So, despite this topic not being terribly new or surprising to anyone who’s ever attended a Con before, i still want to take a moment to discuss the cost of Cons. I am honestly really new to the Con scene, and the idea of flying somewhere for a Con just blows my mind, because Con is expensive. And of course, the cost is not always just monetary.
First, you have to get to Con. Maybe you drive, maybe you use public transit, maybe you even fly. It could cost 10$ in gas, or 600$ in plane tickets. Once you’re there, you need a badge, which can range from 30$ for a day or evening to hundreds for a weekend pass, to thousands for patrons. And then of course, if you are more than just a day-tripper, you’ll need a place to stay, either at the same hotel as the Con or another. So there’s a couple hundred at least. And you need to eat for the length of time you’re at Con. With proper planning, you can bring food, which can be very manageable and not much more expensive than normal, or you can eat out for several meals a day for two or three days. And then we can talk about the optional stuff like buying into a DIY event, or purchasing something from the dealers room or art show.
With all that in mind, I personally also need to consider the cost of games. Katmeers cost me 50$ to prod, and the Neptune’s ball, over 100$. We go through a lot of paper, and a lot of time and energy go into preparing the games, even after the months and months of writing, the play testing, and the editing/fixing/rewriting. All told, I easily dropped 600$ on this Con, and I was lucky enough to have my badge comped since I was running events.
When all that is said and done, there’s the lack of sleep, the over-caffeination, and poor eating habits (grab what’s quick and calorie dense, not what’s good for you). These will slow me down for the next week or so as my body recovers. But in counter balance to that is the shot of mental energy that Con gives me. It is energy, and inspiration and encouragement to keep doing what I do. I am reminded that nerdom and gaming extend far beyond my own little network of friends. And better still, as is the focus of this year’s theme, “Legion of Fandom”, many communities are ready to welcome newcomers with open arms. Maybe I’ll actually sit down and make progress on the latest LARP I’m supposed to be writing so I’ll have it for the next Con. How does a “Love Letters”/”Stardust” inspired game sound to everyone?