Amber’s Most Embarrassing Moment: A GenCon Story

Because we’re super pumped about GenCon event registration, I must tell this story.

So I have to preface this by saying while I love board games and know the names of lots of different games, but I have a terrible time remembering the names of game designers.  It’s not that I don’t want to know their names, but my memory for names is really terrible; hell, I hardly remember the names of characters in my favorite books.  Here’s an example of all the game designers I can name off the top of my head:

Bruno Cathala, Vlaada Chvátil, Jamey Stegmaier, Stefan Feld,  Isaac Blah Blah Blah (you know, the Dead of Winter Guy), Jerry What’s His Name (Mice and Mystics), and Ted Alspach.  Ted is the most important, at least to this story.  Ted’s name is actually the first designer’s name I recognized and remembered; we played Werewolf at our first NMA, learned Suburbia the same day, and picked up Castles of Mad King Ludwig as soon as it came out.  So Ted’s name is a regular in our household.  His face, however, is a different story.

It’s GenCon 2015.  I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it.  I’m about to lose control, but I don’t, so we’re all good.  Being the nice friend that I am, I think of our Peghead leader Rob, and say to Ethan, “Gee Ethan, wouldn’t it be so great if we picked up someone Werewolf Cards for Rob at GenCon?  How cool would that be?”  Because Ethan’s my husband, he knows that I’m right, and we head over to the Bezier Games booth.  There stands a tall, dark man peddling Bezier’s wears.  We’re looking over the Werewolf items and having some general chit chat when I start asking the man if he knows what’s in each pack. “Do you know what’s in that one?”  He tells me the answer.  “What about that one?”  Gives me the answer.   I ask about one more pack when Ethan leans over to me and “whispers,” “He probably knows what’s in them.  He designed them.”  I look up quickly at the man’s name tag.  “Ted Alspach.”  My face looked a little something like this.

Shocked

I quickly thanked the man now known as Ted, who was laughing because he HEARD what Ethan said, and beeline the heck out of there as fast as I could.  Ethan caught up to me and was all like, “What?”  I replayed the entire conversation and said, “THAT WAS  EMBARASSING!”  I promptly avoid Bezier games for the rest of the day and only went over to the booth again when the coast was clear.

The next day, we were at Plaid Hat’s booth and good ole Jerry What’s His Name was chatting with us about Mice and Mystics.  He walked away and Ethan leaned in and said, “That’s Jerry, he designed…” I stopped him and said, “I KNOW WHO HE IS.  I read the name tag this time, ok?!”

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4 thoughts on “Amber’s Most Embarrassing Moment: A GenCon Story

  1. Ted taught me Colony (his new Castles / Suburbia-esque strategy game) once and I had no idea who he was. For some reason, my brain just didn’t register that this man who is wearing a Bezier games shirt and knows so many things about the game might be the person who designed it.

    It happens, but thanks for sharing! It’s a funny story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Virtually the exact same thing happened to me, only more embarrassing! I was volunteering for PlaidHatGames at GenCon 2015. I got there early (Wednesday?) and tons of people were at the booth setting up. PHG’s new game Ashes was to be released at GenCon, and I was super psyched for it. While setting up, I heard somebody say, “blah blah blah… Ashes…, Blah blah, yea Bob?” Now as a big fanboy I knew the lead playtester was named Bob, so I think, oh! this must be him, how cool!. After setting up, everyone heads back to the hotel, and just up ahead of me I see Bob and somebody else walking toward the hotel. I go catch up to them, and kinda introduce myself to Bob, saying, Are you Bob the lead playtester? I know you! (from the forums). I talk briefly to him about ashes, asking a couple quick questions. Then I turn to the guy he is walking with, introduce myself and kindly ask, so who are you? They both kinda smile and he says, Oh Hi. I am Isaac, the designer….
    OMFG! made such a smutz of myself. I knew the lead playtester but had absolutely no clue who the game designer was. Great way to start my first ever GenCon.

    (Yes it is the same Isaac. Isaac Blah Blah Blah the Dead of Winter guy. I know him… (now))

    Like

  3. Virtually the exact same thing happened to me, only more embarrassing! I was volunteering for PlaidHatGames at GenCon 2015. I got there early (Wednesday?) and tons of people were at the booth setting up. PHG’s new game Ashes was to be released at GenCon, and I was super psyched for it. While setting up, I heard somebody say, “blah blah blah… Ashes…, Blah blah, yea Bob?” Now as a big fanboy I knew the lead playtester was named Bob, so I think, oh! this must be him, how cool!. After setting up, everyone heads back to the hotel, and just up ahead of me I see Bob and somebody else walking toward the hotel. I go catch up to them, and kinda introduce myself to Bob, saying, Are you Bob the lead playtester? I know you! (from the forums). I talk briefly to him about ashes, asking a couple quick questions. Then I turn to the guy he is walking with, introduce myself and kindly ask, so who are you? They both kinda smile and he says, Oh Hi. I am Isaac, the designer….
    OMFG! made such a smutz of myself. I knew the lead playtester but had absolutely no clue who the game designer was. Great way to start my first ever GenCon.

    Like

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