Whos Yer Con- 2012

It’s now Monday and I am back home, with the post-con blues.  Have you ever experienced that?  You go to a great gaming convention, surrounded by awesome, like minded, people for days and then when you get home you feel a little sad because now it’s time to go back to reality?  Yeah, that’s what I got going on today.

Who’s Yer Con is a great annual con that is put on by a group known as  “Who’s Yer Gamers”.  WYG’s mission statement is:

“Who’s Yer Gamers is dedicated to educating the general public on the variety, availability, and benefits of hobby gaming. We plan to achieve this goal by providing free and reduced cost opportunities to participate in publicly open events and to foster a positive relationship between the hobby gaming community and the public through charitable service.”

… and one of the most prominent ways they do that each year is with this con.  However, staying true to their non-profit status, this con is completely free.  Yeah, go back and reread that line, because you might have a hard time believing it.  Especially after you hear about the awesomeness.  The badge to attend the con is free and the events are free.  And just to put a little bit of whipped cream on the top of that, there is even really good swag and raffling of prizes (which everyone gets to take part in for free).    I heard lots of people talking among themselves, pondering how this was all possible (especially given that you can spend hundreds to do similar things at other cons), but I won’t spoil that magic for you.  Just accept that the people who put on this con are amazingly awesome and have the business smarts to somehow turn “free” into “paying for itself”.  Of course, donations are happily accepted in the form of memberships, but then, you also get a pretty cool T-shirt too.  We ran out of T-shirts by Friday evening and the con just started Friday at noon!

Me, playing a game of Mall of Horrors at Lady Flames Game Du Juor table.

Me, playing a game of Mall of Horrors at LadyFlame's Game Du Jour table.

So what did I do this weekend?  Well, a lot of gaming for one.  I got to play “Cards Against Humanity”, “Telestrations”, “Mall of Horror”, “Zombie Fluxx”, “Dominion”, and the list goes on and on.  Although, in retrospect, I don’t think I won a single game all weekend.  Oh well.  I had preregistered only for Dominion, the rest were all pick up games, which was awesome!

A lot of my pick up games were played over at “LadyFlame’s Game Du Jour” table.  This was one of the spotlight features of the con, and was a place to go and learn new games that took an hour or less to play.  Better yet, the winners of those games got a custom die from Ms. LadyFlame.  I didn’t win, but I did manage to sweet talk one out of her later on, they are a pretty translucent yellow and orange D20.  Ya know, like a flame.

In addition to the dice that you could earn from Ms. LadyFlame, each attendee was given a swag bag.  This year contained a copy of the game “Rebs and Yanks”, a comic book, and a custom die along with a few flyers.  While the game and the die were the same from bag to bag, the comic book varied.  Apparently the comic books were a random sampling donated by Comic Carnival, and so there was a little bit of everything represented.  But as great as the swag bags were, what everyone wanted to win the raffle.  I can’t say I blame them one bit given that the raffle had over $6000 in merchandise represented, which included a couple of four day passes to Gen Con, and many complete games such as Thunderstone and Nightfall.

For more information about Barfleet visit http://barfleet.org/

For more information about Barfleet visit http://barfleet.org/

While the days and evenings were filled with gaming, the nights were filled with more adult entertainment, including a “Barfleet” party.  This is a national group of Star Trek enthusiasts who host Star Trek themed parties at conventions.  Each area has a “ship”, which contains a “captain” and crew.  Members have different rank, and different departments.  Parties that are at conventions are usually open to the public to come and check out, free of charge, just remember to bring your ID.  These parties are a great way to let your hair down after a long day of slaying dragons, and the crew of the UBS Indycent, under the leadership of Captain Lucy, did an excellent job of putting this shindig on.

Sunday held more gaming, but it also held a feedback session.  This is something that has been a mainstay at WYC for years, but is something I have not seen at any other con.  The public are invited to come in and have a session with the staff of the con and let them know what they loved and what needs to be changed.  While a lot of deserved praise was given to the staff, some constructive criticism was given, and it was taken with a lot of class and is being discussed in private staff meetings.  This is another thing I love about WYC and it’s staff: a willingness to adapt to changing needs, rather than plugging their ears.

All and all it was a spectacular weekend filled with friends, parties, and of course gaming.  Now only 361 more days to wait till next years Who’s Yer Con.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Monday, March 5th, 2012 at 3:05 pm and is filed under Conventions, Events and Tournaments . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Comments

  1. mom says:

    Very nice article… well written. Makes me want to attend 🙂 Miss you. Hope all is well… Love ya.

  2. 19Echoes says:

    Good article, except that you didn’t say a few things about it..
    1: NO PUBLICICITY!
    I live in Indy and this year saw NO advertising for this convention. In fact, I just remembered it was sometime in March and on a whim googled it to find out that “it’s already happened”. Would’ve loved to have attended but when the con organizers have no interest in letting people know…what can you expect?
    2: Crappy Website: I’ve discussed this with the con web site developer and have even volunteered my efforts to build it into a more professional tool. Nope…ain’t gonna happen. They have trouble putting the BASIC who what when and WHERE (Address) on the HOME PAGE!
    When brought up they said “Check the forum”…WHY THE HELL do I have to check a forum just to find out WHEN AND WHERE the con is???

    It’s an example of how NOT to do a website…

  3. 19Echoes,

    I agree about the publicity. It’s been lacking, but at the same time, the con has been nearly doubling in attendance each year. They are actually to a position where they are having a tough time finding appropriate venues. So with that in mind, perhaps the “word of mouth” marketing is all they feel they need/want to do. However, from an outside perspective, I admit it simply looks like an oversight.

    I know the previous designer of their site, so I am going to be slower to speak quite as ill. However, I think everyone can agree that the website was lacking some basic functionality, and that has been a struggle from day one. However, I can announce that the previous web designer has stepped aside, and they are looking for someone to take that role. This is an all volunteer organization, no one makes a nickle off of it, so getting a volunteer that can put in the necessary amount of time to make and maintain a proper website is no small task. However, if you (or anyone else) is interested in taking part in the process, I know the first meeting of Who’s Yer Gamers (the parent company that puts on Who’s Yer Con), they are having the first meeting of the year April 7, 2012 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Clarion (the same place the con was held).

    Thank you for your feedback. I’ll make sure to point your comment towards the leadership of that group.

  4. Ducky says:

    http://www.whosyergamers.org/wygms/

    This is the current website and this information has been out there for months. I’m sorry if there was any confusion in the who, what, when, where, and why’s. I’m sure WYGs would greatly appreciate any help you and anyone is willing to provide. This year it was a new group of volunteers who organized WYC and I’m sure there were a lot of learning curves and lessons learned.

    Thank you for talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly. I know WYGs is working on making WYC the best con for everyone.

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