In between filming game demonstration videos at the BGG booth during Gen Con, SPIEL, and other conventions, we occasionally get to roam free in the hall and film more unusual fare: notable displays, costumes, events, or exhibits. It was my pleasure to make the considerable walk over to Lucas Oil Stadium and view the Gen Con 50 Museum, which created in honor of Gen Con’s 50th anniversary by Paul Stormberg and Jon Peterson.
While roaming, I was lucky enough to snag a couple of minutes with Mike Carr, the only known attendee of every, single Gen Con for all fifty years. He attended the first Gen Con at age 16 and has a long history within the gaming industry since then, notably as vice-president of game design at TSR and designer of Dawn Patrol.
Mike was kind enough to donate a few minutes to speak on camera, but I wanted to highlight a number of interesting facts that I gleaned from him, from the museum, and from other attendees:
• Gen Con is named for Lake Geneva, Wisconsin where the first event was held, and the event was originally called Lake Geneva Wargames Convention. The name is also a derivation of the Geneva Conventions, since the international agreement is a common theme in early war games.
• Gen Con was first held at the Horticulture Hall in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The Gen Con 50 museum mapped out a space on the field of Lucas Oil equal to the dimensions of the original building.