This year I was smart. I came out to Indianapolis, Indiana the night before the con began. I was able to obtain free parking about 30 minutes outside of downtown and got a ride into town from a friend. First obstacle averted. Next, obtain proper lodging. Luckily I had a floor of a hotel room reserved for me, and a blow-up queen size mattress from my friend Basia, I was all ready to go.
The first day begins early. In line at 7am to pick-up a press badge. Pick-up starts at 7:30, doors open at 10. I wanted to get in line and pick up my early access pass. First 100 press in line get to get in at 9am. Beat the crowds into the dealer and vendor area and pick up my merchandise before the wild trampling begins. Opening ceremonies begin, the first dice are rolled, big fuzzy ones. The roll is two 5s. Good signs to come, hopefully. There are at least 3,000 people jammed up at the door, ready to rush to get their con exclusive pieces. The doors open and they are off to the races! With me safely hanging out with the balloon sculptor, Tim, I watch as the masses run into the con. As Tim begins to build his amazing balloon sculptor for this years convention, I sit back knowing that I do not need to fight with people to get anything I want within the con.
There were many cosplayers. You had people as Deadpool all the way to a male Misty from Pokemon. There was an area set up for the cosplayers to hang out in front of a sign so people knew where the pictures were from, but of course people don’t seem to take well to directions or read what they are. Now time for a little tangent. If you pay for a convention ticket, and hang out in an area that does not require a ticket for 95% of the time you are at the convention, why would you waste the money in buying a 4-day pass? Why not just buy a single day pass and buy what you want that day and just hang out in the common area the rest of the time. It’s not my money, but why not save it.
Enough of that. I would say at least 10,000 people walked through the doors that day, if not more. I have never seen a place more packed in every isle. There was 30 isles going one way with another 3 crossing the opposite directions. And they were all full! The convention is bound to break their attendance record again this year, but I don’t know how many more people the convention center can hold. From my understanding, this is the 3rd largest convention center in the world. THE WORLD! They set the record last year at just short of 50,000 people. And that does not even include all of the people walking through the convention center that just work in the city. The looks on the locals faces that had not seen a con before was priceless. People had their jaws dropped at outfits and looks that a regular con goer wouldn’t even look twice at.
One of my main focuses was helping out my friend, Tim the balloon sculptor. He has created for Gen Con for the past two years. His first year he crafted a fire-breathing dragon. Last year he made Cthulhu, 18 feet tall, 30 feet wide. A HUGE piece. This year is more photo friendly. A minitar fighting a barbarian and a sorceress. He finished his main work by the middle of today, Friday. People are now able to take their pictures with the pieces, pretend to fight with them and have a good time. On Saturday night they will be auctioned off and the highest bidder gets to destroy the pieces that were created in such a short time. The proceeds will go to the charity GLEANERS, which is a food pantry that provides food to those that are having problems with providing meals for themselves. Last year he raised $1,000. This year he hopes to raise over $1,500. Along with the main pieces, he will be creating wearable pieces. One of which is Emmet from the Lego Movie. Another piece is a Dalek from Doctor Who.
There is so much going on and so much to do in Indy, that I need to absorb more over the next two days. Learn a few new games and try to find more creative cosplayers. As from above, this is only the first part of my article since this is only the halfway point of the convention. If you would like to view pictures I have taken, please check out our facebook page. Also please check out CaveRadio Broadcasting, where we have a live show on Thursdays from 4-5pm eastern time.