I love going to conventions (obviously,) but I get tired of repeatedly commuting to Rosemont and Yorktown. LeakyCon came through Chicago proper once, and it was AMAZING. Conventions on Chicago college campuses do really well, too. Every other con I've tried to attend in a downtown Chicago hotel, however, has torpedoed itself. Perhaps it's time we look outside of the hotel scene?
Valor Con, a video and board gaming convention, is kicking off its inaugural year right now in Block 37. The convention is turning raw mall and gallery space into a fan event- an experiment I'm really excited about. I sat in on a few Valor Con planning events, and let me tell you- these people have their hearts in the right place. They value safety, and took care to craft a harassment policy. They reached out to community game stores and vendors for collaboration. Many Chicago geek minds (self included) were asked for input. Valor Con really, truly wants to do it right by their fans. They've created a Chicago-centric schedule, and I can't wait to go tomorrow.
Here are just a few talented names you may recognize: E.D.G.E. Theatre. Acrobatica Infiniti. VStheUNIVERSE. Raks Geek. Sugar Gamers. Dice Dojo. Halcyon Theatre. Loading Law. Improvised Star Trek. Bit Bash. Otherworld Theatre. Bonus Round Game Cafe. ...and of course, Geek Girl Chicago. Hehe! Also, shout out to Ironrise Games, a company I freelance for. With so many people I love and trust participating, I predict greatness!
The majority of Valor Con's content will be live gaming. You can learn new games, play old favorites with friends, or just watch some folks crash an Artemis ship into oblivion. I might bring my X-Wing miniatures. There's also a Harry Potter-esque house component to the weekend, but I don't know much about it. Once I get the details, I'm sure to be hyper-competitive.
Oh! Best part! I will be speaking at 9PM tomorrow on Romance in BioWare Games. My panel is full of passionate, well-spoken, smarties. It's an 18+ panel, so we're free to discuss relationships in Mass Effect, Dragon Age, The Old Republic, etc. openly. ...Once we finish these calibrations, of course. ;)