The last few weekends were busy for Nerd Chapel! We had three cons in a row and three very different experiences.
First was KoganCon. This is a small 1 day anime con in Grand Haven, MI. This was the second year for it and Nerd Chapel was happy to be the tabletop room sponsor. That means we brought lots and lots of games to play. Along with that Nathan Marchand and I did a panel on Geek Theology. We looked at several anime and how we see connections with scripture in them.
The highlight of this con was in having a team. Not only did Nathan Marchand come to aid me both with the panel and the book table, but a wonderful couple that has come to a couple game nights, and is very knowledgeable in games, helped with the game room. While Nate and I were doing the panel they were each teaching a separate game in the game room.
Get Geek’d Expo
Get Geek’d was another second year show for me. This year all guests were TMNT related, including suit actors from the 1990 movie and the voice actress for April O’Neal from the 80s cartoon. I had a table and hosted a devotional breakfast on Sunday morning. Only one person joined me for the breakfast but it was fun even with just two of us.
I was disappointed that i had no sales this year, but the highlight was in making connections. I got to know both vendors and cosplayers I had not yet met or did not know well, randomly assisted with a cosplay photo shoot Saturday evening, and had a good discussion with a vendor who used to plan chapel services at cons.
Gen Con is a consistent force in my life. This is a four day event and it has a lot going on at it. I go every year for networking, helping Nathan with his book table, exploring new games, and sometimes I get to serve with the Christian Gamers Guild (CGG). This is by far the biggest show I do each year. Reports for this year have it around or above 70,000 unique attendees, meaning people who came multiple days are counted once in that report. I get to interact with both Love Thy Nerd and Innroads Ministries (or more specifically the Tavern, which is a FB group run by Innroads). You can find links to all these organizations on the allies page.
This year I waited in line at two booths so I could get UnMatched. A new game from the same designers and thought processes as Star Wars Epic Duels and Heroscape. It is so much fun and I look forward to more sets coming.
I also got to play a few other games for the first time: Conspiracy: The Solomon Gambit, Rebels of Ravenport, and Point Salad. I also did a quick demo of Shikkoku from The Grand Gamers Guild and I even got pulled in halfway through a game of Dice Throne Adventures, which is still in development.
This year I had the pleasure of building and moderating the Christianity and Gaming Panel, an event for the CGG. Board game designer Ken Franklin, April-Lyn Caouette of Love Thy Nerd and Pastor David Celeskey came together to answer questions from a group of nearly 50 people about interaction with games and gamers as Christians. This panel always feels like you could go on for another hour after we stop it because there is so much to discuss.
The Church service by the CGG is always the best part of the con for me. We had over 200 participants this year and it was wonderful. Tom Vasel from the DiceTower gave the message and Bubba Stallcup from Love Thy Nerd put pulled together the worship team.