Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Nerdiest Place on Earth

My yearly pilgrimage is coming up soon so there will be the short stories tomorrow and I'll put something fun up on Monday but after that I'm going for a week. Where could a colossal nerd go on vacation? I'm headed to Columbus, Ohio for the Origins Game Fair.

When it comes to gaming Gencon is better for RPG's. Essen is better for board games but its a bit of a haul for an American (and October is my busiest time anyway). The World Board Game Championships is impressive but its focus is a little outside my preferences. The Gathering of Friends has the small problem of not being public.

Origins is becoming the definitive US destination for board game fans thanks in large part to the work of the Columbus Area Board Game Society who manages a magnificent game room that is almost a con unto itself. They started two years ago and when I went to their room it was pleasent but a bit quiet. People realized it was the place to hang out though and last year it was packed solid at the busy hours. I played more prototypes and met more game designers in that room than I think I've ever encountered in one place and I've been to E3 when it was still a private conference. I first played my favorite game of last year months before release there.

I fully expect this year to be even busier. They've already announced that just for showing up they'll give you a board game and nothing lures nerds more than free games. Pretty much anyone who doesn't have to work the show all weekend and likes board games is going to turn up there.

Other things I'm looking forward to on my trip:

Rio Grande Games is celebrating their tenth aniversary with a large party and that will be fun.

I've entered myself into the world qualifier for Settlers of Catan; I fully expect to not do well against the agressive players but it's one of those things that I want to take part in just to do it.

On that note Mayfair games will be continuing the Catan resource collection game where you play their games to gain a set of resources which you trade in for a full 50% discount on their games.

It's possible that Agricola, the board game of farm development which has been getting monsterously positive buzz in since its European release last year, may be available at the show and I'll definitely be getting that.

I'm looking forward to meeting Dr. Reiner Knizia again. I met him once very briefly years ago and when he was at the convention the last time he cancelled a talk I was looking forward to. This year I fully expect him to be around and available so I'm looking forward to it.

I'll bring back pictures!