Rekindling my love for games through Gen Con

Let’s face it, Covid almost destroyed gaming. And ever since it started, I personally slowly stopped playing myself. I let Hoosier Tabletop go and was about to close its virtual doors. But then, Gen Con 2022 came to Indy and the emails started flooding in from venders wanting help with game demos. I couldn’t resist giving it one more try, and I am so glad I did.

This is was not my first Gen Con. My first was in 2017 working as a “Demo Monkey” for Cheapass Games. Each year I came back excited to teach whatever game the company I was with put in front of me. Cheapass Games, Alderac Entertainment Group, Funko Games, and now, Hachette Boardgames.

What was so special about this years Gen Con to make me love gaming again? A little game called Turing Machine. Quite possibly the most sought after game this year. From the moment I walked into the main floor, till the moment I walked out 8 hours later, I was doing a non stop explanation of how to play this game for up to 2 tables at a time. Every 15 to 20 minutes, a table of 4 would finish their game and another group of 4 would sit down. There was a total of 3 tables demoing this game at once. That literally means we have 48 people an hour at the booth just to play and learn this game. That equals 384 people a day and 1,536 people during the 4 days. That’s just who played, it does not include the crowed that watched and asked questions.

To give you another idea of how popular this game was, it sold out of 160 copies in 1 hour the first day, sold out of another 160 copies in 45 minutes the second day, and completely sold out of every last copy (160+) in 23 minutes the third. The line the last day wrapped around the booth, down the isle the length of 2 other booths, then sharp righted down another isle for another 4 booths! Just mind boggling insane to me.

The booth won Gen Cons award for best of Con and I’m so proud to have been a part of that. In the end, I was vey exhausted, sore, voiceless, and had a headache unlike any before, but, it’s also true I had fun, made new friends, and ultimately was reminded just how fun it is to teach games.

My goal is to tweak this site, open a library for local gamers, and continue to help people find new games to enjoy without having to buy something not knowing if it truly meets their expectations.

Thank you Gen Con for reminding me just how much I love the games and gaming community!

Paul Santellana.

PS: here is what I came home with, just because I was excited to teach others.

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