Inside Pulse 12

Interview: Brad Warriner of BobCon

Brad Warriner, one of the organizers of BobCon, was kind enough to answer some of my questions about their convention, which will be held September 30 through October 2. If you are in the Kansas City area, I hope to see you there.

Chuck: How many BobCons have been held?

Brad: Bobcon started in 2004, and has been held every year since except 2007. That means this will be BobCon 7.

Chuck: What are the most noteworthy events scheduled for this year’s BobCon?

Brad: There are a number of events that have become regulars at Bobcon, and they cover a lot of interests. This will give you a better idea of how Bobcon differs from better-known conventions. Each of these events has a loyal following.

Friday night will be the wine-tasting, followed by Settlers of Cataan. Friday night will also have the overnight game of Jyhad.

Saturday morning is the Farmer’s Market Cookoff, which traditionally provides dinner options for convention attendees on Saturday. There is a 12-hour block for the Twilight Imperium board game on Saturday as well. That’s new. Saturday night will be a D&D 4.0 game involving 2 DMs and up to 12 players. This is the fourth time we’ve done a large-group event, and they have always been big hits. Saturday night will be a late-night game of Mythos.

A local game design company, Red Moon Medicine Show, will be demo-ing 2 of their role-playing games, Don’t Walk in Winter Wood and Unity Underground. Throughout the weekend, people will be playing a variety of board games as well.

Chuck: Where is BobCon being held?

Brad: The Coves Clubhouse, Kansas City, Missouri.

Chuck: How can one register for BobCon and how much is admission?

Brad: Registration is online at www.bobcon.org. Admission is $5 per day or $10 for the weekend. Since the con runs Friday through Sunday, the weekend rate gives you one day free.

Chuck: Finally, this is a chance for you to sell those on the fence about attending on why they should go to BobCon 2011.

Brad: Chuck, this is the one that I’d like to talk to you more about.

Bobcon started in 2004 as a group of friends that found some of the conventions they liked to attend were closing up, or inconveniently scheduled. They wanted an alternative that was close to home and more convenient, so they put their heads together and held a con at one of their homes, essentially invitation-only.

Bobcon has carried on since then, growing a little more each year. We bring in probably 40-50 unique attendees over a weekend. We know each other, or we know people who know people. Our wives come, our kids come, and it’s a safe, fun, and friendly get-together of close friends and acquaintances. We’re always looking to add a few people each year, because we all know people who would LOVE to come, but we’ve taken the position that Bobcon isn’t an expansive business model. We’re not trying to get famous or rich. We’re just trying to play the games we love with the people we like. Good times, good company.

If someone is sitting on the fence about Bobcon, it’s likely that they’re aware of the convention, but haven’t blocked it out on their calendar as a priority yet. For those people, I would encourage them to become part of the Bobcon family, or to rejoin it. We’d love to have you. If you’re reading this article in Atlanta or Chicago, or wherever, and you think this sounds fun, look at the schedule of events. We’re not Gen Con. There are not tons of unlisted events in which you can participate, though there is always open board gaming. We’re always looking to meet pleasant, mature gamers that conduct themselves well in public, bathe and change clothes regularly, and aren’t generally obnoxious. If that’s you, then you’re welcome to check us out.

Chuck: One of the real attractions, for myself, to BobCon, is the emphasis on mature gamers. Do you think BobCon is unique in catering to more adult gamers or is this the direction you see more conventions moving in?

Brad: We see plenty of younger players at other conventions. Some of that draw is from Magic the Gathering. We recognize that conventions designed as money-making efforts often choose to appeal to the broadest possible audience to maximize revenue. We definitely feel Bobcon is a unique experience. Bobcon’s focus is at its core group of attendees, who are mature gamers with families. There will be adult, teen, and child attendees to Bobcon, and we want each of those groups to have a good time. Keeping the con focused on the ‘family reunion’ format allows us to cater to ourselves, and provide activities that we know we enjoy.