Gen Con 2012 is Right Around the Corner

We’re gearing up for this year’s Gen Con and judging by what’s going on, the convention will continue to be one of my favorite of the year. The “best four days in gaming returns to the Indiana Convention Center for its 45th Anniversary, taking place August 16-19, 2012. The hours for the convention are Thursday through Saturday the Exhibit Hall is open 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. 24-hour gaming takes place at the convention center and at area hotels during the four-day event.

To celebrate 45 years, Gen Con will award 45 complimentary badges for Gen Con Indy 2013 at this summer’s show. The show has is also seeing it’s 10th year in Indianapolis and generates roughly $36 million in annual business for the city according to the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association. The convention draws around 120,000 each year and badge sales have seen a record pace this year.

For the first time ever, Wizards of the Coast will present a keynote address named appropriately “Future of Dungeons & Dragons Keynote.” They’ll be unveiling information about their exciting D&D Next project. This keynote not only will feature comments by members of Wizards of the Coast’s R&D team, but also a presentation by company CEO Greg Leeds and we’ll be there reporting.

Gen Con also sees the debut of numerous games like this year’s Star Trek: Catan™ by Mayfair Games who will preview their all-new release, a Star-Trek-themed version of their best-selling game, Settlers of Catan.  Also, the first-ever World Magic Cup will take place. Magic: The Gathering players from more than 50 countries will attend Gen Con to compete for this first-ever World Magic Cup. All total, more than 45 all-new games will debut at the show.

Part of my enjoyment of conventions is the partying and drinking. Sun King Brewing and Gen Con LLC have partnered to release an official Gen Con beer, the Ale of Destiny. An open-to-the-public, 21-and-over tapping party will serve as the unofficial kick-off to Gen Con Indy 2012, beginning on Wednesday, August 15 at 6 p.m. at the High Velocity Sports Bar near the all-new JW Marriott.

There’s tons going on at the show including the 10th Anniversary of True Dungeon. Gen Con’s largest event, True Dungeon is an immersive life-size dungeon adventure through 45,000 square feet of convention space. The 27th Annual Costume Contest- Numerous awards will be bestowed across a wide swath of categories!

This year’s Author Guest of Honor Brandon Sanderson, creator of the Mistborn series and author of the upcoming Wheel of Time novel, Memory of Light, leads a group of prolific and high-profile authors in the convention’s annual Writer’s Symposium. Those interested in autographs, informative writing seminars, and exposure to literary luminaries should attend. Acclaimed fantasy illustrator Todd Lockwood has been selected as Gen Con Indy 2012 Artist Guest of Honor. More than 80 artists will take part in the annual Art Show, and prints and original artwork will be available for purchase from many participating artists in the Exhibit Hall.

It’s not all physical games at Gen Con. This year sees the return of the video game centric E-Games Arena. Digital gaming fans will find a host of games to play at Gen Con Indy 2012, including numerous competitive events and dance-game events. And while taking a break from all that gaming folks can head to the Anime and Film Festival. More than sixty films and digital projects will compete across three categories at Gen Con Indy’s Annual Film Festival.

Family Day is Sunday, August 19. There will be events specifically designed for family involvement, including face-painting and learn-to-play events, along with discounted badges. The Family Fun Pavilion is an area dedicated to family gaming for all ages. It includes exhibits, demonstrations, activities and much more. The Training Grounds is the place to introduce kids to the gaming world and all its possibilities. Training Grounds is most appropriate for kid’s ages 4-12 years old and is located in the Family Fun Pavilion.

Did I show off how awesome the convention will be? Badges are available now at with Will Call pick-up on-site. A 4-Day Badge Price is $80 and a 1-Day Badge Price: $50 and Sunday, August 19, is Family Fun Day with entrance being $30 for a family of four. Family Fun Day Badges may be purchased on-site only.

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