 1990, and that huge convention with its frenetic pace stands in contrast to Origins, which is still very large, but has always felt somehow more laid back to me.

Origins is the second largest gaming convention in the United States, averaging 10,000 attendees annually as compared to Gen Con's 25,000+. Operation of the show is currently managed by GAMA (the GAme Manufacturers' Association) and has been hosted by the city of Columbus, OH since 1996. The first Origins was back in 1975 (GAMA management started in 1978,) and the location of the hosting city has changed twenty times including the two years it ran concurrently with Gen Con. Since the decision was made to anchor Origins to a single city, attendance has steadily grown.

Ah, pre-registration. This area is only this empty a day before the show, or on Sunday.

From its roots in the wargaming community with Avalon Hill as a sponsor, the convention has expanded to cover many games including miniatures (collectible and hobby wargaming), card and board gaming, collectible card games, LARPs and tabletop roleplaying games. Miniatures wargaming is a little more prevalent at this show, especially for historical scenarios, than it is at either Gen Con or Dragon*Con (in Atlanta, GA.) The presence of the War College and its annual seminars on Military History and the convention-long National Security Decision Making Game are also highlights for history and historic gaming fans.

This convention has a particularly special place for me, personally, as in 2006 it is the convention where I first met the woman I would marry two years later. Both fans of roleplaying games for ludicrous percentages of our total lifespan (I started gaming at age seven, she at eleven) we'd managed to somehow not meet each other until we were both single, despite my having known her father from RPGA events years earlier. Since 2002, I've missed a single Origins (last year, in fact) and we decided to attend at the last minute this year, traveling to the show with my father-in-law for nearly a week of games. When we return, live (as opposed to scheduled) posting will resume with a full report from this year's show, but not one written by me.

One of the Roleplaying Rooms at the Columbus Convention Center.

My second guest blogger here (Joel of “a momentary lapse” was first) will be none other than my lovely wife, with her report on the convention upon our return from the show. She is a sometime columnist for Wreckhouse Magazine, editor for Paradigm Concepts, and college student, so I can only hope my writing does not suffer too badly in comparison. With any luck, I'll have had time enough to give a complete review of the finished Arcanis Roleplaying Game (based on my perusal in brief of the new system, I'm excited) to complement the earlier profile on the Arcanis setting. Not only will I have a copy of the rulebook by the time this posts, but I'll have played a few sessions at the convention of the Living Campaign. Back tomorrow with my last “post by schedule” article.
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The Angry Lurker said...

Would love to attend this, a week long of what you love.

Jay said...

lucky you that you met your wife there. :)

Alpha said...

Now I wanna start a post like that.

Zombie Ad said...

I miss big Cons :(

A Beer for the Shower said...

This sounds like a blast. Have fun!

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