Gen Con’s Co-Owner and Chairperson of the Board Welcomes You to Gen Con Online
Each year, I write a letter that goes at the front of the Gen Con program book, welcoming you all to the show and hyping up some of the special things we have planned for that year. Well, this isn’t a normal year, and this can’t be a normal welcome message.
As you all know, we canceled Gen Con 2020 in Indianapolis due to safety concerns related to COVID-19, so instead I’m welcoming you to Gen Con Online! There’s no doubt in our minds that this was the right decision, and I’ve been so excited to see our team, industry, and community pull together to make something great out of such difficult circumstances.
But if I’m being honest, it still hurts not to be in Indianapolis this week.
We all have our Gen Con traditions that make arriving feel so nostalgic and exciting: favorite restaurants and bars, friends we only see at Gen Con, sights and sounds and smells that trigger memories of conventions in the past. Each year, I fly to Indy, check in to my suite at the Hyatt, and look out over the convention center to see the gathering of the tribe.
This year, I’m at home. It’s not the same experience; it can’t be. There’s no denying that Gen Con Online is an experiment, and that nothing can replace the experience of attending a convention in person, but I know it can work. I believe in our ability as gamers to create connection and joy when we share in the hobbies and culture that we love.
When I go online today I see everyone hanging out in our Discord server, checking out all our exhibitors, artists, authors, and other partners in The Looking Glass, attending more than 6,000 games and events through all manner of different tools and platforms, watching our streaming channels on Twitch, and geeking out about all the incredible games coming out. And I know, without a doubt, that the Gen Con spirit is alive and well!
We’ve been doing this every year since 1968. We’re not going to let the Gen Con tradition die. Even though we’re separated by distance, we’re connected by the things we love, and this year, we invite you to help us carry the Gen Con flame until we can gather again in physical space. In the meantime, we’re learning new tools and forging new connections that will only make us stronger in the future.
Game on, my friends! I’ll see you online.