WisCon 42 Gaming Update


WisCon’s Gaming Department is gearing up for an awesome con!  Here’s what we have in store for gamers and the gaming-curious.

pile of board games
The Gaming table at the WisCon 40 Gathering.

Our Open Gaming Space will be open each evening from 8pm to 12am in the second floor lobby in front of the Dealers’ Room doors. We will teach and play a variety of modern games open to casual drop-in players. Most games will be suitable in theme and content for players of a variety of ages from children on up. New players are welcome and encouraged to join us! This year, we are excited to share new additions of Braille-marked accessibility kits to our collection, for the popular Pandemic and 7 Wonders board games, as well as a Braille RPG dice set that can be loaned out for scheduled (or impromptu) role-playing games.  We welcome you to bring games to share with fellow attendees, or to choose a game from our collection to play.

Reserving Seats

WisCon 40 Gaming sign
The Gaming sign-up / notice board at WisCon 40.

Reserve a seat to ensure a spot in one of our scheduled games! Reservations are not required, but they are recommended, especially for role-playing and storytelling games. Reserve a seat today by emailing us at gaming@wiscon.net. At the con, a board outside of the Dealers’ Room will feature that evening’s featured games along with sign-up space, or you can sign up at the Gaming table at the Gathering on Friday. Throughout the weekend, we will advertise games that are looking for players, so stay alert for posters, tweets, and whispers.

Scheduled Games at WC42


  • Participants: 3-6
  • When: Friday: 2:30-5:15 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Larp

Sign is a silent game about being understood.

In 1977 fifty deaf children from across Nicaragua were brought together to an experimental school to teach lip reading, but something far more remarkable happened. At this time in Nicaragua no sign language existed, so the children did the only thing they could — they created one. In Sign, players experience a small piece of their journey of struggling to be understood and finding ways to share what is important to them.

Sign is equally fun to play if you are new to games, you’ve never signed before, or you are fluent in a sign language.


  • Participants: 3-5
  • When: Friday: 6:30-9:30 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Roleplaying Game

Fiasco is a storytelling game inspired by cinematic tales of small-time capers gone disastrously wrong, with powerfully ambitious characters who lack impulse control. A game of big dreams and flawed execution, Fiasco is an award-winning, GM-less game for 3-5 players, designed to be played in a few hours with no preparation. During the game you will engineer and play out silly, disastrous situations, usually at the intersection of greed, fear, and passion. It’s like making your own Coen brothers movie, in about the same amount of time it’d take to watch one. This game is particularly welcoming for those new to role-playing games. Players will choose among several “playsets,” some of which are family-friendly, to create a story in a customized setting.


  • Participants: 5-6
  • When: Friday: 10 pm-12 am
  • Location: Room 641
  • Larp


It is July third, 1950. The Korean War is eight days old. National Security Council Report 68 is sitting on Harry Truman’s desk, a grim outline of the Cold War that is to enfold the world for the next 40 years. Alan Turing’s paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” is circulating for review. Cinderella is a box office sensation.

And you have invented a computer that can see the future.

Employing cutting-edge Ward-Takahashi identity derivations outside their quantum-theoretical framework, JUGGERNAUT processes enormous data sets, ostensibly in the service of code-breaking once the technology is proven and refined. The unstable geniuses behind the math have reached some curious conclusions that only experimental evidence can confirm. By the numbers, JUGGERNAUT —given enough resources— should be able to crack ciphers before they are even invented.

JUGGERNAUT is a live-action game about free will that plays like a creepy Twilight Zone episode and requires almost no prep. Replay value is high and it is always weird and intense To play.

Dream Apart

  • Participants: 2-5
  • When: Saturday: 9-12 am
  • Location: Room 641
  • Roleplaying Game

GM-less, mechanics-light storygame set in a fantastical 19th century Eastern European Jewish village, based on Avery Alder’s Dream Askew.

Dream Apart gives us demons and wedding jesters; betrothals and pogroms; mystical ascensions and accusations of murder; rabbi’s daughters running away to be actresses or bandits or boy soldiers; the sounds of the shofar ringing through cramped and muddy streets, of cannon fire, of the wolf’s footfalls in the snowy pine forest; asking “What do you do next?”

In Dream Apart you play a Jew of the shtetl, a little mostly-Jewish market town in the Eastern European countryside. In the cities, the industrial revolution has begun. Prussia, Russia and the Hapsburgs have devoured the small countries between them. Surrounded by an often hostile Christendom, by wild forests in which anything might creep, and by the invisible creatures of the Unseen World — angels, demons, ghosts, and dybbuks — the Jews of the shtetl try to outwit or outlast those who would do us harm. We feud and reconcile, bargain and gossip, celebrate and mourn, and snatch a little joy and love while we can. Life in the shtetl is sweet as raisin pastries and bitter as horseradish: may it be the Divine Will that it endures another season…

Deep Forest

  • Participants: 2-5
  • When: Saturday: 1:00-5:15 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Roleplaying Game

In this map-drawing game you collectively explore the struggles of a community of monsters, trying to rebuild and heal after driving off the human occupiers. It’s a game about community, difficult choices, and decolonization. When you play, you make decisions about the community, decisions that get recorded on a map that is constantly evolving. Players work together to create and steer this community, but they also play devil’s advocate and introduce problems and tensions into the game.


