I wanted to start a quick discussion about a couple of issues that came up at Dreamation. I was one of the event coordinators there for the Indie Games Explosion, and we have a bunch of loyal fans who are attending the con specifically to play some of these indie games but who are not as plugged in to the online indie game community. At the con, a couple of these fans pulled me aside to complain about some of the events. The problem was that the games as listed did not adequately describe what they were, and these players were surprised and disappointed. It's really the surprise that's the problem.
I had three different players tell me that they were expecting Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple to be a role-playing game, something in the style of Avatar: The Last Airbender, rather than the collaborative sentence-building game that it is. They were all very disappointed, and I think if they had known what to expect this wouldn't have been a problem.
The second complaint I received was about a Jeepform event. Again, the players were expecting a more traditional LARP, rather than something they compared to an improv exercise. I've played only a few LARPs, and never Jeepform, so I'm not sure what the differences are, but clearly there was an expectation-setting problem.
I am not entirely sure it is possible to completely eliminate these types of misunderstandings, but a clearer description of the events might help in the future. I just wanted to pass this along here to the indie community in the hopes of raising awareness of the issue. I'd like everyone to really enjoy these events, and I'd hate for players to start to feel distrustful of indie events at Dreamation based on a couple of crossed wires.
Discussion of this topic is welcome, but let's not bag on the players for unfamiliarity with the games. These are not people who are following this stuff online, most of their exposure to indie events comes at the convention.