RPG Evolution: ConnectiCon XX Report

I finally got a chance to attend a convention in my home state. It's been a while!

I finally got a chance to go back to a convention in my home state.


It's been a while. With covid wiping out opportunities and enthusiasm for large gatherings, my family hasn't attended conventions for years. We submitted several panels for consideration to ConnectiCon and when two were accepted, decided it was finally time to get back to con-going.

ConnectiCon 2023 took over the Connecticut Convention Center & Hartford Marriott Downtown on July 20-23. The convention has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings in 2003 at the University of Hartford, attracting over 12,000 fans from around the globe. It offers a diverse range of events catering to various interests, including animation, anime, comic books, TV shows, movies, and games. ConnectiCon skews more to the cosplay crowd, with some tabletop and video games thrown in for good measure.

My wife and I conducted two panels: "Launch Your Own Podcast" where we shared tips on recording, producing, publishing, and promoting engaging podcasts, and "Write for RPGs Professionally," where we demystified the process of working from home, writing for online platforms, and getting paid for their creative work. The rooms were clean, with plenty of seats, microphones, and a projector.

One of the attendees I met was Matt Madsen of Dungeon Learning, a company that develops tabletop scenario-based learning solutions for corporate events. He shared an adorable Gathering Kit, which includes two games (Small Talk and Unicate) as well as a set of miniature polyhedral dice.

This year my kids tagged along and cosplayed. My son's cosplay as the Scout from Team Fortress 2 was a hit, and he was frequently asked for photographs (it was a bit like traveling with a celebrity). The dealer's room offered a surprisingly diverse range of products. There were the usual cosplay accessories but with much wider variety of vendors. I saw a lot of my old favorites from the New England area, including Gaming Etc. and The Dragon's Lair. The Artist's Colony is so comprehensive that it takes up a third of the convention floor! Both my kids bought products from Crafty Dork Designs, which creates one-of-a-kind upcycled apparel.

There's also something I never imagined I'd see: Cosplay Championship Wrestling. You haven't lived until you've seen Master Yoshi do a flying leap from the turnbuckle onto a prone Waluigi.

The line for ConnectiCon stretched around the corner and business in the dealer's room was brisk. Judging from their attire, the local restaurants were filled with attendees too. It was great to be back and proved that there's an appetite for the types of topics we covered. We're planning on going to more local cons in the near future and, if schedules align, submit for panels to Gen Con next year!

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Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca

Voidrunner's Codex

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