Game on: GenCon info, chapbooks, and dice. Lots and lots of dice.

I leave for GenCon in about 3d12 hours. While I'm not thrilled about getting up at 4am on Thursday, knowing that the reward for dragging myself out of bed at areyoufuckingserious o'clock is three days of gaming and geeking makes it all worthwhile.

I'm blessing dice, taking pictures, and signing books, pictures, bodies and other interesting things for about 3 6 hours each day. I'm trying to set it up so I have a 2 3 hour session in the morning and a 1 3 hour session in the afternoon, but I won't know precise times until I'm on site, and I get a sense of how many people want to get stuff signed and whatever. I'll announce times on Twitter once I'm at the con.

I don't have any books, because I ran out and wasn't able to order new ones in time for GenCon. However, I'm bringing a limited-edition Chapbook in the style of Wil Wheaton's Limited Edition Chapbooks. This one is entirely gaming-related stories, and I'm really, really happy with how it has turned out. Here's the introduction:

Of all the things that make me a geek, nothing brings me more joy, or is more important to me, than gaming. I am the person I am today because of the games I played and the people I played them with as I came of age in the 80s.
This is a small collection of stories about gaming in its various forms, from cards to dice to computers to our beloved tabletop RPGs. Most of these stories were originally published in 2009, when my son Ryan was away at college, and my son Nolan was 17.

Keep playing games. Games are important. Games matter. When you play a game – any game – you’re using your imagination to bring a world to life, and that’s truly special, because while all destruction is essentially the same, when you create something, it’s different every single time. When you create something together, you’re building bonds with your fellow gamers that could last for your entire lives. The Venn Diagram of my best friends, my gaming group, and people from high school I still hang out with is one perfect circle. I suspect that for many gamers of my generation, that’s equally true … and I know that my kids will be saying the same thing in 20 years about people they’ve never met face to face, but interact with almost every day in an online game that will make Call of Duty look then like Pong looks today.

Roll 20s,
Wil Wheaton
August 3, 2010

I'm bringing 200 chapbooks. When I did this at PAX Prime last year, I sold out in about 5 hours, so plan accordingly if you really want one.

Oh, this is really important: I got the Swine Flu at PAX Prime, and it was the worst two weeks of my life. When we went to PAX East, all of us (Jerry, Mike, Kurtz, Straub, Paul and Storm, The Professor and Mary Ann) all agreed that we wouldn't shake hands, give hugs, or engage in human contact with people, to limit the introduction of infection vectors. Most people understood, and we gave each other the old Iron Guard Salute (not the fascist thing, the gaming thing that looks like like "love" in ASL). The result: a few people were cheesed off, but none of us were too upset about that, because none of us got sick. It was the first con I've gone to in my whole life where I didn't get some form of Con Crud, and I'd like to repeat that until we turn out the lights on Planet Earth. So, tl;dr: I'm not going to touch people at the con. I know it seems weird, but I hope you understand why. I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm trying not to get sick. (Edited to add: in comments, a non-zero number of readers seem to have a real problem with this, and people on the rest of the Internets are already giving me a hard time about it in very unkind terms. This makes me really sad; I hoped for a little more empathy and understanding. Not that it should matter, but I have Epstein-Barr, so my immune system isn't as robust as a normal person's; it is very easy for me to catch viruses and other nasty things. I'm not going to apologize for not wanting to get sick, especially after two weeks of Swine Flu. If you can't understand that, it's your problem, not mine.)

My panel is called I'm Wil Wheaton, and I'm a Gamer. It is on Friday morning, at 11. If you have one of my T-shirts from Jinx or shirt.woot, and you wear it to the panel, you can be in a group picture either just before or just after the panel.

The rest of the con, I plan to find and play as many games as I can, because holy shit I'm finally coming to GenCon!

