Friday, September 2, 2011

The Great Tween GenCon Wager

See, 4th Edition IS evil!  Look at his eyes!
Ever since I went to my first GenCon a couple of years ago, my son has wanted to go along.  This only got worse last summer when my wife went, leaving him to stay with his grandmother for a few days (don't feel too bad for him, she spoiled him rotten).  We couldn't go this year, but are already talking about next summer and he's made it clear that he expects us to take him.

The thing is, he's not great at conventions.  If he gets bored (and he does), he really makes life miserable for other folks, and the things that I love about GenCon (shopping, playing a few games with folks I don't know, more shopping, and a lot of hanging out and grabbing meals with people I only get to see at GenCon) are not going to be things that he's going to love.  And even though he'll be twelve next summer...excuse me, twelve and a HALF, that's still too young to just let him loose on the con.  Which means either me or my wife will need to shepherd him around, and my wife is worried that most of that will fall on her.  Since GenCon ain't cheap (and taking a third party along even more expensive), it's a valid concern.  If we can't enjoy ourselves, then why spend all that money?

But the thing is, I think there's a lot he would enjoy.  And while we might have to adjust our schedules and plans a little to accommodate him, a family vacation should include all of the family.  Also, as he likes to point out to my wife, they have a great time together.  And given that he's now playing in my 4th ed game with a bunch of adults, maybe we should take him along.  After all, games and gaming are in his blood.

It's a quandary.  Interestingly enough, it was my wife who proposed the following challenge, showing that she's every inch the gamer geek her husband is.  It is, simply, this:  If, by the end of the school year, he has read and understands the the rules to D&D 4th Edition, as judged by me, he gets to go to GenCon.

(In other words, he gets to go to GenCon and I get to make him actually read the rules.)

This afternoon, I happened by a Half-Price Books I rarely visit.  The whole chain's doing an additional 20% off sale, and they had copies of the three core books on the shelf.  They're now his.  He's reading on the MM as I type this.

The best kind of wagers are the ones where you win, no matter what.

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