What exactly is a solocon?

Over on BGG you can find a geeklist about solitaire game conventions. Picture that for a minute…a giant hall, filled with people playing games, but not together, alone. I think that would be a pretty ridiculous convention, and I am a solitaire gamer. What this geeklist is really about is something quite different. Sometimes you have some extra time when family is gone, or maybe you are a stay at home parent who has some time while your child naps, whatever the reason is, people are playing more games solitaire and they want to share their experiences with other people. That is what the geeklist is about.

But What Is A SoloCon?

A SoloCon is where you take time and play several games solitaire. It doesn’t matter whether it is a solo only game, a co-op, an official solo variant or an unofficial variant created by a fan, what matters is that you are playing games solo.

People do SoloCons differently. Some people do them by playing games that can be played both multi-player and solo so they can learn the rules and teach their friends later, so they concentrate on games they haven’t played. Other people use these cons to concentrate on a few games and try to get better at each of them. I, personally, do a little of both. I like to play games that I know (because I can play more without having to learn new rules)  and mix in a few new games as well.

SoloCons also last as long as you want them to. If you only have a few hours and you want to play a couple short games, that works. If you have a few hours over a few days, that works too. Or maybe you have a larger chunk of time that you want to dedicate to playing solo games, well, that works perfectly as well. The nice thing about SoloCons is that they are super flexible. They fit your schedule, because that is what they are about…you.

Why Do a SoloCon?

Lots of people do SoloCons for different reasons. I want to highlight a few reasons (but definitely not all of them) that I personally have used when planning a large or mini SoloCon for myself.

  • The Introvert
    • The current SoloCon that I am planning is definitely for this reason. I am an extrovert, but sometimes I just want to relax by myself. I don’t want to deal with anyone, but I also don’t want to watch tv or do a whole lot of nothing on the internet. Instead I hunker down in my apartment, grab some games and have fun!
  • The Challenge
    • As I have talked about before, I enjoy participating in challenges. People host challenges in the 1 Player Guild all the time. If a challenge for a game I like is happening, I will join in on the fun and if there are several challenges then I will tie them together into a SoloCon.
  • The Rules
    • Since I am the one who introduces new games to people, it is my responsibility to learn the rules and I am not very big on reading rulebooks without actually playing the game. Lumping a few games that provide solo variants (that do not alter the gameplay too much) provides me with a good excuse for a SoloCon.
  • The Logic
    • I grew up playing logic puzzles while in the car during family vacations. A lot of solo games provide the same puzzle feel, but with way better game play and when my brain needs to be tested, I dive into a few games until my brain is essentially mush.

If you have done a SoloCon, I would love to hear why you have personally done them. Feel free to post below.

My Challenge To You

Solo gaming is getting more and more accepted by the boardgame community, but it isn’t completely embraced and accepted yet. Some publishers and designers are realizing that there is a large community of solo players out there and they are doing something about it, but not every publisher has jumped on this new(ish) trend. In order for good solo variants to be included those publishers and designers have to see more people playing games solo.

Here is what I am proposing. Let’s all, over the next few days (15/7/15-18/7/15) play as many solo games as our schedule and collection will permit. Then tweet, add an item to my SoloCon geeklist, post on Facebook or post a picture on Instagram. If you do any of those things make sure to include the publisher, the designer, me (@jacobjcoon) and the hashtag #SoloCon.

Let’s unite together by playing alone!