Friday, August 11, 2006

Aliens invade Indy for Gen Con

Gen Con – the annual convention that embraces adults who dress like elves, wield phony swords and speak Klingon – got going today with thousands of attendees just looking to play.
Dozens of game makers, including industry giants Wizards of the Coast and Upper Deck, packed the exhibit hall to hawk their newest wares to the crowd. Games of Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, Dreamblade and others cropped up everywhere else.

Gen Con is the low-tech gamers’ convention. Cards, figurines and dice are the tools of choice, not joysticks.

Organizers expect to draw about 25,000 gamers over four days, making it one of the biggest to come through Indianapolis every year.

To attend:

Day badges are still available. The cost is $45 a day today and Saturday. It’s $35 for Sunday.

The exhibit hall is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Games run all night and all day.

For more information, go to

More details

What: Fantasy, sci-fi and adventure game convention featuring celebrities, gaming, booths, a film fest, robotics exhibition, costume contest, Segway challenge and more.

When: Today through Aug. 13 (includes 24-hour gaming).

Where: Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave. (unless otherwise noted).
Art exhibit: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Showcases fantasy, gaming and sci-fi art with more than 80 artists. Exhibit hall offers hundreds of vendors. Artist guest of honor is Donato Giancola.

Celebrity appearance: Richard Hatch (original Capt. Apollo in the original "Battlestar Galactica") 2 p.m.

Gamers' Olympics: 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m. Contestants in armor tackle physical challenges like an obstacle course and archery. Prizes awarded. $7.50 plus Gen Con Indy admission.

Aug. 11

Art exhibit: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Celebrity appearances: Kevin Sorbo (star of "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys") 11 a.m.; Richard Hatch, 4 p.m., and William Katt, 6 p.m.; they and other members of the "Gamers" cast will be at screening of the film, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Friday Night Live: 6 to 11:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1 S. Capitol Ave. Music, comedy and improv events. Most events free (Jet City Improv comedy $5).

Gamers' Olympics: 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m.

Aug. 12

Art exhibit: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Celebrity appearances: Gigi Edgley (Chiana of "Farscape"), 2 p.m.; animatronics specialist Grant Imahara, model-making and toy-prototyping specialist Kari Byron, and host Tory Belleci, all of Discovery Channel's "Mythbusters," 6 p.m.; Jamie Bamber (new Capt. Apollo on "Battlestar Galactica"), 7 p.m.

Gamers' Olympics: 10 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m.

"Dungeons & Data": 7 p.m., Westin Hotel, 50 S. Capitol Ave. When gamers infiltrate a high-tech lab to plug into a virtual-reality adventure, they get more than they bargained for. The play is presented by the Gen Con Indy Theatre Company. Free with required Gen Con Indy badge.

Aug. 13

Art exhibit: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Celebrity appearances: Grant Imahara, Kari Byron and Tori Belleci, 11 a.m.

Gamers' Olympics: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

0 are talkin':