A Sacrifice for the Greater Good

Special bonus comic.

GenCon attendance is staggeringly stressful. Not the actual convention, which is a blast and pure fun. I look forward to going again. But the preparatory steps are pure weapon’s-grade aneurysm-generating stress.

First comes the hotels. Everyone gathers around their computer on an arbitrary weekday, typically a Wednesday, and waits for the appointed hour when hotels go on sale. Then 50,000 geeks hammer their F5 key while attempting to get placed in the housing queue where they can pick from whatever hotel rooms remain, while the GenCon website’s servers creak and groan under the collective nerd bandweight. Those gamers who do not successfully save versus death lag end up having to room under an overpass somewhere by the airport.

Then come events, which is somewhat easier as these are previewed a couple weeks in advance allowing convention goers to go through the full list of desirable seminars and games picking their prefered attractions at a leisurely pace. These are placed on a Wish List, with some events having hundreds of tickets and other events having dozens. Come the date of Event Registration, gamers again slam their collective e-bulk against the GenCon servers like digital Spartan Legionnaires, watching a clock tick down until they can click the “submit wishlist” button. Then, again, they con goers are thrust into a queue, very literally with a millisecond delay in clicking the button being equal to hundreds of people jumping ahead of your position.  Then, you wait and watch as events sell out in real time, slowly hoping you get some of what you desire, praying that the servers don’t crash under the load.