Ashley Neuhaus 27-FEB-2013 This may be the easiest recap I’ll ever write. To put it simply: I had a BLAST at Dreamation 2013. After the bar had been set really low by the previous few conventions I’ve been to, I was really hoping this one wouldn’t set it even lower. This was my first gaming convention and so I really had no idea what to expect. I went in with an open mind and came out of the experience with a smile on my face and some new acquaintances.
I arrived at the Hyatt in Morristown, which is gorgeous, sometime in mid-afternoon on Friday. Thankfully there was an attached parking garage because parking in Morristown can be a pain. I asked the first person I could about where to check in and get my press badge. His directions? “Go up the stairs, walk passed the bar…” clearly this man had never met me before. But the bar would eventually be a stop for me. I was on a mission to get my badge and get the show on the road. After walking around in circles, I finally found Jesse and he helped me find the correct place. We sat down in the con suite which had munchies and beverages for free which was so nice to see. I helped myself to a cup of cherry coke zero, splashed a little extra something in there, and we formulated a game plan, sort of. Amber had tweeted to us about a CLUE LARP and I really wanted to see what that was about. Jesse and I searched for a little while and couldn’t find the room so we just wandered aimlessly checking out everything. We got separated because he had to run to his car so I was just walking around looking lost like usual when a gentleman who had a STAFF badge asked if I needed help. Well yes, kind sir, I do! And he walked me to the room where the CLUE LARP was happening. Let me repeat myself: HE WALKED ME THERE. He did not just give me directions that I could get wrong but he actually walked with me to the room. I don’t think I’ve ever had that experience at a convention.
When I opened the door, the five people in there turned and looked at me. I froze like a deer in headlights. I view myself as incredibly shy, unless I’ve had a couple cocktails, but Amber will argue against that. So I just told them that I wanted to spectate since I knew nothing about LARPing and loved CLUE. They insisted that join in so I said, “What the hell, why not?” and was assigned a character. I was Miss Peach, ex-mistress to Mr. Boddy and socialite. How perfect? The cards were shuffled and we all chose one. All but one read innocent. What card do you think I pulled? That’s right. GUILTY! It took me a little while to get comfortable in playing a role and improvising but eventually it started to feel awesome. At some point the door opened and in walked my cohorts, Amber and Jesse. They took two of the remaining characters and joined in the fun. After our time was up, James Moore, who was the Game Master, got some feedback and we chatted with him for a bit.
At this point, Jesse split off do his own thing while Amber and I sat down and got some food in our systems. While resting, James, excuse me, Dr. Dolotts, came up to us and asked if we were super villains and if we’d be joining him for group therapy later. We gave him our names and he gave us name tags. We walked around the dealer room for a bit and I picked up a shirt. We chatted with some LARPers who were set up which you can see in the video. It was approaching time for therapy to begin so we went upstairs and waited to enter the room. This was another fun session and the first time James was running it. There were seven super villains in all: Felicia Fancybottom (Amber), Velma Van Gogh (me), Mr. Clean, Captain Douchebag, Grandson of Sam, and Mr. and Mrs. Evil. I really wish I had gotten this on video tape because it was a riot. Several times during it I was just dying of laughter, most notably when Felicia said we could raid a sybian factory once we were out. Friday night ended with us sitting in comfortable chairs with cocktails (surprise!) and some of our new acquaintances whom we met in therapy.
We were unsure of whether we’d be back on Saturday because of the weather but it was only raining a little so we went back. This was a much more low key day for us. We found the couple who played Mr. and Mrs. Evil and chatted with them. Amber did a short interview with Mrs. Evil about her experiences as a gamer. We ventured more into the “artist alley” area which was a small but nice set up. One of the favorite vendors was The Fairy Oddmother. She had all sorts of awesome jewelry and hair accessories. I walked away with a beautiful necklace and Amber got one too that was of a Caico look-alike wearing a monocle. We wandered around a bit more but didn’t stay long or participate in anything that day.
If all the rest of my convention experiences of 2013 can be just like this one, I will be one happy girl. And I do believe I will attend next time.