[Origins 2018 Series] A return to the convention
Local friends recently asked what going to Origins this year meant to me. I’ve been to conventions and I’ve even been to Origins, though the last trip out was in 2005 when I still lived in Columbus, Ohio. I think it's fair to say that Origins still remains for me what it is for many - an escape. Four days to leave behind work, responsibilities, drama and all the weight that we carry day to day.
Your boss channeling his inner troll and making work dreadful?
What about the doctor appointment anxiety?
The kids getting ready for school to start and the grocery bags full of supplies?
Origins, this magical adventure with the promise of shared joy and entertainment with thousands of others who carry our passions and interests, sweeps us away from these troubles, for one weekend at least.
It’s not just the thousands of players who look forward to this release from reality either. It's the hardworking convention teams, the dedicated storytellers logging hours of preparation and the seemingly tireless floor teams in the Dealer’s Room, the excitement was palpable. The buzz of lines, the caravans of boxes making their way around the convention center. The flash of swag bags, buttons, geek shirts and the endless smiles. For a weekend, this downtown Columbus convention center becomes our land of Oz.
From the moment we received the email approval for the media passes to planning our travel arrangements and lodging, it all felt dream-like. We researched the experiences of others, we sought out tips and tricks for how to navigate the lines, where to eat, what events to not miss. But none of it really could prepare us properly for the weekend.
Taking the escalator down to the registration lines, we were immediately bombarded with numerous advertisements and banners. We could hear the buzz of those in line chatting about what they were looking forward, which events they were hoping to gain entrance to, seeing more geek tattoos and t-shirts in one building then I have in the last few years. It really was life changing, because it was the start of something new.
What is different and new this time around is that press pass and our creation of d10Again. It opened doors to begin to have real dialogues with members of the gaming industry, game runners and all the various enthusiastic fans. Through friendships and introductions we met and interviewed a great assortment of creators and innovators; John Wick, Ryan Macklin, Steve Jackson, Ruty “Renaissance Man” Rutenburg and a few others (we will be posting individual pieces about these amazing folks!). We hung out with members of the Catalyst Game Labs convention team. We met Ken St. Andre (the designer of Tunnels & Trolls!). We met Chris Perkins. We spoke to Avonelle Wing about inclusiveness in gaming. We glimpsed the future of gaming, interviewing a couple of the team of Expedition the Roleplaying Card Game. We peeled back the curtain of the convention to look at the magic behind the scenes.
That’s not to say we didn’t also play games! We enjoyed a session of Shadowrun, ran by our friend Mike Messmer. We tried out 7th Sea. We played a session of D&D 5e Adventurers League. We fell in love with True Dungeon. There was also hours spent in the dealer rooms play testing new card and board games. We especially enjoyed Star Realms!
In the next few weeks we will be organizing all our Origins 2018 coverage on our site. You’ll be able to read about our interviews, game reviews, food recommendations, and observations regarding housing while at the convention. We learned so much and enjoyed our exploration and we are looking forward to sharing it all with you.