Tales from the Gazebo – KantCon: It’s All About the Destination

It’s All About the Destination
By Cape Rust

I’ve done plenty of traveling in my life and I have always heard that it’s about the journey, not the destination. In fact, I’ve even said the same thing myself. When it comes to conventions, sometimes the journey can be the best part of the experience. KantCon in Kansas City was all about the destination! This was my first year attending KantCon and it was the first Con I’ve been to in a few years. Is KantCon the Mecca of gaming that Gen Con is? No, but for those of us that Kant visit Gen Con, it is a pilgrimage that should be made.

In my last installment of the Tales from the Gazebo, I was headed out the door en route to KantCon. For me, KantCon was different. This was the first time I was attending a Con on a press pass. This might not seem like cause for trepidation, but for me, it was. I wanted to enjoy the Con but still have fun. I wanted to “earn” the cost of my admission, and of course I didn’t want to let you, our lifeblood, the readers down. As I drove the 45 minutes to the Con, I wasn’t sure what to expect from KantCon. I was impressed with their Kickstarter preregistration and their Con catalog was outstanding, but I have seen other Cons in which the pre-Con stuff was much better than the Con itself.

I followed the directions from my GPS and soon arrived on the grounds of Johnson County Community College, the hosting site of KantCon for the past few years. Because of the outstanding directions provided by the Con Catalog, I was able to find the venue with no problems. The organizers for the con were kind enough to post plenty of quality, readable signs to direct me to the proper parking area. KantCon actually started on a Friday so as I pulled up, I saw several people with backpacks slung over one shoulder. I perked up… gamers! Wait… they were college students. After all, it was a Friday and even though this is summer, the venue was still a college. As soon as I rounded the small wall that surrounded the lot, I could see the registration desks thru the glass façade of the college’s Regnier Hall.

As to be expected, the registration desks were set up in that elongated U shape “fighting” position configuration you see at most Cons. I appreciated that there were actually two desks. One to sign in, get your badge, and buy some swag and the other to sign up for games and events. The two ladies behind the first desk greeted me with a smile and asked for my name. I hadn’t realized it, but with their greeting, all of my trepidation had disappeared. I was amongst my people, gamers! I gave my name and as Cape Rust is not your normal name, it took these hard working volunteers a repeat to process that Cape Rust was actually my name, not some strange fat bald man speaking in tongues because he could smell the gaming goodness on the other side of the wall.

The volunteers quickly found my badge and grabbed a sturdy yellow SWAG bag with red writing on it. As I placed my coveted badge over my head like an Olympic medalist and took up the SWAG bag, I was surprised by the bag’s heft. I knew it was going to be a good Con!

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