GenCon 2011 Day 0: WillCallFail and bursting out of the gamer closet

Last night I was staying at a hotel on the northern fringes of Indianapolis, getting antsy at not being in the middle of any gaming. Tonight, I’m downtown at the Omni in the heart of it all!

I’m at the Omni because it’s on my company’s “approved hotels” list. Since I worked today, the company is paying for tonight’s hotel. Tomorrow morning, though, I’ll be shifting over to the Marriott Downtown, across the street from the convention center (not that the Omni is far away).

When I finished work a little before 5:00 PM today, I walked down the convention center to see if I could get my badge today rather than tomorrow. I went to the back of a long line inside the door and asked the kind volunteer if this was the line for badges.

“No, this is the line for bags.” (Apparently you get a goodie bag for attending GenCon). “The line for badges is over that way.”

I walked that way. Is this the right place?

“No, this is to buy a badge on site. The Will Call line is the really long line over that way.”

REALLY long line. Seriously, it took me about three minutes walking briskly to get from the beginning to the end. I’m not joking. The number of people in the line was many, many hundreds; possibly into the thousands.

I was meeting some co-workers for dinner at 5:30, so I decided to come back later.

The dinner with co-workers was my full break from the gaming closet. I mentioned before that I used to be in the RPG closet and was starting to come out. Now I’ve shared a meal and talked D&D with co-workers (along with shop talk, too). The people I work with in Colorado know that I’m here for gaming, too. It feels good to be out!

Back to the con after dinner, it was now almost 8:00. I went to the back of the long, long Will Call line… and the kind volunteer at the back of it said that they weren’t letting any more people into the line because Will Call closed at 9:00 and those people would take at least an hour to get to the front of the line.

Sigh. At least I used this experience to expand on my new Twitter use (you can follow me as OnlineDM1) by coining the hashtag #WillCallFail.

So, bright and early tomorrow, I’ll try again to get my badge. Wish me luck!

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