I talked about our local conventions yesterday. Today I want to start talking about the national conventions we have been to. We have been to Origins, GenCon, and DragonCon.
Origins is held in Columbus, Ohio. The dates vary but it is generally around mid June. This year there were 11,573 attendees. It is held in the convention center which is located downtown near the popular North Market. North Market is a wonderful venue with fresh food from all around the world. A great place for gamers to eat!
Origins is a great family gaming convention. There was a children's area where you could pay per hour to play video games with supervision or a tabletop gaming area. There is also a giant sized Settlers of Catan to play. If you attend with non-gamers there are a lot of family activities in Columbus to check out.
There are numerous discussion panels on game design, writing, Christianity and gaming, crafting, and many more! Too many to name! Of course, we played games all day every day. We even tried a LARP (live action role playing) session. We played as the skeletons and villains. Confession, I didn't like getting hit. I don't know if I will do that again! We would also walk the floor, find a game that looked interesting, and sit down to play it. We played Star Wars X-Wing as a family. Even though there are over 11,000 people we kept running into people we played with all weekend! There was also a great vendor hall. Lots of costumes, jewelry, t-shirts, books, games, gaming accessories, and DICE!!!
One of the highlights of Origins is the gaming library. They have a huge room with a wall of games available for check out. You pay a $20 fee to check out unlimited games to play throughout the weekend but you get a free game when you register!
Restaurants and hotels were in walking distance from the convention center. The city was very friendly and welcoming. Origins is a large convention with a small town feel, very relaxed and slow paced. Lots of gaming fun. We definitely want to go back. We hope it works out for us to attend next year. We may have a graduation issue!