So, ICon. I heard four talks worth of the very witty and charming Neil Gaiman. I saw two movies – Renaissance, French Noir/Cyberpunk with lovely black and white CGI, and the modern silent movie version of Call of Cthulhu. I encountered fornicating teens (at 2PM!) in the gaming rooms. I waited around for a disappointing closing ceremony show (the Endless song was OK). I dashed to the Cinematheque with K and co to buy tickets to a “Templar ritual reenactment” which must have sounded like a good idea on paper sometime to someone (batshit masonic silliness meets lame LARP production values). I sat through the low-key and sad ISFSF&F general assembly and the Geffen/”Decade of ISFSF&F” show, which had Gaiman and some amusing skits but had too big a venue for an oddly small and intimate event. I spent a lot of time with Bo. I exchanged greetings with lots of people and had some of those brief conversations you have with at cons with infrequently-met acquaintances, the ones that get cut off when one of you sees someone else, or just gets too antsy from talking for more than two minutes with a person.
I also ran three games, none of which was a complete disaster. Even the game on the morning of the third day, where I was completely unprepared and struggling to explain ill-defined and tricky metaphysics to some very weary people, ended up as being rather satisfying (well, for me at least), and closer to my idea of what The Shadow of my Desire is supposed to be like than my first attempt at the game. I actually think that I may have got more satisfaction from running my games then they gave the players, because I got to experiment with my ideas but didn’t deliver anything awesome. I don’t know. I suspect that while I can pretty consistently make a game work, I can’t manage to make it great.
And I should stop running mission games. “Break into this house and shoot people” is a trivial way to generate a session’s entertainment, but it’s cheap and only mediocre fun.