Games on Demand has been around since it was invented by Kat Miller in 2006. It started as an event at Gen Con, but has since grown and spread to a variety of other conventions, run by an army of enthusiastic volunteers. The following is an attempt to capture some of that history and give credit to those organizers and volunteers.
|Please note that this page is a work in progress, and some details are missing. We should also say that many, many volunteers have helped make these events great, and not everyone is listed here.|
In 2004, Kat Miller and Michael Miller started an event track called the Indie Games Explosion at Dreamation. In 2006, Kat proposed to run bring Indie Games Explosion to Gen Con and run an event called “Games on Demand”. The organizing took place on the Forge forums:
“The 2006 Games On Demand is a prototype. This sort of unscheduled, ticketed event has NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE AT GENCON. No one knows if it will work. Or how it will work. Or how well it will work. The GenCon staff has been understanding and gracious enough to allow us 2 tables (8 chairs apiece, that means 16 chairs total) with which to make this experiment. Considering the extremely tight space-situation that GenCon faces, this is very generous of them.” [. . .] “Any Indie Games are welcome. Some Games that aren’t Indie, but also aren’t “Mainstream” are also welcome. The reason I don’t want “Mainstream” games at these tables, is because there are so many other opportunities to play them.”
GoD was created intentionally to draw enthusiasm away from the Exhibit Hall at GenCon, so that folks who had already bought what they wanted could actually play their games and not contribute to the traffic jam at the Forge booth.
The first event in 2006 was held in a small room in the Indianapolis Convention Center with few tables.
In 2007 Kat and Michael Miller ran the event again, this time in a room in the Hyatt Regency.
In 2008, Scott Acker stepped in to keep the event running, again at the Hyatt Regency, with help from MIke Holmes.
In 2009 the event was held at the Omni Severin, run by Scott Acker. It was still a small event with just a few tables and very little support.
In 2010 the event was held in the Crowne Plaza hotel with Scott Acker continuing to coordinate the event. The space had room for 6 tables.
in 2011 Steve Segedy stepped up to help organize the event, and the organization of Games on Demand as a whole. In addition, Darren Watts helped to organize and support the event through Indie Press Revolution, who saw the value in the relationship with Games on Demand.
For 2012 is was apparent that demand for the event was out-growing the space, and in coordination with Gen Con Director of Events, Derek Guder, Games on Demand was moved to a larger space in the convention center, overlooking the Exhibition Hall.
With room for 12 tables, the event was featured in the program and grew dramatically. The organizers for this year’s event were Steve Segedy, Kira Magrann, John Stavropoulos, Terry Romero, and Jason Morningstar.
In 2013 the event stayed in the same space in the convention center, and expanded into the neighboring room, with a total of 24 tables. The organizing team implemented the “boarding pass” system to better manage long lines. WIll Hindmarch and Jeremy Friesen joined the organizing team, and Jeremy created a web application to help manage information for the event as well.
In 2014 the event was moved Ballroom 6 in the Marriott hotel, providing more space. The Larps on Demand side-track was added at this time, organized by Evan Torner. Krin Irvine and Ajit George joined as organizers.
The event stayed in the Marriott through 2015-2016, organized primarily by Steve Segedy and Krin Irvine, with continued modifications to procedures and materials to improve the event. Larps on Demand continued alongside the tabletop offerings.
In 2017 the event was moved to Ballroom B in the Hyatt Regency, where it would remain through 2019. Anna Kreider, Renee Knipe, Sean Nittner, and many others helped to organize the events.
In 2019, Hakan Seyalioglu and Krin Irvine were the lead organizers with Steve Segedy providing support.
In 2020, Gen Con was canceled due to the Covid pandemic. When it returned as an in-person event in 2021, no organizers were available to attend so there was no Games on Demand event.
In 2022, Lloyd Gyan ran a smaller version of the event with six tables in the Illinois Street Ballroom West at the Crowne Plaza hotel. Remote organization was provided by Steve Segedy and Krin Irvine.
In 2023, none of the usual organizers were available to put together an in-person event at Gen Con, but Lynette organized a virtual Games on Demand through Gen Con Online instead.
Kat and Michael Miller brought the Indie Games Explosion event to Origins in 2009. In 2011, a new group of organizers including Evan Torner, Jim Crocker, Kira Magrann, Kat Jones, and Travis Scott adopted the Games on Demand model from Gen Con and ran the first event with just 4 tables.
In 2011, Sage LaTorra brought Games on Demand to PAX Prime (West).
In 2012, a small coalition including Steve Segedy, John Stavropolous, Terry Romero, and Will Hindmarch, brought the event to PAX East in Boston, with around 6 tables.
In 2013 the PAX East event was organized by Steve Segedy.
From 2014 through 2017 Pax East was organized by Chris Corbett. In 2016, Natalya Waye became PAX East’s first dedicated host, as demand increased.
in 2018 Natalya Waye and Brian Liberge took over PAXEast from Chris Corbett. That same year, they brought Games on Demand to the first PAX Unplugged. There was 13 tables.
In 2009, Indie Games on Demand was at GenCon Australia.
By 2014, Games on Demand was at Emerald City ComicCon, led by Natalie Holt.
By 2014, Games on Demand was at BigBadCon.
In 2016, Games on Demand came to U-Con, led by Shane Harsch, Renee Knipe, and Roger Edge.
Somewhere around 2017 E.T. formed the splinter cell Indie Games on Demand NW. They took over ECCC, PAX Prime, and brought Games on Demand to Geek Girl Con and Orca Con.
In 2018, Games on Demand came to Neon RI (which I think is now in Florida).
In 2020, many conventions stopped briefly due to the pandemic. GoD, has not been back to PAX Prime, Geek Girl Con or Orca Con since.
Also in 2020, we held the first Games on Demand Online.
At some point Games on Demand has also been at MarcCon and UK Games Expo at least.