Normally I couldn't give a flea-sized shit about what goes on at Gen Con, and we should be wary of sample bias - people who go to Gen Con are by definition among the strangest and silliest people on earth - but I found some of these results interesting. For instance:
- AD&D (1st edition) is the second most popular variant of D&D after 4E, with 3.5 and 2nd edition some way behind. 2nd edition is the least popular by a considerable distance - which is not altogether surprising, if regrettable in my eyes. Of the other games, HERO seems quite popular, along with Savage Worlds (depressingly).
- Indie RPGs are even less popular than I would have expected, with only 20 games being played in total, as opposed to 97 of Shadowrun and 98 of Call of Cthulu alone. Given the prevalence of one-shot-based games within the 'Indie' community, I find this especially surprising: you would have thought such throwaway systems would be perfect for convention play.
- Rolemaster is now so unfashionable that there appears to be no sign of it at the convention at all. Thankfully, it seems White Wolf games are seeing a long-awaited decline in popularity, though this is off-set by a strong LARP showing. (There will be nearly 8000 people LARPing at Gen Con, a figure which staggers me from numerous directions. How do these people even tie their own shoelaces, let along get it together enough to make their way to Indianapolis?)
- There is a bit of a showing for the OSR, but not much.