Recon: A Reflection
For this assignment, I chose to attend Recon, a convention put together by Miami University’s league of geeks. At first, I was skeptical that I would enjoy this event- I have never been very active in the league of geeks and worried that because I didn’t know anybody, it would not end up being very fun. However, as soon as I got there, my perspective changed, and I ended up having a really good time.
The first thing I did when I got to Recon was attend the comedy show. I have always been a big fan of stand-up comedy, so I figured this would be something I would likely enjoy. I was a little bit late, so I did not see the beginning of the comedy show, but in total, I was in the auditorium watching for about an hour. The fist gentleman I watched did general stand up, and I remember quite enjoying it, but the second gentleman who came out was much more memorable. He incorporated songs into his performance, which I actually really enjoyed. I had never seen someone combine stand-up comedy and music in that way before, the only thing I had ever seen like it was Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song” on Saturday Night Live (A very funny song that I would highly encourage you see if you are not already familiar with it). His song about “The Sunday after the Saturday immediately following the actual calendar day of St. Patricks Day” remains stuck in my head to this day.
After the comedy show, I went upstairs because I was told a game of ultimate werewolf was going to begin soon, a game I quite enjoy, but because I had some time, I looked around at other boardgames and found some of my friends from EDL290. Together, we went and dropped off the coins we had received for attending the comedy show and redeemed them for a chance to win a prize, which I did not realize was something we had the opportunity to do. While I did not end up winning anything, unfortunately, it was still fun to look. After that, I went over to the game table to try to find a game to play, and came across a game that J.S had told me about. It was a game that illustrated how Gerrymandering works and how it is done. As a political science major with a passion for elections, I found the idea of playing this game to be incredibly fun, so I tried to find someone who would play it with me. Unfortunately, everybody around me was also just waiting to play ultimate werewolf, so nobody wanted to get invested in a game they had never played before. I ended up sitting around a table with a few people from EDL290, and we were about to play a card game. However, just as we had set up, we were told that ultimate werewolf was about to start. We sorted ourselves into two lines (my friends and I all made sure to be in the same line) and split into two groups since there were so many people who wanted to play. After playing several rounds of ultimate werewolf, I said goodbye to my friends and headed home.
Being able to attend this event was a great way for me to connect with the gaming community at Miami in a way I had not before. Prior to attending this event, my only real exposure to the gaming community was EDL290, so I lacked a strong understanding of what the community was truly like. In attending RECON, I learned that, for one, the active gaming community at Miami is much larger than I thought. I suspected that there were maybe 100 or so active gamers on campus, but based on the turnout at recon, it became clear to me quite quickly that there were a lot more than 100. I also did not realize how many gaming groups there are on campus. Prior to seeing all of the different groups who helped make recon possible, I assumed that there were maybe 4 or 5 gaming groups on campus, but I learned at that event that there are actually quite a few more than that.
In addition to learning more about the gaming community in general, I was better able to connect with many of the individuals who make up that community that I would otherwise not have had the chance to connect with. I believe that there is somewhat of a stigma/stereotype associated with gamers on campus; the idea that they want to be left alone and do their own thing, and that your presence is not welcome or desired. I am embarrassed and somewhat ashamed to acknowledge that I subconsciously bought in to this narrative for a long time, and never had any meaningful interactions with the gaming community at Miami. However, in attending RECON, as well as just spending time in EDL290, I realized that these notions could not be farther from the truth, and that the gaming community was happy to have more people interact with them, and that most of them are really nice, interesting, fun people. It is unfortunate that it took me as long as it did to come to these conclusions, but I am glad that I did. It certainly makes me think about what other preconceived notions and biases I may be carrying about other groups on campus, and encourages me to address those as well.
Ultimately, I really enjoyed my time at RECON. Like I mentioned, I was initially skeptical that I would enjoy the event- the biggest reason I attended was because I knew that I needed to for class and that this would be a better way to earn points than some of the alternatives. I figured I would stay for an hour, get my points, and leave. But instead, I found myself staying for about 4 hours and really enjoying the time I was there. The connections I made with my fellow Miamians was well worth the time spent at the event, and I look forward to connecting more with those same individuals, and other Miami gamers, soon.