This is the weekend of the Internationale Spieltage, or Essen as we like to call it because that is the city in Germany where it is held and it’s much easier to say and write. It’s considered by most to be the ultimate pilgrimage for our hobby. Thousands of people travel from all over the world to attend this huge event. I will once again not be one of them; however, I will take advantage of the excellent video coverage provided by BoardGameGeek. I watched the live feed early this morning before going to work. It’s great!
I think it’s pretty safe say that I will never attend the Internationale Spieltage. Even if I had the Quatloos to take my family to Europe, I doubt Essen would be on our itinerary. Even when my kids are all grown up, and I no longer have to buy them new clothes every damn week, I seriously doubt I’m going to drag my fat retired ass to a German game festival so I can fight against massive crowds of smelly young board game enthusiasts.
While I’m on the subject, I will also probably never attend Comic-Con, or Gen Con, and it’s extremely unlikely I will ever be invited to or attend the Gathering of Friends. I’m sure those events will survive without me.
There are some events I would like to attend. I thoroughly enjoy KublaCon and look forward to going again next year. Instead of Comic-Con, I would rather check out WonderCon in San Francisco, which apparently is a comic book convention that still has something to do with comic books. Instead of Gen Con, I’d rather attend something like PAX in Seattle. I may never make it to the Gathering of Friends, but there are a few invitational events in California that I do attend and really enjoy.
If I have an event that I see as a personal pilgrimage, it’s BoardGameGeek.CON. This sounds more like my style, and I hope that I can make it in the next few years before it becomes too big, but it’s a tough sell to spend the money to send dad out to Texas by himself to play boardgames.