What exactly is BixCON?

The BixCON event has its origins in 2009 when Kathy & I thought that February can be a long cold month in Saskatchewan. We wanted to pack so much fun into an event in the month of February that it would be a month we look forward to every year. The third Monday is a holiday in our Province, called Family Day. Instead of traveling somewhere, we thought it would be nice to have some friends over for board games all weekend for the extended family day weekend. Start Friday night and play games until around supper time on Monday. (Necessary breaks for sleep and hygiene). We posted the basic foundation of the event on our private website and hoped that we might get 4 or 5 friends sign up for a weekend of gaming. We were blown away when we had 21 registrants. This got huge in a hurry. BixCON is now an annual event at our house every February.

The downside of hosting this event at our house, is that we have to limit attendance to about 25 friends. Kathy and I feel bad that we cannot invite all of our friends to BixCON.

What are the different BixCON events?

The main BixCON event is the gaming gathering that we host in our home. We now refer to this as BixCON Prime. It is the genesis of the whole series. The first one occurred in 2009 and after a couple of years of running those annually, it spawned the idea of having a series of events. 1 is not enough. 🙂 Here is information about the full line up of events.

BixCON Prime – Established event. 
This is the event that started it all. 4 days of full immersion gaming. This occurs every February on the Family Day weekend. We start Friday night at supper time and play games until Monday night at supper time with occasional breaks for sleep and personal hygiene. 🙂 This event started off as a way to introduce some of our non-gaming friends / casual gamers into the wonderful world of hobby boardgames. Over the years, the need to introduce people to the hobby has diminished as there are a whole suite of public gaming events in Regina that meet that need. This event is now a healthy dose of mid to heavy weight games with a sprinkle of lighter social games mixed in here and there. We cater all of the meals to make it easier for folks to stay and game; helps to maintain a cohesive event. The density of gaming is the attraction: both quantity of games and quality. Not for the feint of heart.

Other events in the line up of BixCON Events are as follows:

BixCON (Summer Sizzle Lobster Fest) – Established event.
This is a gathering in our garage and backyard. This is a lobster boil and gathering of friends. It is typically held on an afternoon on the Canada Day weekend. It generally involves some light tabletop:
– Tumblin Dice
– Pitchcar
– Connect 4 Launchers
– Bausack
– Mexican Train Dominoes
– Anomia
– Etc.

It also involves a number of yard games like:
– Kubb
– Washer Toss
– Molkky
– Darts
– Bocce
– Ladder Ball.

And, of course, there is a feast of lobster and I would be remiss if I did not say that beer was consumed.

BixCON (EPIC Throw Down) – This event is in the planning stages.
It is all about getting people together for a day (or two) to play the epics. You know, the long heavy beasts that need some big table space an a number of hours to play. This gathering will focus on the following games:
– Roads & Boats
– Indonesia
– Eclipse
– XIA: Legends of a Drift System
– Railways of the World (Combined Eastern & Western USA Map)
– Merchant of Venus

BixCON (Day of Dexterity) – Established event.
This is a day of various indoor/outdoor dexterity games. When you own as many dexterity games as I do, you need to make playing them an event. Front and center are the following games:
– Pitchcar (With many many copies to build an epic track).
– Crokinole (We own three custom boards).
– Tumblin’ Dice
– PiratenBillard
– Weykick
– Klask
– Bocce
– Kubb
– Molkky
– Darts

This is run as a charity event to raise money to help alleviate homelessness and food security issues. 

BixCON Away – Established event.
This is a larger version of BixCON. This event builds on all of the things that make BixCON successful and is a larger “intimate friendly gaming gathering”. By having this event outside of our home, we get to invite more friends. Cool, right? So we will continue to plan and host BixCON Prime, and BixCON Away will be the name of the bigger event that is away from our house with way more people and way more fun! This event takes place annually in Livingston, Montana. We have a great partner with a local hotel so we are prepared for growth.

Who can attend BixCON events?

With the exception of BixCON Away, these events are all at our house. That certainly limits attendance levels. (We do live in a modest home).

That said, we strive very very hard to maintain a positive, fun, social vibe for all of our BixCON events. The atmosphere for these gatherings is an important reason they are successful and such a highlight in our lives. With that in mind, we have to be careful to protect and nurture these events with the right mix of attendees. Attendance is largely tied to people who share a similar codified set of values we hold dear…

Things we value: 

  • Positive attitudes.
  • Caring & compassionate people.
  • Generosity.
  • Volunteerism.
  • People who do not take themselves too seriously.
  • Willingness to help and get involved at our events.
  • Punctuality.
  • Fun.
  • Kindness.
  • Respect.
  • Humility & