MagFest 2023 has come and gone, but the effect it has on its attendees still lingers. My name is Ben and I’m a little more than casual gamer. I’m a nerd, raised on books, Lego, and Star Trek, and a little late, but present with video and board gaming. So, conventions like MagFest have a very dear place in my heart. While Aaron does a great job talking about the specific games he comes across, I wanted to pull back the focus a little, and talk about things like curiosity and joy.

There is SO. MUCH. to unpack when talking about a con as big as MagFest, and the experience of one attendee can be so vastly different from another, but everyone can have an amazing time. Part of the reason for this is what you bring to the table: your own set of expectations and desires. If you want something, you can easily find it at such a comprehensive event. However, the ability of an attendee to connect also relies on the other attendees. Welcoming people into a game, pointing out an empty chair and asking them to join, or even just a friendly smile can help someone reclaim a nostalgic passion, or discover a brand-new obsession. Or both! I had played a strange game called mafia back in early high school, but it was at MagFest where I discovered a game called Werewolf, and a wealth of people to play it with. I saw a group of people in a circle, talking and laughing, and someone asked if I wanted to join, while turning a chair towards me. Next thing I knew, it was 3 hours later, and I felt that deep joy we’ve all felt when we’ve found a new game that resonates with us.

We’re all in this gaming world because we’re passionate about something. As you continue to move through it, remember to share that joy with others. It won’t click for everyone, but you never know who it will click with, and what new friends or teammates you’ll find next.

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