Despite the fact that the word “fear” is right there in the name, there’s really nothing scary at all about Fear the Con. In fact, I can safely say at this point that it’s usually the highlight of my year, or at the very least, my gaming year. It’s hard to believe it’s almost here – this weekend can’t come soon enough. In fact, if you’re going to be anywhere near the St. Louis area this weekend, you really should stop by.
The reasons for this overwhelmingly positive sentiment are many – because it’s a smaller, more intimate con, there’s a strong element of community – family, even at the con, especially among those who have been multiple times. Fear the Con was where I met Grant in person for the first time. And Jenny. And guest hosts Dan Repperger, Shannon Dickson, Derek White, and a significant number of friends who went from “people I knew on the forums,” to real, true, genuine friends. Far from being cliquish, though, that tight-knit community is exceptionally welcoming, a trait which the community self-awarely embraces with pride. In fact, I would say that if this is your first time coming to the con, you should be prepared for people to randomly walk up to you, introduce themselves, ask if you’re enjoying yourself, and see if they can help you out or bring you into something. The Fear the Boot community is very welcoming and friendly, though not in a pushy way.
And then there’s the gaming. Because it’s a smaller con, there isn’t an expansive dealer’s hall to distract you – what there is instead is a 6-slot schedule full of games an activities. This close to the con, most things are full, but if you’re planning for next year, be sure to check Conplanner early and often so you can get into games that sound interesting to you.
Finally, it’s relatively cheap. Admission to the con itself is free, for starters. Because of the fact that it’s a small event (and because the community is so friendly), finding roommates is pretty easy, either via the Fear the Boot forums or via their Facebook group. The first three years I went, I roomed with people I barely knew and counted them as friends by the end of the con. The last time I went, I roomed with Grant and this year I’m rooming with my friend Christian who was one of the many, many folks that latched onto me and made me feel welcome my first year at the con. And because it’s small, it’s not like all the restaurants and hotels are going to jack up their prices for a couple hundred people.
Also: stay at the Drury. That’s where the whole con is this year, but that’s also where everybody stays, so you’ll get some wonderful interactions over breakfast, which is amazing. Drury hotels serve very nice breakfast buffets full of bacon, eggs, sausage, fresh fruit, and other “real” food in addition to the bagels and pastries you’ll get at a lot of other hotels.
And of course, if you do make it this year, you can meet Jenny and me in person, if that’s a draw for you (it’s certainly a draw for us – I’ve always really enjoyed meeting StG listeners). We won’t be hard to spot on account of our MASSIVE and ABSURD fake beards. For charity.
Hope to see you there!