Someone is going to have to explain to me why no game convention has ever undertaken the idea of handing out XP to attendees and making those XP mean something... seems like an obvious leap in logic. Just slap it on the badge.However, today's post is about the POLYCON experience. Polycon is a small, university-sponsered convention in San Luis Obispo, California. It's a once a year thing, middle of the summer, and it's about as relaxed and slow as I've ever seen a gaming convention.
Seriously. These people were on quayludes or something.
Let's begin with the trip up. A four-hour trip up the 101 became a six-hour trip thanks to 4th of july-related traffic and bottlenecks in Santa Barbara. Add in a young drive (not me) who likes to text and surf the internet while driving and you have a very "unrelaxing" six-hour drive to SLO.
During the course of the next 42 hours of convention (yes, the con ends at 2pm on Sunday... what?) I played a couple of board games, tested my board game twice, ran a LARP, and watched a drunken idiot ruin one of the best Paranoia games ever devised. We also got in some Apples to Apples, with gambling (I lost $8).
I did play Small World on Sunday before the 2.5 hour auction. I also played DON with Tom Jolly and plaid $26 for two cokes and three sliders. Mmmmmm.
The trip home was a chore, and I won't go into that.
My ultimate review of the con is that people in SLO are used to gaming together all the time, so a CONVENTION isn't special to them and therefore the time spent at the convention isn't as important as it would be to someone who loves going to conventions.
Considering the 12 hours to travel time to get to a convention that lasts only 48 hours (that includes sleep time), I don't suspect I'll be going back. But if you live close to the convention, I would recommend attending at least once. The auction was awesome and the energy is really great. Very relaxing group.