Category Archives: Conventions

VRazeTheBar Presents a Virtual Gen Con Experience for Immersive Online Gaming

Gen Con Online

When Gen Con announced the cancellation of its beloved long-running annual gaming convention in Indianapolis, a team of long-time Gen Con professionals and entertainment tech specialists came together as VRazeTheBar, with the goal of creating a rich, immersive, interactive social experience for fans as part of Gen Con’s online events. Gen Con marks the debut for VRazeTheBar, the first of many other interactive, immersive online events designed to help people gather safely and have fun in the virtual world.

What VRazeTheBar is offering to Gen Con fans and other gamers is the ability to virtually go to Gen Con this year through a new world. VRazeTheBar selected the Linden Lab Enterprise/Education edition of Second Life as the ideal platform to create a virtual Gen Con experience. Second Life is the largest user-created 3D virtual gaming and social interaction world of its kind in the world. It provides the ideal space to create a virtual Gen Con experience for Second Life residents as well as Gen Con fans looking for more immersive play and social interaction.

Membership in Second Life is free, and users can select their own avatars and customize them in dizzying detail, ideal for fan-based events. Details are available on their website, for people new to Second Life there is a step-by-step guide. VRazeTheBar “emmisaries” will be available to help.

In VRazeTheBar’s virtual Gen Con experience, users will find many of the details that fans love: food trucks and the traditional Saturday night dance as well as a free official Gen Con virtual t-shirt. But more than anything else, it’s really about the games. The game masters have embraced the virtual platform to make some awesomely rich, detailed environments for interactive gameplay.

Details of the games, panels, and other events are available at the VRazeTheBar website, and registration is available Gen Con Online website, as well as registration for all events.

Free League Publishing Heads to Cyberspace with Gen Con Online

From the deep Nordic forests, Free League Publishing travels virtually to Gen Con Online this week with a host of games, news, and releases. Every day from July 28 to Aug 1, Free League will present a new release or announcement. Free League RPGs will also be available to play online, and the Free League YouTube channel will host actual plays of the new RPG Vaesen and recent hit games ALIEN and MÖRK BORG.

Due to the Corona pandemic, Gen Con Indy is sadly canceled this year. It’s replaced by Gen Con Online, a virtual convention featuring a slate of events and programming you can attend from the safety of your devices and in the comfort of your favorite quarantine sweatpants!

Free League’s main release at Gen Con this year is Vaesen –  Nordic Horror Roleplaying, presenting a dark Gothic setting steeped in folklore and the old myths of Scandinavia. Here is the full schedule of Free League Gen Con activities as of now. More might be added later:

  • July 28: Official release day of Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying, the next major game line from Free League Publishing.
  • July 29: Release announcement about Destroyer of Worlds, the upcoming new Cinematic scenario for the official ALIEN RPG.
  • July 30: Official release day of Crypt of the Mellified Mage module for the Forbidden Lands RPG, winner of four ENnie Awards 2019.
  • July 30, 9 pm EDT: Actual Play of The Shadow King’s Lost Heir for the MÖRK BORG RPG on the official Free League YouTube channel.
  • July 31: Kickstarter announcement and content reveal for the upcoming new edition of the classic Twilight: 2000 RPG.
  • July 31, 9 pm EDT: Actual Play of The Dance of Dreams for the new Vaesen RPG on the official Free League YouTube channel.
  • Aug 1: 3 pm EDT: Actual Play of Hope’s Last Rest for the ALIEN RPG on the official Free League YouTube channel.

Deadline for Tabletop Entries in Serious Game Award Program Extended to July 15

Due to the interruption in work-life caused by COVID-19, the deadline for tabletop game entries in the 2020 International Serious Play Awards program has been extended to July 15, 2020.

The Tabletop category recognizes outstanding card and board games designed for education, corporate training, government/military, healthcare/medical staff or patient games as well as exemplary table top games for museums and other non-profits. An “other” category is offered for novel entries.

Judges provide comment. Award winners will be given a free registration to the next Serious Play Conference at the University of Florida campus in Orlando, FL. and invited to display their game on Game Night.

To submit a game, use the following link.

