90 days until Gen Con 50!! (Maybe fewer by the time you are reading this.)
If you’re like me (and Dave Banks… and Jonathan Liu… and John Booth… and Gerry Tolbert… ), you’re probably counting the days until we get to gather in Indy for The Best Four Days in Gaming™. Four days of limited sleep, tons of game playing, lots of caffeine, lots of walking, lots of waiting… but so completely worth every minute.
Last year, I enjoyed playing more games than I can recount, but that’s not for lack of trying. Thankfully, I had my Jr. Gamers Yearbook from Con*Quest Journals with its numerous pages for notes, autographs, To Do lists, and much more to help keep me organized. And since last year, I’ve pulled it off the shelf numerous times and flipped through the pages and smiled as I recalled all the fun I had. It’s filled with autographs of game designers, great photos, my own commentary on various games I played, and the names of games not yet released but that I’ve ultimately purchased once they were released.
This year, Con*Quest Journals is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Gen Con by offering up a new licensed journal for Gen Con attendees looking for a great way to keep all their notes and reviews and brochures and business cards in a single location. It’s called the Spiral Game Journal, and here are the specs:
5-1/2” x 8-1/2” spiral bound
2 pocket page
2 Gen Con planning pages
80 games played pages
60 lined pages
60 graph pages
Con*Quest Journals is taking pre-orders right now (with a June 4th delivery date OR you can pick up at Gen Con at Booth 2306), and they provided me with a review copy. First, I have to say this — the spiral bound choice is excellent. I loved last year’s joural, but it didn’t want to stay open… this year’s Spiral Game Journal opens and stays flat so you can take notes without fumbling with the book. The black soft-touch cover won’t slip out of your hands, and the gold-embossed dice and Gen Con logo are eye-catching. (The 2d10 show 5 and 0… a nice touch.)
Inside, however, is where this little book really shines. Open the front cover and you’ll find the 2-pocket page followed by the Events page where you can jot in those events (by day) that you don’t want to miss. There’s an area for tracking spending and a small shopping list box for you to enter in those games you already know you’ll want before Gen Con arrives.
I’m not sure that I played 80 games at last year’s Gen Con, but it’s nice to know that if I try to hit that number there are 80 Games Played note pages. Each page has a place to write the name of the game, its theme, time limit, # of players, and more. You can rate the games with the five star icons, make note of whether solo play is supported (this is something I always look for), and the remaining half of the page is left for your own notes.
As for the lined and graph paper pages… those will be used! Heavily! I almost ran out of pages (24) in last year’s journal, so it’s nice to see they’ve bumped up the page count substantially. (And the elastic strap will keep everything tucked in and tidy.)
And the best part of the Spiral Game Journal? It’s price — only $9.99. At that price, I have a feeling I’ll be visiting the Con*Quest Journals booth to buy another one when I fill up the first. Again, they’re taking pre-orders right now (click here), so if the journal is something that would be useful to you, order now so you’ll have it before Gen Con arrives with your schedule already inside.
I’m very pleased with the high-quality of the journal, and I think the choice to add more Game Note pages and increase the lined and graph paper pages was a good move. Last year’s journal was fun to use, but there were pages that weren’t used during my visit. This year’s Spiral Game Journal, however, doesn’t have anything that I won’t use. And since I know how often I look through my previous Gen Con journal, I already know that I’ll be filling this new one with even more notes and photos and reviews so I’ll have something to remember the big 5-0 anniversary.
I’d like to thank Shelley and Con*Quest Journals for providing the review copy. Be sure to stop by their booth and say hello — they are ultra-friendly and they do enjoy seeing how customers use and modify their journals. I’m already brainstorming a few ideas for how I can “upgrade” this journal a bit…