Dayton board game convention returns this weekend, breaks own crowdfunding record

AcadeCon, Dayton’s own tabletop game convention, returns this weekend with a host of board game, tabletop and other fandom activities for attendees.

Running Friday through Sunday, the event will feature scheduled and pick-up roleplaying games, board and card games, and game design panels, as well as Friday night Karaoke, a Saturday costume contest, and special guests including local podcasters, streamers, and other creators.

The convention also has a game library of between 300 and 400 games for families to check out and play.

Hosted by local podcasters The RPG Academy, AcadeCon is in its eleventh year, and its seventh at the Dayton Convention Center. The con has grown in that time from an “aggrandized gaming weekend,” to drawing around 500 people in 2019, the convention’s most populous year before COVID, organizer Michael Ross said.

Ross and his team were inspired to create a Dayton RPG convention after attending Gen Con, an RPG and board convention in Indianapolis that draws around 70,000 people every year, he said.

“One thing that is a little bit unusual about our event for its size is that we are more focused on role-playing games,” Ross said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have so many lesser-known RPGs that you can try out. Everything you could probably think of and maybe some things you’d never have.”

After an online-only convention in 2020, and a smaller con in 2021, AcadeCon returned to its pre-COVID attendance numbers last year, a record organizers say they plan to break in 2023. AcadeCon’s annual Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign raised more than $16,000 to make the con happen, breaking the organization’s previous record and exceeding its goal by nearly $4,000.

“Every year we have at least one person who comes up and says ‘I’ve lived in Dayton my whole life, and I never knew you were here,’” Ross said. “Because we are so small, we have that almost like boutique atmosphere. We will take care of people, we’re going to get you where you need to be.”

Convention badges are $50 per person for the whole weekend, and badges for individual days are available. The con also has $5 admission after 5 p.m. Friday, and $10 after 5 p.m. on Saturday. Children 13 and younger are free. Badge registration and the list of events can be found on Tabletop.Events.

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