Gencon 2011 Indianapolis
Gencon rolled in to the Indianapolis Convention Center again this year, with one major difference; The Murphy’s were there!
August 4th thru August 7th, downtown Indianapolis was crawling with gamers of all ages, sizes, genders and preferences (game preferences that is!). A record breaking 130,000 visitors wandered the halls, browsed the merchant rooms, or took part in some of the literally THOUSANDS of board or card games taking place 24 hours a day, thru all 4 days.
Courtney and Travis had both been to conventions in the past, back in New York, and one in New Jersey. However, the size difference of those, compared to Gencon, is like comparing a dwarf to an ogre! The original plan had been for the kids to attend all four days, while Jay and I went on the weekend to take pictures and wander around. I attempted to drop the kids off on Thursday but their costumes wound up requiring an attendant (namely me) to help remove their heads, hold their knives, carry the back pack, guide them thru the crowds, touch up their blood and gore, and I guess generally act as their agent for the photo-loving crowds. What a blast it was! I bought a 4 day pass instead and settled in for the long haul.
Thursday, day 1, they went as Pyramid Head from the movie, and game series, Silent Hill. He is an evil creature; part man, part machine cobbled together from the wreckage of the mines of Silent Hill. With his height, clothing made from the skin of his victims, pyramid shaped head and great sword he is a menacing site to behold as he slowly makes his way toward you, dragging his weapon behind him. All I can say is WOW! What a hit they were in these matching costumes! Even though Pyramid Head is male, and Courtney is obviously female, this did not disappoint the nerds on any level. Travis’ muscles (ok he may be my son, but the kid does take care of himself!) pleased the young ladies in attendance, and Courtney’s curves and bare stomach had heads turning of pretty much any male in the vicinity. I just watched and occassionally giggled quietly under my breath. So Day 1 was pretty much just spent walking the halls and rooms, scoping things out, and stopping every few minutes for the crowds of people wanting to take their pictures! They even got to be part of a webcast, with me in the middle of them announcing the show and where we were at. Very cool!
Friday, day 2, they decided to go a bit less encumbered. Travis was Hunk from Resident Evil and Courtney was a Hunter from Left 4 Dead. After hearing there was going to be a Zombie Walk taking place Friday night, I got in to the spirit of things and went as a zombie, complete with ghoulish skin tone and gaping, bloody sores. It was MUCH easier to get around, not just because their costumes were not as bulky, but because they were not as spectacular or jaw-dropping (though they were still good!). We spent the day browsing the stalls in the merchant area (wow, there was a LOT of stuff for sale!!) and then took place in the Zombie Walk. 8pm the undead gathered in one central location of the convention center. There were old zombies, young zombies, fat, skinny, short and tall zombies! There was a zombie newscrew, still hard at work trying to report the story with moans and groans. Nurses, doctors, joggers, butchers (complete with a package of brains from the meat department), brides and grooms, cheerleaders and football players. Zombies from all “walks” of life(?) were in attendance and ready to take over! Soon the invasion began; wandering, en masse thru the halls, attacking inattentive targets, terrorizing young children lined up to watch (that was my specialty, because, well, childrens brains are the most tender!). Everyone stayed in character the whole way, and by the time we were done I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one with a sore throat from making zombie noises and a crick in my back from doing the zombie shuffle! Can’t wait for next years walk!
Saturday, day 3, was by far, my most favorite day of the four. The kids once again donned their Pyramid Heads and had not even made it 50 feet down the first, relatively empty, back hallway before they were bombarded with, “Pyramid Heads! Over here! We want your picture!! Please!!” Jay was with us for the first time and finally believed what I had been telling him! It probably took 20 minutes to make it down that first hall just to get to the main area of the center. And then the fun began! Sooooo many more people cosplaying! OMG some of the costumes were just amazing! Jay followed us around for a bit, taking pictures, and taking pictures of the people taking pictures of the kids, lol, because at times it was like a paparazzi photo shoot! Not sure who was having more fun, the kids or us! It was nice to see all the hard work the four of us put in to PH being appreciated. Once or twice security had to come up and move things along because the crowd kept blocking the hallway! Too cool 🙂 Travis and Courtney were really getting in to character too, chopping off the heads of the people posing with them, slicing them in half, killing or maiming small children. Once in awhile we would come across another group of themed characters and a great battle would ensue, much to the appreciation of the audience snapping pictures! Who would win? Commander Shephard and his group or the Pyramid Heads?
Then later that evening was the all important costume contest! Unfortunately, we did not enter in time so they could not take part in it, but it was still awesome! When it came time to decide the overall winner, the judges were having trouble deciding between the top three. They tried to let the audience decide but that kept tying (in applause volume) as well! Finally, after a solid 5 minutes of the audience yelling “Three way tie! Three way tie!” the judges decided that was their only option to avoid a riot. It was fantastic and we will definetly have to make sure we enter early next year as everyone kept telling us we had a real shot at winning one of the categories.
Saturday evening, one of my most favorite parts of the con. The dance party at the bar in Union Station! We arrived fairly early on and grabbed a table right by the nearly empty dance floor. Then Travis and Courtney, still in their PH costumes, hit the floor. Holy cow, it rocked! Just imagine these fear-inducing creatures shaking their booties, rocking to the beat, and waving their great knives around. Within minutes the dance floor was filling up rapidly with steampunkers, star wars geeks, anime chicks, and non-costumed people, all bouncing and jumping to the beat that was thumping. Once again, the Pyramid twins were the hit of the party and were soon dragged to the middle of the dance floor. If not for the fact that, with their big boots and huge heads, they were over 7 feet tall we would have lost sight of them. That never became an issue though, because over the next few hours if we wanted to find them we just looked for the most-happening part of the dance floor and there were their huge heads, bopping up and down and moving thru the crowd. So much fun, even just to watch!
Sunday, day 4, was a non-costume shopping day. Travis and Courtney were able to get in and out, unencumbered, and get their shopping done before the convention shut down. By that point we were some very tired convention goers.
It really was a lot of fun and you can bet we will be in attendance when Gencon rolls back in to town in 2012!