Gen Con Indianapolis

No, it is not Halloween, and no, it is not a zombie apocalypse. That’s because these are not your “typical” zombies, but instead, the rare, warm-blooded kind who prefer the taste of pizza, hot dogs and pretzels to human flesh.

zombie-at-gencon-indianapolisAnd they, along with tens of thousands of other elaborately dressed gaming fans, can be seen walking the streets of downtown Indianapolis during the wild, 4-day stretch of mid-August known as Gen Con.

About Gen Con Indianapolis

Simply put, Gen Con is one of the largest and most remarkable gaming conventions in North America. Each August, gaming enthusiasts from around the world, some from as far away as Australia and Japan, flood the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis during this 4-day mega-event.

crowd-walks-down-hallway-at-gen-con-2013-indianapolis-2But these gaming fans are more than just colorful personalities dressed in elaborate, sci-fi and fantasy-themed customs; they are valuable contributors to the local economy. In fact, the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA) estimates that Gen Con pumps over $25 million into the local economy on an annual basis. Other estimates put the economic impact closer to $47 million. Clearly, this is one huge event.

gen-con-georgia-street-crowdTake a walk outside the Convention Center, and the economic impact of Gen Con is readily apparent on Georgia Street, as evidenced by the typically large crowds and long lines at food trucks.

gen-con-georgia-street-crowd-outside-convention-centerThe size of Gen Con is amazing, not only because the Convention Center itself is so large, but because there is so much to see and do if you enjoy gaming. It is one big event for sure. How big is “big ?” We’re talking close to 12,000 games, events and things to do, from seminars, workshops, role-playing and board games to tradable card games, spouse activities and other fun events! Now THAT is big.

grand-gaming-academy-gen-con-2Gen Con 2013, for example, featured a colossal gaming room called the “Grand Gaming Academy,” which was “game central” for all manner of board, card, and role-playing games.

grand-gaming-academy-gen-conYou’ll find “giant” and “mammoth” size games, all free and all open to willing participants. On any given day there are dozens of scheduled games where players can sign up in advance, in addition to games that take place ‘whenever.’

mammoth-sized-games-gen-conGiant games are typically played at a table with several players. With the mammoth size games, the game board is a large rug which players must walk on in order to move game pieces.

vendor-at-gen-con-indianapolisSpeaking of big things, the exhibition area is packed with thousands of exhibitors, selling everything from t-shirts to hats to electronics. In the photo above, a woman dons a hat and spectacles.

vendor-area-at-gen-con-indianapolisPhoto of the Exhibitor’s Area at Gen Con 2013 – Indianapolis

t-shirt-vendor-at-gen-con-indianapolisIndianapolis-based Evanced Solutions, for example, attended the 2013 event . As Vice President of Product Design and Marketing, Matt Sheley, explained, “What we’ve done is try to play the classroom (board) games and figure out where do we see the delight in them, and how to we take that delight and create apps that kids can play at home, so that parents feel a lot better about downloading some games for their kids.”

SolForge-game-gen-conFormerly known as “Gary Games,” Evanced Solutions authored the award-winning Ascension deck-building game before joining forces with Richard Garfield to become Stoneblade Entertainment. Richard Garfield is the creator of the very successful trading card game, “Magic: the Gathering.”

SolForge-banner-gen-conThe “SolForge” 3-D banner, which hung from the Convention Center ceiling during the 2013 event,is an example of the types of banners you can expect to see at Gen Con. This particular one stood out from afar, and did a good job of attracting visitors to the company’s interactive exhibitor booth.

virtual-reality-games-at-gen-con-indianapolisFun exhibits, like this virtual reality game called “Battletech Firestorm,”are always crowd favorites. Players step inside a fully enclosed cockpit that features multiple screens, joysticks, and rudder pedals. It was a truly immersive experience.

Other Gen Con Photos

If there’s on thing Gen Con is known for, it’s the many vibrant personalities that make this even really stand out. Even people who don’t know Gen Con by name know of the event based on the crowd it brings. You don’t have to walk far to encounter these folks.

colorfully-dressed-girl-at-gencom-indianapolisGang signs? Nah. These 3 young ladies are just chillin’ on a floor in the hallway.

girl-with-sword-at-gencon-indianapolis1Protector of Lolth, Demon Queen Of Spiders

mr-america-and-wonder-woman-at-gencon1Mr. America and Wonder Woman

custom-wearers-at-gen-con-2013Custom Wearers At Gen Con 2013

custom-wearer-at-gen-con-2013Custom Wearer at Gen Con 2013

sci-fi-fantasy-custom-gen-con-2013Another Sci-Fi/Fantasy Custom Wearer at Gen Con 2013

lolth-demon-queen-of-spiders-at-gencon-indianapolisLolth, Demon Queen of Spiders at Gencon 2013 Indianapolis

hind-side-of-lolth-demon-queen-of-spiders-at-gencon-indianapolisHind View of Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders at Gencon 2013 Indianapolis

gen-con-2013-guests-enjoy-lunch-at-convention-centerGen Con 2013 Guests Enjoy Lunch At Convention Center

cardhalla-charity-event-gen-con-2013-indyCardhalla, a 24-Hour Charity Event at Gen Con 2013 Indy