About Us

History

The Home of Tabletop Gaming™

Founded in 1968 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin by Gary Gygax (Co-Creator of Dungeons & Dragons), Gen Con is the longest-running and best-attended convention for tabletop gaming in North America. In 2017, we celebrated our 50th convention! For five decades, we've been gathering people around tables to play games.

One of the questions we get asked the most is: What does "Gen Con'"stand for? Gen Con started as a small gathering of war game enthusiasts. The name is a shortened version of the original name “Lake Geneva Wargaming Convention.”

If you'd like to read more about our history, check out 40 Years of Gen Con by Robin D. Laws. You can also find a summary of our history on Wikipedia.


Our Mission

Our mission is to create opportunities, experiences, and communities where people can share the joy of games together. We embrace progress while building on over 50 years of history to shape the spirit of Gen Con – a space where fun, empathy, play and connection are always at the center – and carry it into the future.


Gen Con Values

    Creativity

    We encourage, nurture, and support the amazing people, ideas, and technologies that bring Gen Con to life, in all its creative forms.

    Inclusive community-building

    We consciously build welcoming, safer spaces to gather, forge friendships, explore shared passions, and discover new ones. We value active listening and working with our community to shape a Gen Con that is anti-discrimination, anti-racist and free of sexism, harassment, and hate.

    Continuous growth

    We are always searching for new ways to play and celebrate games together. W practice self-awareness, remain humble, and hold ourselves accountable for the things we do to improve the industry ecosystem, grow as individuals and brin our unique experience to more people across the globe.

    Our place in gaming history

    We acknowledge the history and traditions of Gen Con and its place in the world of gaming. We seek to honor the individuals and accomplishments of those who built our industry while actively working for systemic change. Gen Con is where the story of tabletop games is often written, and we accept the challenge of promoting change so that future Gen Con is grounded in equality, diversity, and borderless joy.


Exhibit Hall

Inside the Exhibit Hall, game manufacturers and publishers sell and market games directly to consumers. With over 500 exhibiting companies, exhibitors' offerings range from premiering new games and selling support products to running product demonstrations and organizing amateur and professional tournaments. Many exhibitors also conduct seminars and workshops ranging in topic from games development to competition-level miniatures painting. Gen Con offers endless possibilities for manufacturers and publishers to creatively sell and support their full line of products, as well as marketing new products that are not yet available to consumers. Gen Con is the preeminent consumer marketing event for hobby games in the United States and North America — over 300 games launched at Gen Con last year!


Company Profile

Gen Con LLC was founded in May of 2002 by Peter Adkison, founder and former CEO of Wizards of the Coast. After a short hiatus from the gaming industry, Peter purchased the “Gen Con Game Fair” from Wizards of the Coast. The first show under Peter's leadership took place August 2002 in Milwaukee, WI. At the time of its founding, Gen Con LLC acquired the U.S. convention held in Milwaukee, as well as the national brand that had enjoyed licensed shows in the United Kingdom and Barcelona, Spain.

In 2003, Gen Con moved the U.S. event to Indianapolis, Indiana. The relocation met with resounding success. That year the Gen Con brand expanded to include a new, sister-show in Anaheim California. As a result, the midwest show was branded “Gen Con Indy” to capture the geographical distinction from the sister show, dubbed “Gen Con So Cal” in tribute to its birthplace in southern California. After the demise of the Gen Con So Cal show in 2006, the Indianapolis show assumed the name “Gen Con: The Best Four Days of Gaming!”

Whether attendees want to participate in RPGs, board games, card games, cosplay, crafting, brewery tours, laser tag, or one of our 17,000 other events, the purpose of Gen Con is to delight gamers with an experience that rewards their loyalty for choosing Gen Con.