Aug 14, 2012 - Game Theory    6 Comments

The Amazing Gen Con 2012 ProfBanks Scavenger Hunt!

As I mentioned in my last post, my plans to attend Gen Con this year have derailed, but I’m determined to see the sights all the same. Like any discerning nerd, I don’t want to see everything, but I want to see everything I want to see.

But the Darling Husband will be on the clock 24/7, so he can’t be my virtual tour guide. Besides, while he is a Paragon of Manhood and an Amazing Font of Miraculous Amazingness, he can still only be in one place at one time, at least until our children perfect that technology for next year’s science fair.

But YOU, darling Gen Con attendees, you can be everywhere.

So I’m asking you to be my eyes in Indy, and I’m willing to reward you well. I have swag and I have skills, and I’m not afraid to dish them out to the people who take my favorite pictures in each of the following categories. But I’m a cruel and whimsical benefactress, so the only way to make sure you win something awesome is to take lots of pictures. I’m trying to work out a way to post them all on Tumblr, so everyone else can enjoy them too, but for now, the only solution I have is posting them on Twitter with the hashtag #ProfBanksScavengerHunt. If you’re a friend on Facebook, you can also give me links there.

Want to appeal to my greedy, materialistic self? If you find something extra-nifty that I simply cannot live without, you have two choices. If it’s free, you could grab one for me and give it to my DH. If it’s not free, you can tell him where you found it and how much it is. (He’ll be at the Margaret Weis Productions booth #1519 in the Dealers’ Hall for most of the con.)

So here’s the list. Be sure to respect the people whose faces, costumes, and products you intend to photograph, first and foremost by asking permission. Ask nicely, too, just like I would. And say thank you.

1) Cool Doctor Who people and stuff. People in clever costumes, uncanny look-alikes, nifty tie-in products, RC Daleks, or even just a particularly creepy stone statue in the downtown that might be a Weeping Angel in disguise. All Doctors, companions, and feature characters are fine by me.

2) Kids in costumes. Let me stress this: get permission from the parent or guardian.

3) Men in kilts. I’m going to assume this is self-explanatory. No, I don’t want to see what’s underneath. Unless it’s Spanx–then DEFINITELY take a picture.

4) You with one of my favorite games: 221B Baker Street, Circvs Maximvs,  Run Out The Guns!, FVLMINATA, Nobilis, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Spirit of the Century. The first two are out of print, and relatively hard to find, so especially with those, if you find a copy somewhere, please tell my Darling Husband about it.

5) Anything with Alexander Skarsgård on it. He’s best known as Eric Northman on HBO’s True Blood, but I’m happy to see him anywhere, in any role, or au naturel.

6) People in costume outside the convention center. I love the absurd, so the more incongruous the costume and the place and/or activity, the better.

7) Your favorite piece of swag this year. Free or cheap, it’s got to be exclusive it is to Gen Con 2012.

8) Obscure literary/math/science jokes. I like them in art, on t-shirts, anywhere you find them. Extra points if they’re entirely unintentional.

9) Games happening in unusual places. I define “unusual” as NOT in the convention center or hotel rooms and lobbies.

10) Same-sex kisses in front of the mall food court Chick-Fil-A. Extra points if I know one or more of the people involved in the kiss. ABSOLUTELY ZERO POINTS if anyone catches you being an asshole to a Chick-Fil-A employee or customer while you’re at it.

11) Random acts of kindness. See someone holding a door, or giving up a seat, or boosting up a kid or kender for a better look? Snap a picture. If you miss it, stop the person, thank them for what they did, and ask them to dramatically recreate it for immortality.

12) Typos, bad apostrophes, and other grammatical catastrophes on signage. It doesn’t have to be official Gen Con signage, or even Gen Con signage.

Remember, there are prizes on the line, and I’m inclined to be as inventive and extravagant as my participants, so please join in if this sounds fun. I really appreciate your service as my remote operatives. I can’t wait to see you there next year.


–Points OFF for food pictures

–Points OFF for negative geek or gender stereotypes



  • Jess, do you want photos of 221B Baker Street, or do you want an actual copy? If you want a copy, which edition?

    • Well, I’d love to have my own copy, but I certainly don’t expect anyone to buy it for me or anything. The picture counts for the scavenger hunt, but if someone finds the game (any edition’s fine), telling Cam would help him pick it up for me. I haven’t had luck in years past, unfortunately.

  • The thing is, I come across copies regularly at thrift stores. There are the VCR versions and I’ve seen non-VCR versions, too. I can keep my eyes open. I’ve got THE EYE. 🙂

    • HOW INTERESTING. I never knew there was anything but the board-game version, with mysteries on cards and things. A video version? Super weird. I’ll let you know–thanks!

  • Did you ever find a copy of 221B Baker Street? I need to check, but I may have a spare (unless my husband already shared it) & will be attending GenCon 2013.

    • I did! Or, more correctly, my husband did, in time for my birthday last year. Thanks so much for asking, though!!

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