As with many things in life, gaming and conventions have their own lingo. Today, I would like to go through and define some convention lingo. Knowing a little more beforehand may make a first time attendee’s experience a bit more immersive. It may also give past con goers some clarification.….
Demo – This is an opportunity for a gamer to see a few rounds of game play, what the components look like, and flip through the rule book. Complete playthrough does not happen.
Event – This is where gamers can actually get a whole playthrough of the game. No prior knowledge of how it plays is required.
Special Event – The gamer is given the opportunity to play a game in totality, but may have access to some special promo or unique game related items. Also, the designer or publisher may be involved in the experience.
Tournament – In this format, prior knowledge and experience of the game is needed. There are usually several rounds of gameplay. There are usually prizes awarded to the winner. Tournaments are often sponsored by the game publisher.
Panel – This is not where the self destruct switch is hidden (well not the official one). This kind of panel is a fantastic, interesting, informative, and fun experience. This is where industry leaders, designers, and other individuals with specialized knowledge, sit down and answer questions. They share experiences, stories, and offer advice. It’s an amazing time for everyone involved. Here’s an example from Prototype Con 2016:
Prototype – This is an idea turning into a game. It is not a finished design, but it is like the little engine that could– chugging along to become a published product.
Playtester – This is a gamer who has the patience, interest, and foresight to play a game in an unfinished state. They help provide feedback to make the game better and possibly help the designer to get the game to market.
Flea market – So, this is very similar to your garden variety, side of the road flea market, but with GAMES! Attendees can go to a designated area, where other attendees have purchased table space and are selling off a variety of games at low low bargain basement prices. The market is usually set up for a brief period of time in a specific area of the convention.
Math-trade – A simple yet mathy way to trade games. Why so simple? Because the trade is facilitated by a computer program. Everyone enters into the trade what they want to get rid of and what games they are interested in. Then an algorithm is run via the program, and everyone and their games are matched up. Once at the con, you all meet and make the exchanges. It’s a unique way to meet other gamers and acquire new games for your collection.
6-2-1 – This is the minimum for health and hygiene! Six hours of sleep, two meals a day, and ONE SHOWER! One of the best statements I ever heard, was a volunteer telling gamers how important this is, and that they would Febreze gamers if they began stinking!
Hopefully this will help you first time attendees out there getting ready for con season. I will say, that there is a certain board game publisher (Stronghold Games) that would like to have his own con term..so watch out, you may even get Buonocored this con season!
There are probably a few other pieces of con lingo I may have missed. If you think of any that I didn’t include or that you’d like to share, feel free to comment below. 🙂
Until we CONnect again!