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Convention Weekend

I’m scheduled to attend Conquest NW here in the Seattle area in a couple of hours but going off to inaugurate a small first-year local con is just about the last thing I want to do right now. It’s been a rough few weeks for several of my closest friends (with a whack of serious crap like terminally ill parents and frightening miscarriages) and I’m feeling quite blue about what’s in store for the next several months.

Normally, a convention would be a great distraction and a chance to get together with some of my industry friends but this convention is happening in Seattle. That means that in addition to any friends and acquaintances I might have a chance to see, there is a certainty that I will have to see several people that I would be happy to never see again in my life. People I’ve cut ties with because I have discovered them to be bad for my mental health and sense of self, people who seem to be lacking in human compassion or good sense, people who have willingly ruined entire years of my life with their thoughtless, space-alien behavior.

This is a small, first-year convention. For various reasons, they didn’t do a great job of getting the word out to people who I would have expected to know (and be interested) that there was a convention happening. I expect it to be small, a start to what I hope will grow into a great show. I don’t mind a small show, I’ve done many of them in the past and if I didn’t work in the game industry I might even enjoy volunteering with a small con as some level of organizer just for fun. Unfortunately, small also means there’s nowhere to avoid people you don’t want to see. If I want to avoid Ryan Dancey at GenCon (just to pick a random example though I don’t expect Ryan to show up) it’s completely possible to do so, even if our booths are virtually adjoining…there are events to attend, there are people coming to the booth, there are half a dozen people just standing between us at any given time. A small con means long, uncomfortable periods of being seated three chairs away from that very same guy who betrayed twelve years of your friendship, forced to either conspicuously pretend the other doesn’t exist or worse, face the horrible possibility some fool might try to use the opportunity to get us to “patch things up”.

The thought makes my skin crawl, which is not exactly the right mindset to be all “woohoo, convention time!”

Some of the most wonderful people I’ve ever known in my life are game industry cohorts and I’m actually looking forward to seeing some folks who I see far too little of, but some of the most despicable betrayers and spineless apologists I’ve ever had the misfortune to cross paths with are also from the game industry and boy, I could happily live my life continuing to pretend they vanished from the face of the earth.

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