Musings from GCPWest
One of the first bands of pioneers to brave The Oregon Trail from Missouri to Oregon in 1839 took that ominous phrase as their motto. And I adopted it for my weekend in Portland! Certainly, I wanted the opportunity to poke around more national sites featured in my game Roadtrip!. More history and more roadside kitsch is never a bad thing. Nevertheless, at the heart of my embrace of that rather dire motto was FOMO. To you uninformed out there, FOMO is fear of missing out. In my case, I experienced rather significant FOMO for the first time in my life last month. While on my Alaska Bound road trip, I missed the Glass Cannon Podcast PaizoCon bonanza. So, I knew I had to make the first ever GCPWest or suffer more dire consequences – Oregon or The Grave.
I know it sounds silly, but after listening to this marvelous podcast for nearly two years now (that’s right, I started back at episode 13) and after attending GCPLive on a whim (one of my better whims, if truth be told), there was no way I could miss out here. Also, the organizers April and Meghan asked me to come. Plus, I love to GM. So, off I set on another trail to adventure this past weekend!
"Creativity, Collaboration, and Camaraderie - my 3 C's of gaming."
GCPWest was the clear highlight of the trip to Portland. I know many of you out there are asking why given such beauteous splendor as the Pacific Northwest. Why spend time and money to hang out with a bunch of nerds? I already live in Silicon Valley. Because, put simply, the GCP embodies everything I love about gaming – creativity, collaboration, and camaraderie - my 3 C’s. I’ve been gaming and going to gaming conventions for almost fifteen years now. I know that’s not really very long compared to some of my 1st edition friends out there. Yes, I own 1st edition books that I bought with my own allowance in the late 70’s, but none of the boys I knew who played wanted a girl in their gaming group. Anyway, Living Greyhawk at GenCon was the first experience I had really playing within the community. It opened my eyes. And I have been an unabashed promoter of dice-rolling ever since. So it was only a natural progression for me to partake in this new nerd nation.
"The Glass Cannon Podcast creates the reason for people to come together."
When Living Forgotten Realms and then Pathfinder Society and finally the Adventurers League followed they failed to carry on one of the best legacies from early organized play – geographic restrictions on content. Since anyone anywhere could play nearly any adventure, the incentives for gamers to travel and interact withered. Of course, the big conventions like GenCon, Origins, and PAX still had tremendous pull. Recently the increasing success of those events have indeed created a golden age of cons, if you will. Yet why should anyone travel to any particular second- or third- tier con not immediately in their own neighborhood? What incentives do gamers have to engage with their fellows in forms other than electronic media? Where did all the excitement go about locally-brewed interactives? This is why the Glass Cannon Podcast is poised to dominate the market space, so to speak. This is why I experienced such FOMO from missing PaizoCon. This is why I adopted that motto. The Glass Cannon Podcast fosters cooperative story-telling. It promotes the fun of real tabletop collaboration. It creates the reason for people to come together.
Their network of nerdy entertainment is just beginning. We are in it from the ground-level, right now. And I for one can say I haven’t felt so excited to meet new people and play in years. After all, one of things that tabletop gamers constantly complain about (and I’ve been there) is their inability to find other like-minded players. That’s what Living Greyhawk used to promote. That’s what the Glass Cannon Podcast stands for now.
My Redcap is off to April and Meghan for putting together such a great event on Saturday. To Natalie for incessantly promoting CGPNation. To Arad, Chris, Paul, and especially Erik, who was quite nice when my Devourer of Reason ate his barbarian PC’s brain (I ran Echoes of the Overwatched, PFS #3-07) I thank you for playing at my table. And finally to the originators of this crazy-awesome podcast Skid, Grant, Matthew, Joe, and Troy (and Nick Lowe), may the dice be ever in your favor. It’s a good thing I’m headed to GenCon next month, or I’d really be in a FOMO pickle.
Indianapolis or The Grave!