Advance Scout

Guided by his dimensional compass, the Scout roams the infinite universes, ever treading from world to world and plane to plane, seeking the latest tidings of new RPG-related releases...

This week Advance Scout brings you an early look at this summer's upcoming Gen Con Game Fair, America's largest gaming convention. The convention itself is still a couple of months away, but Gen Con pre-registration materials are already available, and, although some game companies have decided not to attend for various reasons, this year's event looks like it will be a lot of fun for folks who love games.

The dates for Gen Con are August 6 through 9, 1998, and the location is the Midwest Express Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There will be seminars, art exhibits, a costume contest, a game auction, and over 3000 events involving role playing games (including live action RPGs), collectible card games, miniatures games, board games, computer games, anime, you name it. This year's Guests of Honor include Robert Picardo (the Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager), John De Lancie (Eugene Bradford from Days of Our Lives, oh, and he also plays Q on Star Trek), Jeri Ryan (7 of 9 from Star Trek: Voyager), Alexandra Tydings (Aphrodite from Hercules and Xena), Douglas Niles (author of numerous Dragonlance works), and several members of the original Lost in Space television show, including (fortunately) June Lockhart but (unfortunately) not Bill Mumy. Also appearing at Gen Con this year are Raymond E. Feist, R.A. Salvatore, Gary Gygax, Tracy Hickman, and a plethora of other sci-fi, fantasy, and gaming notables.

But, of course, the celebrities aren't the only attraction to Gen Con: there are also the games! The pre-registration book lists the scheduled games that will be run, and the list extends for 85 pages. Sure, there are some ads that take up space in there, but the print is small, anyway, you get my drift -- it's a lot of games. You can play your favorite RPGs, just for fun or in tournaments for prizes, with other gamers from around the world, or see previews of games that will be hitting the shelves in the months to come. In many cases you can even talk to the designers of your favorite games and let them know what you like and what you don't. Plus, this year's Gen Con will feature 24-hour gaming, go if you decide to forego sleep you can game all night long.

If you pre-register before July 16, you can get a four-day pass to attend Gen Con for $50, or single-day passes for $18. Admission will likely be more expensive at the door. This will be the first year that I'll have a reasonable opportunity to attend Gen Con, having moved to Wisconsin a few months back, so I was pretty excited to see the pre-registration book appear last week. (The Jeri Ryan picture inside ain't bad either.) There's more information available at http://www.andonunlimited.com/CONS/GEN98/, and you can also get a pre-registration book mailed to you by requesting it through the website if you're interested in the details of exactly what's going on, and when.

Well, I'll try to get back to the specific game information next week, but of course I said that last week, so you may not be able to trust what I say. At least let me take this opportunity to say once again that if there's a specific game you're interested in, let me know what it is and I'll do my best to find out about it for you. You can e-mail me through the link below or stop by the "games_rpg" chat room on Friday nights between 8pm and 10pm Eastern if you want to talk to me live and in person. Until next time, then, let the good times "role"... :)


Wish you could tell the Scout what you think of this area? Ala-kazam, just e-mail me. As always, your comments, suggestions, or complaints are welcome. You can also send the Scout mail if you want to see a particular game covered here, or even if you just want to say hi.


a.k.a. Scott T. Watkins

RPG Scout