Hello, Chaz Marler from Pair of Dice Paradise here, continuing my Meeples For Sheepish Peoples series, discussing the social activity of board games in the lives of people who aren’t necessarily socially outgoing.
As I mentioned last time, this year my mission is to be one of the 60,000 people attending GenCon. Which, as of the time of this recording, is less than three weeks away! As a warm up for this onslaught of human convention interaction, I first went on a side-quest to Dice Tower con, a five-day convention which is roughly 1/60th the size of GenCon. I figured its comparative lower difficulty setting should be a breeze.
I even went in with short, specific quest log. First, meet up and play games with a friend of mine who was also going to be at the convention, and then find and play games with several other people who I’d corresponded with online through social media. Simple enough. I mean, sharing games with people is what we’re all there for, right?
Now, I’m not saying that one must mix and mingle with strangers when they go to a convention. If you’re planning on just hanging out with people you already know, then that’s fine! But, one of the specific reasons why I went to this convention was to meet the people behind some of the twitter and Facebook avatars I had met online.
Well, things started off well enough. The morning of day one, I met up with my buddy at a table and the hours together zipped by. Ah, surely there was still plenty of time left to meet up with my online acquaintances. But then, I spent the next day at that same table. But hey, sharing games with a friend is what we’re all there for, right?
Well, eventually, realized that I was using gaming with my friend as a shield to prevent breaking the ice with the online folks I was supposed to meet up with. But, by trying to protect myself by avoiding interacting with the others, I was actually making myself miserable. By the third night, I couldn’t sleep.
So there I was, midway through the convention and feeling horrible. I was at a crossroads. I could continue keeping myself comfortably shielded by my social clique, or I could start making myself available to the strangers who I’d come there to meet. But, even if I did push myself, would it be worth it? Would it really make me feel any better, or just awkward in a different way? Well, the next installment will answer those questions… and raise some new ones.