I’ve been playing boardgames my whole life, but I’ve never been to a boardgame convention. Most of them are too far away, requiring me to take time off work and invest in expensive travel and lodging. It just hasn’t been in the cards. Since 2020, however, attending a con hasn’t been in the cards for anyone thanks to a global pandemic that has asked people to lock themselves down. This is when “virtual conventions” started to become a thing.
Virtual cons promised an opportunity to connect with gamers, play or demo some games, and experience the convention through a computer screen – without the need for travel or crowds. Before last week, I had already been to a few, including SPIEL.digital and Camp Capstone. Each had strengths and weaknesses, but none have felt much like I was connecting with people, and I’d become pretty skeptical of virtual cons.
That was before 2021’s SDHistCon Spring Deployment, a historical online gaming convention put together by Harold Buchanan and his team, which wrapped up this past Sunday.(more…)