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A New Kind of Convention Experience

With January done and over with, this means we have had our first game convention of the year. We talk quite a bit about our love for SaltCon Bryce. We love this convention because it is a very small and intimate convention. This convention is located in Ruby Inn which is just outside the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park, here in Utah. This convention is also always planned on the weekend before the Martin Luther King Jr holiday, which also allows attendees to gain free access to Bryce Canyon the day after the Con. January is a beautiful time to visit Bryce Canyon. The contrast between the red rocks and the white snow results in some very amazing pictures.

The great thing for me with this convention was this was the first time I had convinced my wife to attend a gaming convention. My wife is awesome, she supports my hobby, but she does it at a distance. She is not a person who loves to game a ton, let alone for an entire weekend. But she had heard from our experiences from the year prior and with the comfort that there would be other spouses there and that the gaming did not have to be done the entire time, she risked it and was even excited to go. What made the event even have a bigger twist, we also brought our dog with us, making it the first convention for both of them.

The entrance of Bryce Canyon is not a huge city, in fact it is a very small town, so the options of eating out are very limited. As a result, and with there being a total of 15 of us in our close group including kids and spouses. We made plans to have shared meals together. We prepared meals ahead, froze them, and then used crock pots to reheat our meals. This allowed us to continue to play games in the open area while not needing to spend a ton of time prepping for meals. We were able to take a break from games and meet in someone’s room and share those dinners together.

With my wife attending and me wanting to ensure that this was not a one time experience I brought and planned on playing games that I enjoy and games that she too enjoys and/or would be willing to play. Some of our group played some large epic games and we played several lighter games. Also, for this weekend I brought a handful of games to introduce to my wife. Some of those games included; Long Shot: the Dice Game, Lost Cities: Roll and Write, Ready Set Bet, Last Message, and Fun Facts. For the weekend Lost Cities: Roll and Write was the best game of the Convention. I played the game four times and then the game was also played by others four more times. Last Message was also a big hit getting played six times.

I know that many of you may be very lucky and your spouse plays many games with you already, but for me this convention was a huge success. My advice for anyone who may be in a similar situation as I am, is that you bring your spouse to something small first, and then focus your gaming on games that are going to enrich that experience for them. I do not feel that I sacrificed my convention experience by playing lighter games, but I do feel like I invested in the opportunity of getting my wife to embrace more games and maybe even feed that fire a bit of what makes the board game hobby fun and important to me.

What kind of experiences have you had convincing your non-gaming partner to get to the game table more?

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It was my first time at this con as well and I also managed to convince my wife to attend. We had a great time and she loved the casual atmosphere and being able to walk the short distance back to the room to rest when her body gave out due to physical limitations. We did spy your group with your home-brought meals and as we looked at our dining options, we realized that's something we need to try next year (we've decided we WILL be back).

It was a great time with great games, great people and a great environment.

Feb 08, 2023
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That is awesome Chris. It looked like you won some of the tournaments that SaltCon put on too.

It was good to see you there.

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