This past weekend I attended a little local shindig at one of our many local game stores that goes by the name of Non-Con. It’s run from 7PM to 7AM the following morning and is meant to bring the gaming community together for gaming and obviously to sell games and RPG books. I have not attended in awhile and while I had fun playing games, I was overall disappointed with the event.
First, there was very little advertisement and minimal public awareness so as you can image the attendance numbers were pretty low. I think at one point I counted about 35 people; which on Saturday night should have been considerably more. There were a few of us that did try to promote awareness of the event via social media, but the vast majority of locals gamers did not come out to support the event. In the Facebook communities where the event was promoted by myself and others there was little interest by anyone, even in communities with hundreds of members. This is disconcerting to say the least. I am sure not everyone was available to attend and some probably had other gaming arrangements made (a result of the lack of advertisement).
I recall the first of these events a few years back and there was well over 110 people at its peak. I chose to attend on Saturday night to help support the local game community, but most of that community didn’t turn out.
I guess the good part is I got to play a few games that I enjoyed and had wanted to play with my regular gaming group of friends. Unfortunately there was not enough of a turnout for me to game with other the gamers that were present. The long and the short is, I will continue to attend these events whenever they hold them. I just hope they do a better job at advertising it and getting the word out so more gamers come to support local gaming.
Everyone I saw and spoke too did have a good time playing games, mostly boardgames, but there were a few RPGs played. The variety of games played was pretty diverse. I know we played Mansions of Madness, Mysterium and Cthulhu Pandemic before we called it a night at about 30 minutes past midnight.
Second, I had wanted to support the store by purchasing a game or two that my son and I had wanted to acquired while we were there. Well, the two games I was interested in they did not have in stock. Why? it would seem that it is inventory tax time so they have not been ordering as much. I get it, but…
For the record, I am not throwing blame at anyone in particular. The local gaming community as a whole did a piss poor job of turning out even when local gamers and various Facebook communities were aware of the event. The store could have promoted it better too. I have always been a little critical of the local gaming scene and how little community support is shown for such events, big and small. I sincerely hope there is a change by both the gaming community and stores as well. I want to see all such community-centric events succeed!