I attended my first gaming convention ever this past weekend. I've known about it since moving to Tucson but was hesitant to go. I was worried that I'd be twice as old as the other games and feel out of place. There used to be one in Tulsa but I never attended. I did game at a few conventions back in the late 1980's (mostly Star Fleet Battles) and gamed at one convention in 2000. I did a lot of gaming in the mid to late 80's (again mostly Star Fleet Battles). I have attended literary science fiction conventions off and on since 1978, so there's a lot of overlap. I haven't done much gaming since the early 90's, but I still have most of my games (I did get rid of Star Fleet Battles though).
Anyway, there were plenty of gamers my age and all age groups seem to be represented, about a quarter of the gamers were women and there were some people of color. Most of the attendees were local and there was a fair contingent from the Phoenix area, but people came from El Paso and Los Angeles. If I were to guess there were probably about 200 people in attendance.
A lot has changed in the gaming world. I pretty much stopped before Magic The Gathering took off. I never really got into role playing though I did try D&D very early on in high school when it was brand new. I got introduced to Star Fleet Battles in college plus some other games, Car Wars, OGRE/GEV, Illuminati, Kingmaker, Titan, Talisman, Cosmic Encounter, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Globbo, Call of Cthulhu (The only roll playing game that appealed to me. I got tired of 80th level dark half-elves in D&D. CoC was self-limiting, the more powerful a character became the more insane he became. I only played it a few times). Battletech had become pretty popular back then too but I never got into it. I was spoiled by SFB which was a better gaming system, but I had a fair number of gaming friends who got into BT.
I didn't want to be that gamer who hated all new games because he thought the old games were better. There were plenty of older Napoleonic minitiatures/Avalon Hill Games folks who didn't like the new games I was playing at the time. So I tried a bunch of new games this weekend. I didn't pre-register, so I had to sign up with what was available. I'm glad I did. None were combat games. That's mostly what I played back in the day were combat tactical games, very few builder or cooperative games.
Most of the games I played were in beta, getting ready to go to Kickstarter, Castle Mania, CO-OP, Excavate! and Capital City. I also played Gangster Dice, and Viticulture. GD had been a Kickstarter. All except Viticulture played in less than an hour and were card based games. Viticulture was what is known as a euro game. It was a new term I learned. It could also be called a German game. These are resource based games that are more with building things and economics than with combat. I like to call them German games because they had lots of rules and were no fun. Viticulture was interesting, you ran a vinyard in 19th century Italy. It was the most complex game but not as complex as SFB.
Some of the old games I would like to play again. I could use the old versions I have or get new versions. Some of them are still in print from different game publishers. They are Tales of the Arabian Nights, Talismen, and Cosmic Encounter. What I'm trying to find out is are the new versions worth buying? How do they compare to the new versions/editions? And now that I'm likely to get plugged back into gaming culture, I'll be able to find other people to play with.