This weekend FlatCon is being held in nearby Bloomington, IL. For two years now I've known of the existence of this game convention less than an hour's drive away. For two years I've said to myself and others "When July rolls around I'm going to FlatCon." For two years now I've just not bothered to go. Similarly, next month will be the second Gen Con held in Indianapolis, a location nearer and easier to get to than the previous Wisconsin venue. I just hop onto the highway and go straight to Indy. No big whup. And I've driven in Indianapolis, it's not a hard city to get around in.
So why am I always passing up the opportunity to go both this nice little local con and the Big Game? Money is certainly part of the issue. Even a local con costs money for admission. Add in gas to get there and meals and you've expended some substantial play money to go. Gen Con is hideously expensive compared to the local cons I've been to. Still, if I really wanted to go, I could scrape together the funds, despite the fact that things are pretty tight in my household at the moment. The fact that I would also have to spend time away from my family also factors into the equation. I didn't get married and start a family to spend all my time attending cons while my wife and daughter stayed at home. Of course I don't really spend that much of my free time away from them. And two or three cons a year as opposed to the one con I go to isn't that much of a d ifference.
But both of these hurdles aren't the main issue here. But I can't quite put my finger on the reason I don't try to get to these cons. Am I getting curmudgeonly and don't want to go to a con where things will be different? Certainly more than a decade of participation in Winter War has got to have some sort of an effect on me. Maybe I just like being one of the big fishies in the small pond of my local con. Knowing all the staff and many of the regular attendees gives Winter War a homey feeling that I'm not going to find anywhere else.