Gen Con, the nation's leading Game Convention, is set to make its Indianapolis debut this July 24-27, taking advantage of the Indianapolis Convention Center's 620,000 square feet of space with more than 800 booths, 3,500 gaming events, a host of celebrities and many new wrinkles, including an expanded computer gaming area with 64 gaming stations.  Almost simultaneously with the announcement of its expanded Indianapolis operations, Gen Con LLC's Peter Adkison announced that the company was shelving plans for a Gen Con Europe for 2004 and 2005 due to 'language and cultural barriers' and the difficulties in arranging such a complex event from a distant continent.  While leaving the door open for possible licensing of Gen Con Europe, Gen Con LLC, is clearly concentrating on making its first event in Indianapolis a big success.


'The Best Four Days In Gaming' will feature a number of new events at its Indianapolis location including the first Gen Con Costume Ball on Saturday, July 26 as well as Gen Con's version of 'reality TV' -- the Ultimate Extreme Gamer Abuse-O-Rama, in which six gamers will be locked in a room for four days of wild antics which will be broadcast throughout the convention center.  Attendees will be able to vote for their choice for the Ultimate Extreme Gamer.  Another new feature is the True Dungeon, a life-size D&D adventure.


Old favorites from Gen Con's past will be back including Time Warp II, the Klingon Jail n' Bail, the collectible game auction, the miniature paint-and-take workshop, two full time anime viewing rooms, and the costume contest.  Decipher will hold the world championship for the LOTR CCG with a cash purse prize of $40,000.  Alderac's L5R World Championships will also be held at Gen Con along with the Warlord Medusan Lord Tournament Challenges. Co-Sponsor Upper Deck also has a number of surprises at their booth for fans of the hugely popular Yu-Gi-Oh! CCG, and everyone is invited to the Magic: The Gathering 10th Anniversary Party, which co-sponsor WotC is throwing to celebrate the game that started the whole CCG craze.


Celebrities at this year's show include: Sean Astin and John Rhys Davies of the Lord of the Rings movies, Traci Lords (Blade), Jason Carter (Babylon 5), Virginia Hay (Farscape), Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5) plus actors from all five Star Wars films, who will take part in a special Star Wars autograph session.