What is Origins 2009?

The Origins Game Fair 2009 is here. Since my non-gamer friends and family (as well as folks on Twitter) are probably wondering what the heck that is, so I thought I’d explain.

Origins is a game convention held in Columbus, Ohio from June 24-28. It’s an event where geeks and gamers (often, but not always, the same) converge to play a wide variety of games. It has nothing to do with gambling (a common misconception) rather, it’s about board games, role-playing games, war games, card games (though of a non-gambling nature, think Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon), miniatures games and just about every other kind of game that you can play on a table top that doesn’t involve wagering cash.

Regional conventions like this one are held around the country throughout the year; what makes Origins different is its sheer size. According to its web site, they expect over 13,000 attendees playing in 4,300 game events. And the exhibition hall — a room packed end to end with folks selling games — will feature 170 exhibitors.

It sounds huge, and it is, but this is actually the second biggest game convention of the summer; the big show is GenCon and it’s held in Indianapolis, Indiana. I’ve been to GenCon four times, and it’s the show people think off when I tell them I’m heading to a game convention this summer.

But not this time around. There are a few reasons I chose Origins over GenCon this year: several of my friends are going to Origins and not GenCon (including David Moore of The Game Masters Show and Mur Lafferty of, well, the Murverse) and this is my only chance to game with them. The show’s got an excellent reputation as a great place to play games (as opposed to GenCon, which is definitely more of an “big event, big announcement” type show, though there are still more games than you can possibly play even if you had an army of clones). And finally, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for years. The stars were finally right in 2009, so I’m going!

If you’re interested in what I’m playing at Origins, check out my schedule. If you’d like to tag along at home, keep an eye on Nuketown’s new Origins 2009 tag¬†or follow me on Twitter or do a Twitter search on the hashtag #Origins2009.

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