Muskrat Ramblings
So here I am in Ireland, …
posted by John

If much of the following makes little sense, blame it on the jetlag.

“Jetlag?” you ask, bemusedly. Why yes: If you happen to be in the south of Ireland this weekend, I’ll be at WARPCON for some more of their special brand of madness!

I’m very, very lucky indeed that they keep asking me back. It’s a brilliant convention, covering all forms of gaming. It raises huge amounts of money for local childrens’ charities each year, during both boom AND bust economic times. Plus, it’s located in Cork, a gem of a city and a foodie’s dream.

If you’re a gamer, you must – MUST – try to make it to an Irish convention at least once in your lifetime. Unless you’re an Irish gamer, in which case, you should get to about a dozen. A year. MINIMUM.

It’s a bit of a shame there’s no “Sister City”-like relationships between cons around the world. At least, there are none that I’m aware of. Imagine if WARPCON and CONVERGENCE (two of my all-time favorite cons) had some kind of exchange program, whereby a couple of Irish gamers could get to Minneapolis, and a couple of Minnesotans could make it to Cork.

This isn’t a big deal for the mega-Cons like Gencon or Spiel of Lucca: shows that already boast impressive international followings. I’m thinking about the mid-size-to-small regional cons, which have all got their splendid ideas to be shared.

I’m not sure what kinds of logistics would be required, but to start, each con could offer to pay for food and lodging of the Exchange Gamers from their Sister Con. I mean, that would be a beginning, wouldn’t it? If, at some point, a way could be figured out to include transport costs as well, that would rise to the level of Amazing.

Now, I’m not just talking about WARPCON and CONVERGENCE, here (although HINT HINT HINT HINT, folks). I’m talking about every convention under the sun. You. Yes, YOU, you Swell Regional Con: Adopt a show from another country. Send folks over there. Invite others back.

Fandom’s pretty darned universal – as the DORK TOWER translated volumes can attest. But European cons tend to be very different affairs from North American cons. Heck, as far as I can tell, almost every con just about anywhere is unique. Seeing how others celebrate the games we love is an invigorating, exciting experience. And who knows what ideas you might get for your own shows?

I’m lucky: I get to travel as much as I wish to, and meet gamers and comics fans from around the world. It would be nice if others got a shot at that, as well.

So what say you? Does the idea of cons from across the globe linking up as “Sister Shows” (there’s GOT to be a better way of putting that): “Companion Shows”? “Bigby’s Grasping Cons”? make any sense?

It strikes me as a Not Bad idea, jetlag or no.

Gamers of the world, UNITE! Or at least mingle.

Now we’ve just got to figure out how make it happen…

John

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