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Natural 20's Random Thought Table - Seven Habits of Highly Effective Con Goers Print
Written by Brian Nisbet   
Jun 12, 2009 at 05:43 PM

This week, Brian takes us on a list of seven things that will make you a happier, healthier, and more productive convention goer...

So, you've decided to go to a con, what a sensible decision! I'm guessing that most of the people reading this have been to a gaming con before, possibly even many of them, but it's very easy to get into a rut as regards what you do when you walk in the door and, veteran or newbie, here's some things to consider. Please note, I'm not claiming I always do all of these, but I know I should and I have over time.

1) Play games: This may sound rather obvious and it should be, but I still think it's worth mentioning at the beginning. Playing games is important (I once wrote several versions of a song about that) and while there have been many things said about going to cons for social reasons, I really believe that if you don't play a few games (of whatever type, card-, board-, liveaction-, tabletop-, whatever) then you're missing the point.

2) Play Different Games: So, don't play the same games you always play. Play different games. Find something that looks interesting and play that. It's likely to be, tops, three hours of your life and while that's a decent chunk of the event, it's not like there won't be more of them. So take a chance.

3) Be Nice to the Organisers: Well, be nice to everyone, but that's also covered elsewhere. Be nice to the people who are putting in their free time for precious little reward. I would suggest buying them a drink, but that might be seen as self-serving. If something goes wrong assume they aren't out to get you, be polite and maybe even help out, it'll make your con (and theirs!) better.

4) Get Involved: More with that helping out thing. The options to help out are many and varied depending on the event. They run from helping to move the odd chair, all the way up to running the event, but right now I'm going to assume you're an attendee, not committee. So you can give a brief hand, go on a breakfast roll run, demo a boardgame, run a tabletop game, write a scenario, make scenery, help out behind a stand, there are many options. Most people enjoy seeing a bit more of what's going on and you get a great opportunity to meet people, what more would you want?

5) Meet People: Really, this is a social hobby. Spend your time at the con with people, not just silently playing a game with them (although I'm not sure how that could be possible). Invite others into your game, ask if you can join people in theirs. Don't automatically sit down at a table with only your friends. This can be one of the most difficult things to do for lots of people and sometimes people may not be that receptive, but one rebuff should not put you off! Most people don't go to cons just to game with a small circle of friends.

6) Don't be an Idiot: This draws elements from everything I've said so far, but it's worth specifying. Don't be an idiot to the organisers, the other attendees, traders or, importantly, any external staff who may be present in the hotel, university etc. Think about the way you're acting, what you're saying and how you're playing games. The event is not just there for you, so while your fun is important, it's only as important as everyone else's.

7) Have Fun: Yup, that's it, have fun. If you're getting stressed or upset, move away from the game/people/situation, have a drink (hard or soft), go outside for some fresh air, get away for a bit. Then go back and play a new game, have a laugh, meet new people, enjoy the event. Have fun.

User Comments

Comment by GUEST on 2009-06-13 07:23:06
We can comment? Yea! First Comment! 
When I go to cons myself, its nearly always for point 2.

Comment by GUEST on 2009-06-13 20:22:11
What is it with this hobby that we _need_ a point 6?

Comment by GUEST on 2009-06-14 13:26:24
I don't think point 6 is needed 'cos of this hobby, I think it's needed because the people involved are, well, people. :) 

Comment by GUEST on 2015-11-22 03:46:40
once again the hardest quisteon for a mmorpg gamer .. what is the best mmorpg?? list pros and cons about the games you put down most games in order from best to last gets 10 pointsim looking for a new on to play ok if you put world of warcraft and fucking lie about how people take from WoW no they dont because guild wars, runescape all of those game out before WoW just became famosu tho

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Last Updated ( Jun 12, 2009 at 05:46 PM )
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