|Venue||Eagle Crest Resort (Ypsilanti, Michigan)|
|Organized by||UCon Gaming Club|
U-Con is a gaming convention held annually in the fall in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area. It has been sponsored by several different University of Michigan student organizations since its inception, but is currently a stand-alone non-profit not affiliated with the University of Michigan.
U-Con first developed out of the Michigan Wargaming Club. In 1988, as a sophomore, Brian Meadors, a player of role-playing games and Avalon Hill boardgames, noted with distress that there was no gaming club at the University of Michigan. He and Birger de la Pena created the "Michigan Wargaming Club" in 1988 and began having monthly gatherings at the Michigan Union to play games. In 1989, Meadors, de la Pena, Tim Carroll, and Eve and Larry Madsen organized and created U-Con, along with other members of their weekly college gaming group (GAME: GUILD), which included Kris Fazarri, Jill Gallon, and Rick Coen. The organizational meetings for planning the first U-Con were held in "The Entity House," which is where Tim Carroll lived and was an off-campus house that had a long run of gaming enthusiasts as tenants.
The 1989 U-Con had a format of games from Friday evening through Sunday evening. UCon was held in the Michigan Union, and it filled nearly every room. Friday morning and afternoon slots were added in 2005. U-Con 2009 was held November 13–15, 2009., and added video and computer gaming to the con's offerings.
U-Con is a mid-size regional gaming convention; an array of games, an exhibit hall and an auction are supplemented by seminars on game design and other gaming-related topics (often put on by UCon's guests of honor, who have included well-known designers such as Richard Garfield). Events are provided for children as well. U-Con offers some unusual gaming opportunities as well; it was an early site for playtesting of Erick Wujcik's Amber Diceless Roleplaying game, and it hosts a weekend-long track of Tekumel events. People come from as far away as England and Germany to attend.
Guests of Honor have included game creators, writers, editors, publishers, and artists. The 2009 Guest of Honor was Sid Meier, of Civilization and Sid Meier's Pirates fame.
Previous Guests of Honor
- Leonard Balsera, FATE and Chez Geek line developer
- Tim Thurmond, balloon sculptor (Special Guest)
- Mike Brock, Pathfinder Society campaign coordinator (Special Guest)
- Jason Caminsky, author of the New Fire Role-Playing Game.
- Tim Thurmond, balloon sculptor
- Sid Meier, co-founder and creative director of Firaxis Games; co-founder of MicroProse and initial developer of Civilization
- Robert Lynn Asprin, science fiction author
- Lynn Abbey, science fiction author
- Darwin Bromley, founder of Mayfair Games