Back in 2014, my wife and I took our kids down to Oviedo, Florida to visit some family. I also purchased a ticket to MegaCon, a pop culture convention in Orlando. This was my chance to meet two of my favorite people, Adam Baldwin from Firefly and Chuck and Stan “The Man” Lee.
I arrived on Saturday at MegaCon. What was I Thinking? It was the busiest day of the Con and I knew nobody there. I did not have much information about the events, but it was overwhelming. There I was surrounded by thousands of people, but I was alone. I went to a few panels, I saw some neat cosplay and I met the two people I was eager to see, but I felt no connection. I had walked down the halls knowing no one and leaving none the wiser.
Then came Instagram. I started to post about my adventures in board gaming a little over a year ago. Others began to follow and we would communicate back and forth about the hobby. Then I decided while visiting California to meet-up with others. It was one thing to talk to people online, but it was a whole different monster to actually play a game in person. I was nervous. I was pleasantly surprised. While there, I met Jac, Caleb and Michael at a local store and learned train games and Drop It. This was worth the risk.
In June this year I attended Origins 2019. I had the pleasure of working with theOP during that week/weekend and I loved every moment. I was teaching Die Hard and Defense Against the Dark Arts and loved every moment. There I was, in a Con, and I felt like I belonged. I didn’t know about the events or activities going on. They didn’t matter. What mattered was the interactions I had with the people there. That connection made the convention worth it. After working the booth, I continued my game time with others and met some people I have worked with in our team’s Extra Life campaign. Others found me and made me feel like I mattered.
So why am I bringing this up? I think it is to encourage you the reader. Board game conventions are an experience, and there are many games to play. Don’t be afraid to talk to others and have meet-ups. It can be an amazing thing playing with others, and you may find friendships that are worth keeping.