Salt Lake Gaming Con and Working Conventions

This weekend I'll be appearing at Salt Lake Gaming Con on the 7th and 8th. My schedule is pretty full. Here it is:


12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Playing MMORPGs While Having A Real Life
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm The Everything Playstation Panel
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Choose Your Own Apocalypse RPGs: Lolth (D&D) vs Palpatine (Star
Wars) vs The Computer (Paranoia) (Me)
8:00 pm to 9:00 pm Which Came First, the Story or the RPG? The Relationship Between
Writing and Role Playing Games


11:00 am to 12:00 pm Are Video Games as Fun as They Used to Be?
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Choose Your Own Apocalypse Video Games: The Reapers (Mass
Effect) vs The Uber Ethereal (X- Com) (Me) vs The Umbrella Corporation
(Resident Evil)
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm Hollywood Limbo: The Greatest Video Game Movies Never Made
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm Burning Down the Tavern to When the Dog Eats Your Adventure
Notes: The Ultimate Dungeon Master Guide for Dungeons and
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm Mass Effect 3 and Andromeda: What Went Right, What Went Wrong?

While part of this post is to announce my upcoming schedule, let's talk a little bit about why I have that schedule. I've spoken before about how some cons know that they can put me on any panel and I'll either moderate or perform color commentary. Basically, I can make myself useful on any panel even when I don't have what you might traditionally call expertise in the subject matter. I've been placed on panels where military people speak about military sf (I've never served). I was once on a panel with two or three mathematicians speaking about cryptography, a subject I know enough about to write fiction around, but not about directly. Basically, they know that I'll rise to the challenge.

In this case, I'm a professional game designer with more than twenty years experience, so I told them to work me to death. I pitched at least a few of these panels myself (or ones that look enough like them that the planners likely built them out of my suggestion and someone else's), and if you look at the schedule, they have me moderating a great many of them. In fact, if you take out the game show panels, I moderate all but two. That's the trick here. If they didn't know my level of expertise in a subject, they made me the moderator. It's not the moderator's job to be an expert. It's the moderator's job to know the subject well enough to ask the right questions of the audience, and there isn't a subject in something called Gaming Con that I don't know at least that well.

So I have a table with an author's group. This is good because I will spend very little time at the table, and there will be someone to watch my books. (If you want one signed, buy one and find me at a panel). I don't intend to sell a lot at Gaming Con, at least not by my own hand. What I do intend to do, is to continue to make myself as valuable as possible to the people who run Gaming Con. That is a goal in and of itself, but that kind of reputation is what you need as an author in the con community. The fact that these are the same people who run Salt Lake Comic Con is just icing on the cake.