Hello, Chaz Marler from Pair of Dice Paradise here, welcoming you to a new batch of segments in my Meeples For Sheepish Peoples series, discussing the social activity of board games in the lives of people who aren’t really socially outgoing.
Viewers of the previous episodes on this topic may recall that the catalyst that triggered this whole thing was when I let the opportunity to attend GenCon last year slip through my fingers. I let myself use the size of the crowds and cacophony of the spectacle as an excuse not to participate. But then, even before last year’s GenCon ended, I discovered that I was disappointed in myself for letting it pass me by. So, I told myself that if the chance to attend it arose again this year, nerves or not, I was going to seize the opportunity. And seize it I have! With GenCon less than a month away at the time of this recording, I am planning on being there.
But it hasn’t been an easy road. And that’s part of what the following episodes are going to address. But before we get to those episodes, I want to restate that not every introverted or socially anxious board gamer wants to attend conventions, or force themselves out of their shell. And that’s absolutely fine; there’s nothing at all wrong with that. But, for those of us who do want to broaden our social horizons: struggles with fear, anxiety, and stress can prevent us from ever getting started.
And those struggles are what I’m going to talk about. Now, I’m not claiming to be a mental health professional, or even an expert on the subject. I’m just going to speak from my own experiences.
So, I figured that a good way to prepare for the massive, social juggernaut that is GenCon, would be to attend a smaller convention prior to it. Grease the wheels of social interaction, as it were. It just so happens that I was fortunate enough to attend Dice Tower Con last week, so I kind of treated as a dress rehearsal.
Now, I had a lot of things in my favor going into Dice Tower Con. It’s roughly 1/60th the size of GenCon, and, since Dice Tower Con is sponsored by The Dice Tower, on whose YouTube channel these “Head In The Clouds” segments are originally broadcast, some of the convention-goers already knew who I was, which, admittedly, gave my confidence (and ego) a bit of a boost.
So, with the deck stacked so much in my favor, I totally aced Dice Tower con, right? (LAUGHS) No. I still managed to screw up some things. And next time, I’ll continue by sharing some of the failures, and triumphs that I experienced while battling self-doubt and social anxiety at Dice Tower con. So, I hope you’ll put on your best fishing vest and join me for the next installment of Meeples For Sheepish Peoples: GenCon Edition.