If Madisonians believe all tabletop games have been abandoned for shiny X-Boxes and iPhone apps, Gamehole Con is about to prove them wrong.
The annual tabletop gaming convention is returning Nov. 6 to Nov. 8 and is expected to bring in a crowd of roughly 1,000 to 1,500 attendees, according to Gamehole Con Director Alex Kammer.
Located this year at the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall, Gamehole Con is the home of a large assortment of fantasy and adventure games. Whether a fan of roleplaying, board games or collectible cards, there is an event available for any gaming enthusiast.
In order to display a diverse collection, Gamehole Con runs games from both large retailers and local exhibitors and artists. This year, Gamehole Con will have nearly 800 different gaming events, Kammer said.
Gamehole Con includes more than just gaming events. The experience will be enhanced by live music acts, food and beverages, one of the largest dealer halls in the region consisting of 35 gaming retailers, miniature painting and the chance to meet some of the big names in tabletop gaming.
Because Gamehole Con is designed more to look like a high-energy carnival than just a convention, the event brings in a large national turnout, consisting of people of all ages.
“There is no real definable age demographic at our con and that makes sense, as tabletop gaming is a thing enjoyed by people of all ages,” Kammer said.
From very humble beginnings, Gamehole Con has expanded to become a large-scale event that can only be described by Kammer as “pure gaming joy.”
Stemming from a small group of gamers who called themselves “The Gamehole,” in close reference to the Hobbit Hole in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, Gamehole Con became a nationally recognized event.
“Our first year was 2013,” Kammer said. “We decided in 2012 to give a tabletop gaming con a shot because there really weren’t any good ones in the region. We thought that collectively, we could pull off an event of this size and magnitude.”
Gamehole Con consists of a team of nine people, along with other workers and volunteers. In order to have the event run smoothly, it is planned at least a year in advance. According to Kammer, plans for Gamehole Con 2017 are already in the works.
To those hoping to attend, but missed the Oct. 15 pre-registration deadline, never fear. Badges for entry will be available onsite for a slightly higher price.