Gen Con Online Registration has Begun

While the details are still up in the air, registration for Gen Con Online has begun. While Gen Con has been canceled, Gen Con Online will take place July 30 through August 2.

The virtual convention is something new and will feature four days of streaming shows, remote gaming, community interaction, exhibitors, and more. All from the comfort of your own couch.

The best part… the convention registration is free!

Gen Con Online

GAMA and Origins Sees a Revolt Over Black Lives Matter Silence

GAMA

GAMA, the Game Manufacturers Association is a non-profit trade organization focused on the hobby games industry. It’s open to more than manufacturers including media/communication, retailers, hobbyists, publishers, and distributors. And, in full disclosure, we’re a member. The organization is also behind Origins Game Fair and has been focused on a pivot to an online event this year.

Today, numerous individuals have stepped down from GAMA, Origins, and Origins TV over the lack of support from the organization for Black Lives Matter and speaking against the systemic issues plaguing society today. It shouldn’t have taken this action for the organization to even consider doing so.

Beyond one the one Tweet below, the organization has been silent over the issue. And even then, the Tweet is more focused on “bringing people together during times of crisis.”

The organization did offer space to be “Seen and heard” on their platform but this is something the organization should be doing in general and it doesn’t address issues minority members are facing, both within and out of the industry, and isn’t addressing how the industry can work to diversify itself bringing in a wide range of voices, creativity, and points of view.

The organization as a whole has been seeing a bit of an upheaval in recent weeks as the latest board election looms. A push for greater diversity on the board is being pushed by members who have been trying to raise awareness of the positions and find nominees to help fill spots.

We’ll see how the organization responds but this is a pivotal moment for the future of the organization and Origins as a whole.

NOVA Open 2020 is Officially Cancelled

NOVA Open

NOVA Open has announced that the 2020 convention is canceled due to COVID-19. The convention had been hoping this wouldn’t be the case. The decision was made to protect the attendees, staff, volunteers, and the community at large.

The convention will see repercussions and has said that full refunds for all would “end the NOVA Open permanently.” They are giving attendees options as to how to handle this.

Store items and SuperNOVA and DwarfNOVA have been canceled. You can contribute existing purchases to the NOVA Open, get a full refund, a partial refund, transfer credit to use for 2021, or donate to the NOVA Open Charitable Foundation to benefit Doctors Without Borders. The convention is also asking for donations to continue into 2021. The deadline to choose an option is July 10, 2020. If no decision is made, funds will be contributed to support the NOVA Open.

The below video explains what the expenses for the show are.

Gen Con Online’s Bad Registration Opens June 1

In the wake of Gen Con‘s cancelation arises Gen Con Online! Gen Con Online is a new virtual convention experience featuring four days of remote gaming, streaming shows, your favorite exhibitors, and more — all from the safety of your devices and the comfort of your favorite quarantine sweatpants!

While specifics are still up in the air, bad registration begins June 1 with other key dates announced:

Key Dates (Times in EDT)
Badge Registration: June 1 at noon — Registration is free, but required for participation in scheduled events.
Event Submission: June 8 at noon
Event Registration: July 13 at noon
Convention Dates: July 30 – August 2

Stay tuned for more information! There are many more details to come!

Gen Con Online

Gen Con 2020 is Officially Cancelled but Gen Con Online is a Go!

Gen Con

The signs were pointing to it being a reality but it has been announced that Gen Con 2020 has been officially been canceled. The safety of the convention has been a focus and it’s been impossible for conventions to do that with COVID-19 and the uncertainty of what the pandemic will be like months ahead. Gen Con 2021 will take place August 5-8, 2021.

The decision has also been made to cancel at Gen Con 202 Pop-Up events as well.

But, with the cancellation of the physical event, Gen Con Online has been announced!

During the original dates of the convention (July 30 – Aug 2, 2020), will be Gen Con Online, a virtual convention experience featuring a slate of events and programming you can attend remotely from the safety of your devices and in the comfort of your favorite quarantine sweatpants!

