Joe takes on Gen Con: Day Three


Welp, D&D kinda fell through, seeing as it took place at ten o clock in the morning and I’m terrible with scheduling things on the fly. Instead, I had another days’ worth of mainlining anime culture.

Two back to back panels, with the same fantastic presenter, filled my first few hours.

The first was a brief history of anime, where he listed the most important milestones in the history of the medium. A lot of the information was stuff I’d heard before, learned in tidbits over time, but it was very interesting to see it all laid out at once in a single coherent timeline.

And it was really funny to hear fanboys grumble when the speaker proclaimed that, while popular, Neon Genesis Evangellion was not the game changer most people assumed it was.

His next panel focused on the mythic tropes used in the East (mostly Japan) as compared to the mythic tropes used in the West as reflected by Joseph Campbell’s Monomythic theory. As a writer, it was all pretty fascinating stuff, even as the presentation stretched to nearly two hours.

Later, after walking to Penn Station for lunch with a friend, I paced through the main board game room, probably the biggest room in the building.

I had no idea there were so many different board games.

Oh, I had a rough idea, seeing how many different posters I’d passed, but Jesus, this was insane.

Games that weren’t even rpgs, like Temple Adventure and the branded card games of properties like game of thrones or Dr. Who.

These games had sizeable followings, apparently, enough to fill a huge, cavernous rooms worth of tables and fold up chairs with people dueling it out over increasingly complex game sets.

And that’s to say nothing of the Magic the Gathering folks, who got a whole little sub room all to themselves.

I never got into Magic as a kid, even when my friends were, because I found the rule set so daunting.

It’s times like this that make me happy about that.

Part of me really respects the Magic community for its fervor and devotion, but my brain breaks easily, and I’d rather not have a stroke trying to remember such a huge number of rules and bylaws without a computer system keeping them in place for me.

Afterwards, a quick stroll through the exhibition hall saw me buying a Splatoon poster. Because I’m a totally mature adult man….. who buys memorabilia based on games aimed at children.

Later, after sauntering back to the Westin, I watched another anime called Cat God.

I had no idea what was going on.

I did walk in a few minutes late, or rather, they started the projector a few minutes early, but even after very close watching, I still couldn’t figure it out. I’m a fan of absurdity in my cartoons, I’m a big Adventure Time, but this doesn’t even have the vaguely structured plot.

My last event of the day was a showing of Princess Rap Battles, a popular YouTube series that’s exactly what it sounds like.

I’ve cooled in recent years on Epic Rap Battles of History, so it’s cool to see people branching out and writing cool new stuff. That, and they’ve got some really big names to play these princesses.

Sarah Michelle Gellar kills it as Cinderella, even if the actress who plays Belle is given better things to say…..and is playing the better character if we’re being honest.

Tomorrow is the last day, and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to GenCon. It feels like events could’ve been stretched over weeks instead of days, which I would’ve liked. Then I’d get to see everything and not have to choose.