Saturday, I attended Totalcon, a gaming convention weighted heavily toward board games. It was a wonderful experience. I pulled up before 8:00 to register and find out what was going on. I walked in from the gray and soon-to-be snowing outdoors into a roofed atrium complete with fountains and plants. The place was already busy with people setting up tables and getting breakfast at the hotel buffet. Initially I felt awkward as I wandered around not knowing what to do, but I asked some one where registration was. The warm and helpful response from that person and on was the tone of the day. I had walked into a community of people who were spending the day, and some of them four days, together to play games and enjoy the company of others who like to play games.
I have spent a lot of time in the contra dancing community in the Midwest. It is a group of people with whom I have eaten, danced, laughed, sang, and shared my life over more than two decades. I was a little disheartened that I was not able to connect to the contra community here in Boston the same way. I do have a lead on that, but the feeling in this convention was similar to the feeling of community that I have in the Midwest contra community. This makes me happy.
One other similarity that really makes me happy is the inclusion of a wide range of ages. In both groups there is certainly a predominance of 20s-50s adults, but also in both there are teens, children, and those of the wiser persuasion. In both, the teens are happy and engaged and interacting with all age groups. I am excited to share this world with my children as they grow into it.