Gen Con Online

You can read their cancellation announcement and options for attendees through email below:

It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the cancellation of Gen Con 2020 this summer in Indianapolis. The safety and health of our attendees, exhibitors, and staff are of the utmost importance to us, and we cannot in good conscience host a gathering of thousands while doing so could threaten the health of so many. If you’d like to know more about our decision to cancel, please head over to the Gen Con website.

If you’ve already purchased your badge for Gen Con 2020 and are willing to roll it forward to Gen Con 2021, it will help us keep our staff employed through these unprecedented times and come back better than ever next year. If you’d like to pursue this option, you don’t have to do anything — we’ll convert your 2020 badge to a badge for 2021. However, if that’s not in your financial picture, we completely understand.

Here are the options for your Gen Con 2020 badge:

1. If you are willing to roll your badge forward to 2021, then you’re all set — we’ll do this automatically, with great appreciation.

2. If you’d like a refund to the original method of purchase, please email us at customerservice@gencon.combetween May 26 and July 29.Let us know you’d like a refund, and include your name and Gen Con ID number (find it next to your name in the corner while logged in). We’ll process a refund minus a $10 per badge return fee.

3. If you’d like to return your badge for system credit, email us at customerservice@gencon.com between May 26 and July 29 and we will credit your Gen Con account. Please include your name and Gen Con ID number. Returns to system credit incur no return fees, and system credit does not expire.

4. You can donate the cost of your badge to help us weather the storm and come back strong for Gen Con 2021. Email customerservice@gencon.com between May 26 and July 29 and include your name and Gen Con ID number if you’d like to pursue this option.

Note: Refund requests will not be accepted until May 26, and must be received by email to customerservice@gencon.com by July 29. Please include your choice of action for your badge, your name, and your Gen Con ID number (find it to the right of your name in the corner when you’re logged in at gencon.com).

After July 29, all 2020 badges will be rolled over to 2021. If you miss that window or decide later you’d like a refund, you can request one beginning February 1, 2021.

If you’ve made a hotel reservation through our Housing Portal, your reservation will automatically be canceled, and you will not be charged any fees. The hotel queue will be reassigned for 2021.

All Pop-Up Gen Con events will also be canceled for 2020.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support during this time. We hope that you and your circle of loved ones are safe and healthy! We look forward to seeing your wonderful faces in 2021!

Gen Con is the largest and longest-running annual event devoted to tabletop gaming culture in North America. The convention, which began in 1968 in Lake Geneva, WI, attracts 70,000 attendees and over 520 exhibiting companies each year. During the convention, attendees choose from more than 20,000 ticketed events representing a wide array of board games, card games, roleplaying games, seminars, entertainment events, and more. Gen Con takes place each August in the Indiana Convention Center, Lucas Oil Stadium, and surrounding downtown hotel spaces in Indianapolis, IN.

PaizoCon Online Player Registration is Open Now!

Join Paizo for six days of gaming during PaizoCon Online, May 26-31. Stay safe at home as you play awesome Pathfinder and Starfinder games with friends around the world!

Player signups are now open and run through 10 p.m. Pacific May 24. You can register now!

PaizoCon Online will include seminars and live-plays on Twitch, games scheduled via Warhorn and run on a variety of VTT platforms such as Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, Astral, and D20Pro, an official PaizoCon Online Discord server as a general hangout for con-goers, plus blogs on paizo.com, and more!

PaizoCon Online

Portal Games announces PortalCon Online

Portal Games

Portal Games has announced PortalCon Online, a live-streaming, English language event for all fans of Portal Games. PortalCon Online will stream live on the Portal Games YouTube channel July 10th thru 11th. Each stream will feature contests, gameplay sessions with designers, seminars, special guests, and more.

With fans asking for an English edition of PortalCon for years and the impact of COVID-19 on conventions, Portal Games felt this would be a great time to host this online convention.

Earlier this month, Portal Games hosted an online PortalCon for Polish fans that lasted over 20 hours. The Polish show featured contests for fans to win Portal Games products, special guests including designers and artists from many fan-favorite titles, and charity auctions to benefit those impacted by COVID-19. PortalCon Online will feature the best features of the Polish show with many updates and improvements based on the feedback received.

More information can be found later this month and on the Portal Games YouTube channel leading up to the event.

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