*With PaxEast less than a month away, I got thinking of how that, GenCon and the modern day (board games) community actually got it's start. And how D&D got started. This thread will have some of the lesser known facts about "The Early Days"
(Thanks to Paul Cote for the info & pics)
In 1968 Gary arranged for the IFW to rent a delightful old exhibition building called Horticulture Hall about two blocks away from his home, and the club sponsored a weekend get-together called the “Geneva Convention” where many war gamers from across the country met one another for the first time. About a hundred people came. Gary’s wife and kids sold sandwiches or hot dogs in the hall, which was a good thing since most of the young teenage boys at the convention, like myself, had no intention of wasting an hour of gaming time to leave and get lunch. People crashed in cheap motel rooms (I stayed at the Hi-De-Ho Motel, which sounded like a lover’s hideaway to my folks) and stayed up most of the night playing games.
Here's a picture of Gary Gygax at the podium, addressing the opening of the first wargaming convention, the Geneva Convention (Gen Con.) held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Standing next to Gygax is Bill Hoyer, president of the International Federation of Wargaming (IFW). This and the other photo below may be the only pictures taken at this first wargaming convention in 1968.