  • Participants: 3-6
  • When: Saturday: 6:30-10:30 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Roleplaying Game

Dread is an elegant survival-horror game that runs on a very simple mechanic: Jenga! Pull a block to succeed, or refuse and fail— but when the tower falls, somebody dies. No dice needed. Game facilitator will provide all materials. 2 scenarios will be available, and players will choose which one to play based on interest. One is a classic AI space horror called Only the Food, the other is Stranger Dread (based on, guess what: Stranger Things). Warning: This is a horror game and characters will die! However, we will use safety mechanics such as the X card to avoid specific triggering topics.

Pokémon Go!

  • Participants: 1-100
  • When: Sunday: 10-11:15 am
  • Location: Meet in the hotel lobby
  • Video Game

Pokémon Go! is a fun Augmented Reality game in which players go out in the world and catch pokémon either alone or in a group! Urban areas such as the area around the convention hotel are excellent places to catch pokémon, battle gyms, and even join together to take on large raids.

I would like to bring a group of Pokémon-catching enthusiasts on a short expedition out and around the square near the capitol (bordered by Doty, Fairchild, Dayton, and Webster Streets at most, but probably staying right around the capitol itself). This is intended to be a social outing + game, so players should plan to come and chat about their favorite pokémon, what they need to complete their pokédex, etc.

The game is all ages, but as it involves leaving the premises of the WisCon hotel, children must bring their guardian with them.

Players should bring: comfortable walking shoes and/or any mobility aids, a device capable of playing Pokémon Go! and connecting to the network (or a friend willing to provide a hotspot), water, and sunscreen.

Accessibility: I intend to stick to sidewalks and will avoid any extremely difficult to maneuver areas (for instance, construction). The game does involve some movement and some standing/staying in one place to capture pokémon.

Group size: Although there is no theoretical limit to group size, I am hoping to recruit 1 or 2 other people to be potential “group leaders” just in case the group is extremely large. Although a very large (more than 20 people) will be good for a pokémon raid, it will result in logistic problems as we move around the square. If we have enough people to split into groups, I would like to send the groups in different directions so that we don’t clog the sidewalk.

Dialect – Mars Colony

  • Participants: 2-5
  • When: Sunday: 1:00-3:45 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Roleplaying Game

Have you ever wanted to create your own language for a creative project? In Dialect you can live that dream by building a unique vocabulary for a Mars colony. Dialect is a story game about a Mars colony that loses contact with Earth. Players tell the story of the colony and it’s dialect growing and changing without Earth’s influence. When contact with Earth is re-established, our story ends. This engaging and beautiful game is perfectly suited to first-time storytellers of any age.

Lovecraft Letter

  • Participants: 2-6
  • When: Sunday: 4:00-5:15 pm
  • Location: Tables outside the dealers room
  • Board Game

Lovecraft Letter is fast moving, quick to play card game, in which players seek out dark secrets, risking their very sanity. But not really. Lovecraft letter is a game of risk, deduction and luck that uses the award-winning love letter engine.

Individual games move very fast (as little as 10 minutes), so far more people than six can sign up and get a chance to play. Players can drop in and out throughout the time slot.


  • Participants: 3
  • When: Sunday: 6:30-10:30 pm
  • Location: Room 641
  • Larp

Since 1992, approximately 28,000 Danish soldiers have gone to war abroad. Distance is a scenario about some of their wives who were left at home. Jesper, Simon, and Kenneth are stationed in the Danish army in Afghanistan. They will be there for six months and all communication with their loved ones will take place through unstable telephone lines and bad internet connections. Meanwhile, Anne-Mette, Camilla, and Josephine take care of things at home. The three women have formed a support
group where they share their experiences.

Distance is a tragic story about how the three marriages are affected by the husbands’ absence. The scenario is played out through short stand-alone scenes showing highlights spread out over all six months. The story focuses on the wives and life at home. There are snapshots of busy days and anxious nights waiting for a phone call that never comes. There is awkward Skype sex and confrontations with judgmental friends. There are episodes of meeting new men, sometimes in the form of unwanted sexual advances, other times igniting new sparks of attraction.

One thought on “WisCon 42 Gaming Update”

  1. Hello!

    My name is Ron Hernandez and I run a volunteer convention crew called iCon Tournaments. We specialize in hosting video gaming tournaments for Super Smash Bros and various games on the xBox One like Dragon Ball Fighterz, Killer Instinct and Mortal Kombat. Over the past three years, we have made our mark on conventions in the midwest at shows like Anime Central, Wizard World Chicago, Chicago Pop Culture Con and a handful of others. We like to bring all of our own equipment like TVs, consoles, prizes, etc. and only ask for tables, chairs and a hotel room for our team for the extent of the con (since we are from Illinois!). After looking at your website and noticing you have mostly board games, we would like to offer you our services! If you have any questions about who we are or what we do, please don’t hesitate to ask. I look forward to speaking with you more about the details.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *