Gary Con

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Gary Con
Genre Gaming
Venue Grand Geneva Resort
Location(s) Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Country United States
Organized by Luke Gygax

Gary Con is a gaming convention held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin every year to celebrate the contributions of Gary Gygax to the gaming industry and to the local community, where Gygax was raised, and where the company he founded, TSR, Inc. created and produced the Dungeons & Dragons game for 25 years.[1][2] Gary Con X will be held March 8-11, 2018.[3]


When Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax died in 2008, role playing gamers from around the world joined to honor Gygax's life with a virtual convention, held at locations around the world.[4] Gygax's friends and family held an impromptu game event at Lake Geneva's American Legion Hall following his funeral on March 8, 2008, now known as "Gary Con 0".[2][5] By 2009, son Luke Gygax had established the first official Gary Con, still at the Legion Hall. "Gary Con I", held March 7, 2009, was attended by a number of gaming industry icons: Frank Mentzer, Tom Wham, Steve Chenault, and Jim Ward.[2] Daughter M. Elise Gygax-Cousino helped establish the initial event.[citation needed]

By 2010, the Legion Hall no longer had the capacity to host the growing event and its participants. As a result, the event was moved to a local lodge west of the town where it has been held ever since.[2] Convention organizer Luke Gygax told a local paper Gary Con was "...meant to be a more intimate event, reminiscent of the formative years of the gaming industry".[6]

In February 2015, Gary Con was mentioned in an episode of the television sitcom The Big Bang Theory; the reference brought attention to the event, causing its website to nearly crash, and boosting that year's attendance.[7][8]


The focus of Gary Con is "Old School Renaissance", with games written during Gygax's ownership of TSR getting the most attention.[1][9] Often the games are run by designers who originally created the game: Metamorphosis Alpha run by Jim Ward, Fight in the Skies run by Mike Carr, and Tom Wham's boardgames.[5][9] Other TSR titles are in abundance, Kevin Cabai, and a host of loyal gamers running the classic games, such as Chainmail.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Wieland, Rob (March 13, 2013). "Gary Con celebrates the life and games of the first Dungeon Master, Gary Gygax". A.V. Club. Onion, Inc. Archived from the original on March 24, 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Ewalt, David M. (August 20, 2013). "16: Pilgrimage". Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4516-4052-6. 
  3. ^ "GaryCon X". Gary Con Enterprises. 2017. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2017. 
  4. ^ Ewalt, David M. (March 6, 2008). "Gary Con: Weekend Tributes To Gary Gygax". Forbes. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b O'Neill, John (March 22, 2010). "Gary Con II Report". Blackgate Magazine. New Epoch Press. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Maple Fest, Gary Con II this weekend". Lake Geneva Printing & Publishing Company. March 17, 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Magee, Jake (2016-03-05). "Gary Con celebrates father of role-playing games". The Janesville Gazette. Retrieved 2017-09-17. 
  8. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (2015-02-27). "The Big Bang Theory: "The Intimacy Acceleration" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2017-09-17. 
  9. ^ a b Forbeck, Matt (May 23, 2010). "Gary Con II rocked". Retrieved 19 January 2014. 

Coordinates: 42°21′49″N 88°14′30″W / 42.363612°N 88.241762°W / 42.363612; -88.241762