Lou Harry's A&E

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Arts & Entertainment, etc.

Thoughts on Gen Con Indy

August 14, 2008
No, I'm not going to mock the costumed hoards that are converging on the Convention Center over the next few days for Gen Con. Instead, I'm just going to share some observations on the event, its people, and its subject.

  • I don't see a huge difference between a person wearing a Marvin Harrison jersey and a person wearing a Jedi knight robe. Both are engaging in fantasy. Neither poses a threat.

  • I don't find a huge difference between a group of people gathered around a table playing Wizards of Warcraft and a group of people gathered around a table playing Texas Hold 'Em. Both are playing a game that involves interaction with other human beings--which beats watching TV.

  • What's David Faustino (late of "Married with Children") doing at Gen Con as a celebrity guest? I mean, nothing against the guy, but I don't see the connection.

  • As a teen, I read a fair amount of science fiction but I've slacked off since then. I'm sure there's great stuff still being written. If anyone knows a writer in the genre who can hold a candle to Robert Silverberg in his prime, let me know here.

  • I'm a big fan of board games--preferring ones that don't take hours to learn. You want to play Parcheesi, Monopoly (if you play by the rules--no Free Parking nonsense) or something more esoteric like Dvonn, I'm there. One thing that I don't think the general public realizes is that there are lots of traditional games available at Gen Con. Not everything available for play or sale involves hit points, trading cards and multi-sided dice.

  •  Are we reaching a point where great science fiction and fantasy films of the past no longer have any power? Have CGI effects and rapid editing jaded us to a point where we can't experience the thrills of earlier films? Can a kid still watch "Forbidden Planet" or "Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers" or "Jason and the Argonauts" with anything like the awe and pleasure that I felt when first seeing them?

  • It would be a challenge to find a racist at a sci-fi/fantasy gathering. Once you've accepted blue people, intelligent creatures covered with fur, and beasts with exposed brains, it's difficult to have irrational hatred of your fellow humans.


Your thoughts on Gen Con, recent science fiction and fantasy, gaming, etc.?
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