Games I want to play while I'm there:

  • Savage Worlds
  • Dragon Age RPG
  • Magic: The Gathering
  • Zombie Dice
  • Cthulhu Dice
  • Button Men
  • Munchkin
  • A Penny For My Thoughts

I have one request, which I hope isn't unreasonable: I'd like to test the theory that you can't have too many dice. If I see you at GenCon, would you give me one gaming die? I'll bring home as many as I get, dump them all on my office floor, and take a picture. I think it could be pretty cool … or very, very sad. Either way, it will be something, you can be sure of that.

113 thoughts on “Game on: GenCon info, chapbooks, and dice. Lots and lots of dice.”

  1. Fangirls would be giving each other the creeping crud via Wil Wheatonnequin! Maybe a good wipedown with Clorox disinfecting wipes in between molestings would help.

  2. I can understand people being disappointed, but do the math. If someone gets Wil sick on Friday, then he has two days of infecting people which grows to a critical mass very quickly. A normally logical person, who knowing they don’t feel well, will avoid getting people sick to the best of their abilities. Introduce a celeb-crush and logical goes out the window.
    Result, everyone who wants to meet Wil becomes a carrier to infect the rest of the Con.
    I appreciate you taking the heat for this one Wil. We all benefit from it.

  3. As another immuno-suppressed person, I totally get the no-contact rule. I would also recommend, as others have, to find some way to sanitize the the dice before you handle them.
    On a slight tangent, I went to LeakyCon (Harry Potter con) last year where there was a massive swine flu outbreak. Somehow, I didn’t get it. The only pattern we noticed was that the people who got very little sleep, got sick. So, get enough sleep!
    *Nerdfighter salute*

  4. Wil,
    I hope you had fun at GenCon. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there. However, as it happens, I was in Vegas last weekend and was able to squeeze in 1 day at the Star Trek Convention. Jonathan Frakes spoke and I just wanted you to know, if no one already told you, virtually the first words out of his mouth (after the “glad to be here” sentence) was props to you. He also mentioned that you and he were going to do a project together, but didn’t mention what. Have you provided, or can you provide, details? I’d have to imagine that such a project would be great.
    Jeff

  5. Finally got the pics of you selecting your Dragon Chow dice bag! Check them out at http://bit.ly/cAkmmq Glad you had fun at #GenCon. Lyndsay is so excited that you got one of her dice bags (too bad the Batman on wasn’t there). We are now starting a Mission of bringing Wootstock to the East Coast. Maybe our nation’s capitol? See you there!

  6. Seriously? A non-zero number of people want to touch you? Creepy :/ But honestly, anyone can shake hands at a conference or a convention, but only gamers can stay safe, cool, and respectful with the iron guard salute. :) This worked totally awesome at PAXEast and I never felt snubbed.

  7. Wil, I think it is awful that people were all kinds of shitty to you ahead of time about your no-touching policy for the con. I certainly hope people at Gen Con were much cooler and more understanding about it. Hell, no one wants Con Crud! I understand the weak immune system. My husband has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia. He catches illnesses so easily. He didn’t come with me to the con this year, but is coming next year and I feel like he should go in a plastic bubble LOL

  8. I am also disappointed that there are people who would be upset about you NOT WANTING TO GET SICK. As someone with a similarly compromised immune system, I understand completely and want to give you the two-thumbs-up-from-a-distance support. I’m looking forward to getting through the next PAX prime illness free!

  9. :( I would never want someone to ‘suck it up’ and get violently ill for two weeks for me. That just seems unreasonable.
    The first time I had the pleasure of meeting Wil (pre H1N1 epidemic at PAX 09), he stood up to be on eye level with me, focused on me for the time I was speaking with him, and he spoke genuinely and sincerely to me, even though I’m sure I was a wibbling, drooling fangirl. These are all far more valuable and fulfilling ways to make a connection with another person. These are what I remember and appreciate – not whether he shook my hand or not.
    I think ‘fans’ should suck up their expectations for the sake of a human being’s health. And this isn’t just about Wil. The PAX 09 H1N1 outbreak was hideous for so many people. I don’t blame anyone for wanting to avoid repeating that. Find other ways to connect with people whose work you admire. If you’re a fan of the person, be a fan of their health.

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