In just a short amount of time, we will all be immersed in the awesome experience that is Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio! Over the next few weeks I want to take the time to share with you what Origins looks like as a Con, things you need to know and places to check out while you are there.
Today I want to focus on the things you need to have done or should be doing right now to be prepared to go out to Columbus for this great Con. Consider this a checklist for preparation for both old and new players alike.
First steps: The essentials for preparation for trip to Origins include:
You can find the registration page HERE and it is a simple process to get yourself set up and registered for the Con complete with a badge. Once registered, search for the events you are most interested in and register for those as well. If there is something that you really don’t want to miss you need to get it pre-registered for it now. Another great option is to buy some generic tokens, at $2/piece they will allow you to enter into events if there is room anytime, and you can sell them back for face value when the Con is all done. This will allow you to jump right into
one of the many events at the Convention. We will discuss more about those next week.
Event pre-registration is open until June 1st, meaning you can lock in an event that interests you but you must have it paid by June 1st. After that, anything people chose that was not paid for is released to the public to try and reserve as well. You can find the event grid list HERE and as you chose items it will block others from being available as you plan out your day. We will talk more about these events and the best to do/not to do’s for them in a later article.
Try as you may, you cannot sleep in the Con halls. Or at least you shouldn’t! There are many choices all around Columbus within walking distance and short drives, and there is a partial list of those places on Origins’ website but you can also do a simple google search for some more affordable locations in the vicinity. Find some buddies or put it out there that you need a roommate and you may find a person or two to join. Hotels are a necessity because they will give you that much needed rest each night and allow you to be ready to go the next day. Most hotels in the immediate area may already be sold out, but check those in the outlying areas and catch an uber in each day!
We have been partial to staying at one of the connected hotels to the Convention center over the last few years that we have gone with our friends. It allows an easy drop-off of extra things (ie games bought) and a quick reprieve for a nap, mental break or chance to relax in the middle of the day as needed. Parking is another big expense, and rolling that into a hotel stay can save you money for the week as opposed to driving everywhere and paying for it. Some places offer snacks or breakfast as well so it can be worth looking into that as well.
If you have never been to a Con for a multi day experience, it is basically an adult camp for you and tens of thousands of your closest friends. Remember going to camp as a kid? What you brought and more importantly what you forget play a big part of the experience. Packing the right things will be key to making the experience memorable, affordable and enjoyable for you and those around you. You do not want to have to travel to find necessities and essentials-it is so much easier just to bring them with you.
Over the years I have learned what I do and don’t need, and have made a mental list to use. This is not an all-inclusive list but rather a springboard to get you started:
- Clean clothes for each day
- Comfy walking shoes
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
- Soap, shampoo
- Breakfast foods
- Drinks like water, Gatorade
- Caffeinated beverage of your choice
- Cough drops
- Vitamins, airborne
- Your medications
- Cash and/or credit cards
- Multi-outlet extension cord
- Charging cords for electronics
- Cell phone
The Origins Game Fair occurs annually at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The address is:
400 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215
Know how to get where you are going from where you currently are. If it is by car you need to know before hand your best driving options and if there will be construction. Make sure to leave with plenty of time if you have an early scheduled event the day you are planning to arrive. There are no refunds on missed events from Origins. Delays are inevitable, leave time in the travel plans to make sure that they don’t wreck your day. If you are flying in, line up the cab or Uber ride to get you where you need to go. A little preparation can make all the difference here.
This is a Con must and a rule I highly encourage new Con goers not to miss out on, the 3-2-1 rule. It is the minimum amount you should do of three things and goes as follows:
- 3 hours of sleep
- 2 meals
- 1 shower
These are minimum recommendations and frankly I think we need to put in few more hours of sleep at a Con to be able to keep with the rigors of gaming. Sleep before you come the week before can be “banked” so that you are well rested off the get go. But don’t miss sleeping one day and expect the next day to go well. 3 hours at minimum will get you a refresher and a break in your days. As stated, these need to be done everyday.
Meals consist of actually taking the time to sit down and eat some food. There are many great choices of restaurants and food eateries out there, but make sure you take the time to use them and enjoy all the different options. Snacks and other food items are important to have when fatigue sets in or when you find yourself in the middle of the long haul of gaming and matches in general, but don’t neglect the major food groups and hydrating and getting them into your system. Your mental state will only benefit from it for the long haul of games. We will talk about good places to eat in another article.
And finally is that all important shower. This cannot be stated enough. Please do not be the person who thinks that your body odor gives you some type of advantage over others in gameplay. It is disgusting more than it is distracting. I realize we all have different degrees of cleanliness, but make an effort to stay clean and take care of yourself for multiple reasons, one of which being those around you. Please take the time to take care of your own personal hygiene and we will all have a better experience for it.
Next time we will get more into the details of what to expect at the Con itself!