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GameCon is organized by teachers for students, and it is entirely dependent on the generosity of the public. We were pleased and humbled by the outpouring of support for GameCon VI by several donors. With these donations, we were able to give away many games and gaming supplies as prizes to students during the gaming events. All students received a treasure box full of good stuff, including a d20, a custom GameCon VI die, a meeple, gift certificates, a Magic deck, and random cards. 

GameCon was honored by a contribution made by mega-author Patrick Rothfuss. Mr. Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind and other books, is well-known to be a tabletop gamer. Mr. Rothfuss generously donated a box of Mayfair board games to GameCon VI.

The biggest contributor was Wizards of the Coast, which provided 360 decks of Magic the Gathering cards. Paizo, Inc., maker of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, delivered a stack of Pathfinder books, mats, and card games. Pinnacle Entertainment Group, maker of the Savage Worlds Roleplaying Game, delivered an astonishing $1,500 worth of gift certificates for their online store. Jersey Mike's donated large stacks of coupons for sandwiches and drinks. Wayne's Books, a retailer of games and books, gave several vintage games, including a collector's item: a copy of the 1981 version of Basic Dungeons and Dragons. Other generous donors included Evil Hat Productions, Miniature Market, Chessex, and Petrie's Family Games.

On Saturday, April 30th, a legion of over three hundred middle and high school students and parents descended upon Rampart High School to play board games, card games, roleplaying games, and war games in a day of community, competition, and entertainment. Organized by teachers, GameCon VI involved over one hundred volunteers, several game shops and other vendors, and variety of community organizations in an effort to provide inexpensive but high-quality gaming opportunities to the youth of the Pikes Peak Region. 

Air Academy High School teacher Michael Madsen managed the Chess Department. He conducted tournaments, gave out medals and consolation prizes, and coached students between tournaments. GameCon VI was clearly our best event ever. According to Mr. Madsen, “I had more players participate than ever before ... What is really exciting is the level of play I saw from the players. I can’t believe it, but there were players in the tournament who I would have been hard-pressed to beat in a regular rated tournament.” Mr. Madsen also facilitated less conventional chess fun: “The blitz tournament was especially impressive … The prizes were awesome and it was a great time had by all. Anyway, can’t wait for the next one!”

The Roleplaying Department involved a large number of tabletop roleplaying games, including Dungeons and Dragons, Doctor Who, Pathfinder, Heroes Unlimited, Savage Worlds, and more. GameCon was honored to have in attendance Sean Patrick Fannon, who facilitated his Savage Rifts roleplaying game all day. Savage Rifts is the most anticipated game of 2016, according to ENWorld, and Mr. Fannon is the lead designer of the game. GameCon was also privileged to see Andrew Armstrong facilitate Dungeons and Dragons games. Mr. Armstrong has a Youtube channel devoted to Dungeons and Dragons that has over 30,000 subscribers. Travis Petkovits is another celebrity game master who hosted games at GameCon VI. Travis is a former employee of Wizards of the Coast.

Students also enjoyed games run by other regular volunteers. Joseph Gerstenschlager, a Rampart teacher, ran Star Wars roleplaying games all day. Joe has a following among students, and his games are always booked. Another District 20 teacher, Bryan Salagovic, is an accomplished game master for Dungeons and Dragons. Mr. Salagovic ran the hit adventure, Curse of Strahd. Philip Krogmeier, an employee of the Pikes Peak Library District, hosted Dungeons and Dragons games. Philip's games are always a hit at GameCon. Robert Black, a Cherry Creek drama teacher, puts on phenomenal games of the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game. Mr. Black mesmerizes students and other volunteers alike with his captivating performances as game master. Sam Webb from District 11 brilliantly ran super hero games all day with the venerable Heroes Unlimited Roleplaying Game. O.J. Pinckert and several game masters from the Pathfinder Society did a brilliant job of introducing many students to roleplaying with their signature short Pathfinder quests. 
Students also enjoyed games run by volunteers who are new to GameCon. Mr. R. Kevin Smoot ran a game of Basic Fantasy RPG and generously handed out copies of the rules to all players. Also new at GameCon, Mr. Patrick Schenk ran a brilliant game of Dungeon World. Josiah Seaman ran a game of Mage: the Ascension in which a group of high school students were delighted to play as vampire hunters. 

In the board game and card game department, many volunteers taught and facilitated games. The Colorado Springs Gamers Association (CSGA), a not-for-profit organization that has been in existence for over 10 years, promotes historical miniature wargaming. CSGA members Paul Pease and Dick Fickes hosted simulations of historical battles from the American Revolution and Civil War. The battles, involving hundreds of detailed miniatures and terrain, were a hit for players and observers alike. Eric Widiger, also from CSGA, ran the very popular Star Wars Miniatures wargame.  

Jason Forquer, a teacher at Sierra High School, ran Zombicide, a cooperative board game. Ted Monogue, parent of a Rampart student, facilitated games of Ogre, a war game that is much in-demand at GameCon. Mr. Tom Cook, spouse of a District 20 teacher, facilitated several board games. Several other volunteers hosted a variety of board games.

By far the largest department was the Trading Card Game Department, which operated tournaments all day in Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokémon. Mr. Sam Payne supervised the MCed the tournaments.  

Several community groups participated in GameCon. We are especially indebted to the The Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD) which advertised the event and contributed in many other ways. In addition to contributing some of our best volunteers, members of the PPLD Yo-Yo club performed during lunch. The PPLD also exhibited their 3D printers, producing awesome Rocktopus miniatures.

Members of the the Society for Creative Anachronism, a historical reenactment group, attended in medieval costumes. They also exhibited many pieces of medieval armor and enthralled guests with stories of the Middle Ages. 

Members of a charity group, the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club, attended in professional Star Wars costumes.  The group even brought a full-size, operational R2D2 robot!

We were privileged to have in attendance several professional creative talents. Ben Worrell of Sheath Comics. Ben drew custom art for kids all day, displayed on a huge screen using a document camera and projector. Also in attendance were authors Evangeline Denmark and Brock Eastman.

GameCon is the creation of educators Dustin Flesher and Carolyn Payne. GameCon is organized by a committee of educators who volunteer their time to bring GameCon to our students. GameCon VI was made possible by educators from around the Pikes Peak region, some of whom are shown below. We want to hear from you! http://www.gamebewithyou.org/contact-us

by Dustin Flesher, May 8, 2016