Prospering at Game Conventions and Conferences
4.3 (9 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
10,078 students enrolled

Prospering at Game Conventions and Conferences

If you've never been to a game convention or conference, the prospect may be daunting. Here's practical advice.
4.3 (9 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
10,078 students enrolled
Created by Lewis Pulsipher
Last updated 5/2020
English [Auto-generated]
Price: $19.99
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 3 articles
  • 8 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • What people do at cons
  • How to save money going to cons
  • Descriptions of some specific conventions and conferences
  • No materials, no prequisites

"Game conventions and conferences" is for typical hobby game players and for game designers. Conventions (where people play games, mostly tabletop games) and conferences (where people talk about creating video games) are common and attendance is growing. They vary in size from dozens of attendess to more than 50,000. There's probably one or more within a hundred miles of you.

In this course I talk about what people do at cons and how you can save money when attending, and I describe several specific cons in the southeastern and midwestern USA: GenCon, WBC, Origins, East Coast Game Conference, and PrezCon.

There are no requirements or prerequisites for the course.

This course is likely to slowly grow over time.

Lewis Pulsipher

Who this course is for:
  • Anyone who's thinking about attending a game convention or conference
Course content
Expand all 26 lectures 02:30:01
+ What are we doing (and why)?
2 lectures 08:00

Why would you travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to attend a game convention or conference? Here's why.

Preview 06:19

This class, for your enlightenment (not entertainment), is about game conventions and conferences: what people do there, what game designers (specifically) do there, how to save money.

Preview 01:41
+ Descriptions of some recent conventions
12 lectures 01:01:39

PrezCon is an annual (20 years) tournament convention in Charlottesville VA in late February.

PrezCon, a regional boardgaming tournament con

The ECGC is a relatively new (6 years) annual video game conference in Raleigh, NC in late April.

East Coast Game Conference, a regional video game conference

Description of the grandiosely-titled World Boardgaming Championships, a 30-some tournament-oriented board and card game convention in Pennsylvania. Friendly and relaxed even though many of the players are extremely good at their games. I go every year.

World Boardgaming Championships (WBC), the national boardgame tournament con

A short video from the 2018 World Boardgaming Championships

Preview 03:37

A short video about tournaments at (and from) the World Boardgaming Championships. Background noise is player talk during the Britannia tournament.

Preview 03:20

GenCon in Indianapolis is one of the oldest, and the largest, game/multigenre convention in the world (though Essen Spiel in Germany formerly had that title, and ChiTag in Chicago, a toy convention, may be larger). Being there is quite an experience.

GenCon, a national "story game" convention - and largest game-related worldwide

This is text, with an obvious subject.

WBC and GenCon 2016

Description of Origins, one of the oldest game conventions, growing out of Avalon Hill, founder of simulation-like wargames.

Now held in Columbus, Ohio in June.

Origins, a national general tabletop gaming con

Description of UK Game Expo.  In the bonus material there's a video of cosplay at the con. And another video will show the con, without commentary, but that one will take a while to edit.

Some photos are attached as resources.

UK Game Expo 2016

Regional game conventions are typically small (200 or less), short (2-3 days). There are also regional "geek" conventions not primarily about games, but with a game segment.

Here I talk about three such conventions in north Florida, Feburary 2016. Video, photos, comments.

Preview 09:39

DixieCon was the 31st annual, mostly-Diplomacy, game meeting in Chapel Hill.

DixieCon, a regional mini-convention

Text description of a "local" multi-media convention with many opportunities for gamers.

SwampCon, a "local" multi-media convention
+ At the convention or conference
8 lectures 41:47

When you're going to a convention or conference, how will you travel, by car or plane? Simple question, simple discussion.

Travel: Car or Plane?

For some people "money is no object," but for most of us, saving money is important. I discuss all those ways that you might spend money going to a con, and where you might save some $$$$.

Saving Money (Conventions can be expensive)

At big conventions you'll see little booths occupied by newbie publishers, trying to flog their one, or two, or three new games. The next year it will be a different set, as the publishers rarely find that their experience was worth the expense and effort.

Preview 04:22

Attendance at game conferences and conventions can help game designers in many ways. You can meet publishers, other designers, and fans. Don't be isolated from the hobby at large.

What can game cons do for a game designer?
Last year I spent two weeks away from home attending GenCon and WBC, driving over 1,800 miles.
Lew's Odyssey - Two weeks away from home at conventions

This is two and a half of the more than six minutes I recorded as the GenCon 2013 cosplayers paraded past. For some people, games are about story (for others, games are "all math" or "all about people"). GenCon is a story-convention as much as a game convention, so cosplay is common as gamers (and others) try to "live" the stories they love.

Cosplay is much less common at smaller conventions.

I'm in the "all about people" camp, and do not understand why people so love to dress up, but they do.

Cosplay (Costumes)

Because of the pandemic, many conventions have been cancelled, but methods of running online (virtual) conventions are being devised.

Virtual (Online) Conventions and Conferences
+ Bonus Material
4 lectures 18:34

Lew's online courses and information sources

"Bonus Lecture" - Lew's online courses and information sources
20 pages

This unedited video compilation by Sue Pulsipher shows some of the cosplay related activity at UK Game Expo 2016. 

CosPlay at UK Game Expo 2016

Why write a book in the 21st century, an era when people rarely read non-fiction books? And why a game design book? Here's why…

Why I wrote my Game Design book

What makes my game design book unique, or at least unusual (unique is rare)?

What makes my Game Design book unusual or unique