I originally posted this as a response in Judd’s LJ and then immediately realized that was the wrong place for it. If you want the read the original thread, it’s here. The short version is that a number of people have suggested that the answer to many of the issues facing the IGE at Dreamation is to add an open gaming / Games On Demand area. I don’t think that’s the answer, and here’s why:
I kinda think that GoD would be a poor fit for Dreamation, but not at all for the reasons Avie states. As Joshua said, GoD has worked well at GenCon and filling tables with play would not be an issue.
GoD was created intentionally to draw enthusiasm AWAY from the Exhibit Hall at GenCon, so that folks who had already bought what they wanted could actually PLAY their games and not contribute to the traffic jam at the booth. At Dreamation, it would be a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. The only thing for GoD to draw enthusiasm away from is the scheduled games! And that would be disasterous.
Look at the incentives it sets up for both the publishers and the indie-enthusiast attendees: For the publisher, the incentive becomes “I want to see that hot new game that attendee X is bringing to the GoD area, and talk with friends old and new. To maximize my enjoyment, I should run as few scheduled games as possible so I can spend as much time as possible at GoD.” For the indie-enthusiast attendee, the incentive becomes “I want to play in a game run by publisher Z, and Z has said online that he’ll be spending most of his time in the GoD area. To maximize my enjoyment, I should register for as few games as possible, to have a better chance of gaming/hanging out with Z.”
I foresee tons of people crowding into the GoD area, begging you to play Shock: and you’ve got to come up with those supplementary GMs on the spot rather than a few weeks before the con.
GoD was our way to make a tiny corner of GenCon more like Dreamation. If you try to make Dreamation more like GoD, the risks are high.
I’m certainly not totally convinced of anything, and would like to hear others’ thoughts on the matter.