Denver Gamers Association
With Tacticon coming up at the end of this month Rocky Mountain Geeks thought it’d be a good time to interview Bill Stilson from the Denver Gamers Association, the group that puts on GenghisCon and Tacticon.
What is the Denver Gamers Association?
Denver Gamers Association (DGA) has been running local gaming conventions, beginning with GenghisCon in 1979. TactiCon (formerly Son of Genghis) began in 1986.
Our mission is to promote the design, development, study, and play of simulation games, including boardgames, wargames, fantasy and science-fiction role-playing games, sports games, and miniatures as an educational, recreational, and social activity; and to coordinate with groups and persons in the region having similar interests.
In our ConJr program, we aim to help parents of the next generation of gamers promote and foster a love of gaming, good-sportsmanship, and creativity as well as enhancing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and learning to be a team player.
As we are a not-for-profit organization, we hold an auction at every Convention. It’s the perfect opportunity to recycle your well-loved games to other players, find a new interest, or pick up a copy of an out of print game. Proceeds from each auction are donated to local and national charities.
How are you involved with the DGA?
I am the president of the DGA board which consists of 7 total members, including myself. I am also the Tacticon Convention Manager and the Genghis con Security coordinator.
How long has the DGA been around?
It all started back in 1979 with Genghis con and in 1986 Tacticon was started (original named Son of Genghis con)
Can anyone become a member of the Denver Gamers Association? If so, what are the benefits?
As the DGA is only a board of directors you have to be asked to replace a member moving off the board. Really there are no benefits for being on the board.
As far as conventions go, anyone can volunteer to help. Depending on what they request to help with determines if they can be used. For example if someone wanted to help with registration but we already had full staff they would not be able to help. As far a judges, people who RUN games, we are always looking for them.
Your two major events are Genghis Con in February and Tacticon at the end of August, are there others?
Those are it. Well those are the 2 conventions that we run. We did, and plan to, have a booth a Denver Comic Con.
We do try and support other shows if we can by offering up badges, events and shirts as prize support.
How would you describe Genghis Con?
Both Genghis and Tacticon are gaming conventions that focus on social gaming. Board games, Role Playing, & Miniature gaming is the most popular games. We do have LARPs (live action roleplaying) and Card games (no gambling games) but Collectible or Living card game. We offer up a con jr for kids 7-12 to come and learn how to game. Genghiscon also offers a painting area, classes with special guests and a painting competition.
How would you describe TactiCon?
See above but add that Tacticon has included Railcon, a smaller convention run by Train Gamers assoc. They run only train games…and there are more than a few. We offer Puffing Billy events ( basically the same thing only run by a convention coordinator) for Genghis con.
What kind of attendance do you have a Genghis Con and Tacticon?
We usually run between 1800-2000 for Genghis con and around 1300-1500 for Tacticon. At Tacticon we lose college kids and families because of school and LaborDay weekend being the last Hurrah for summer. Tacticon has been growing in both number of games ran and attendance over the last couple of cons.
Tacticon is coming up next month, are there any special events this year that you’d like to mention?
We are happy to have Sean Patrick Fannon from Evil Beagle Games coming back along with Carinn Seabolt, editor-an-chief of Evil Beagle Games, Ross Watson, Accursed (savage worlds setting), Warhammer 40k and many others RPGs and Harley Stroh, Goodman Games and 1 of the most fun GMs that I have ever gamed with. His energy and laugh are both very infectious. I’m happy to announce that all of our guests are currently all Colorado residents.
We are also happy to let everyone know that D&D (Next or 5th Ed) will be run at Tacticon.
Who should attend your conventions?
Anyone and everyone! That’s the quick and simple! As our cons are open to anyone that wants to come we welcome them.
But if you are gamer, an out-of-touch ex gamer or any who has ever wanted to know more about the games we play or ever wanted to try out a new game well then please swing by.
We offer non-gamer badges for those that want to attend our Auction or dealers room. These also allow you to walk around the convention. One day badges if you want to join in and weekend badges if you are fully ready to engrossed in gaming
Most all of our gamers are very approachable and will most likely be happy to talk about their hobby.
You mentioned that the Denver Gamers Associate is a not-for-profit, what do you do with the proceeds from your conventions?
We contribute to different charities each convention. Usually Tacticon is a “local” charity like Food bank of the Rockies, Aurora shooting charity..charities like that.
Genghis con is more towards national charities like Breast cancer awareness, American Diabetes charity…charities of that nature.
The auctions sounds like a great place to give and find new games, what charities do you donate the funds to?
If someone would like to volunteer at a convention who should they contact?
How about if they want to run a game?
Same as above
You mentioned some great guests this year, I noticed there are not any panels at your conventions, which seem popular at other conventions. Have you thought about panels? Why do DGA cons not have them? Would you be willing to have panels in the future?
We have tried panels, round tables and meet and greets but for us they don’t seem to work. I would be happy to have them and welcome them…just need someone who can champion it!
Thanks to Bill Stilson and the Denver Gamers Association for this glimpse into the details of some local geeks.
You can find the DGA online at: www.denvergamers.org
You can follow the DGA on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/denvergamers
You can friend the DGA on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Denver-Gamers-Association/191864426014