The world’s largest tabletop gaming convention returns to Indianapolis this week, as Gen Con Indy takes over the Indiana Convention Center.
Thousands of gaming enthusiasts will flock to downtown Thursday through Sunday for the venerable event, now in its 19th year in Indianapolis and 54th year — though the event was overall canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some of the nuts and bolts of this year’s Gen Con for anyone planning to attend or looking to avoid the crowds downtown.
Tickets are still available through gencon.com: $125 for a four-day pass, $65 for Thursday or Friday tickets, $80 for Saturday and $16 for Sunday. Kids under 10 get in free with a ticketed adult.
More:‘It’s still the Gen Con that I love’: World’s largest tablet gaming convention returns
Health and safety
Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is required to attend the event, as are face coverings. All attendees must go to the second floor of the convention center, Sagamore 7, to verify vaccination status before picking up their badges.
There are over a dozen parking facilities within walking distance of the Convention Center, including the Capitol Commons Garage and Marriott Garage along Maryland Street and the World Wonders, Moon and Pan Am Plaza garages across Capitol Avenue.
Parking may get a little tight in the evenings and Sunday afternoon, as Indianapolis’ minor league baseball team will play games at Victory Field throughout the week.
This year’s event features more than 530 vendors, a social mixer for gamers of color on Thursday night, a Saturday evening dance party and costume contest, daily blood drives benefiting Versiti Blood Center of Indiana and the Heinlein Society and a Sunday afternoon Christian church service.
Minneapolis rapper Nur-D will perform at the Thursday morning opening ceremony and host a concert that evening.
Thousands of gaming sessions, panels and discussions are still open for registration through Gen Con’s event listing. Gen Con will also offer streamed online content through its Twitch channel and Discord.
The exhibit hall will open from 10 am to 6 pm Thursday-Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm Sunday.
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Rory Appleton is the pop culture reporter at IndyStar. Contact him at 317-552-9044 and email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at @RoryDoesPhonics.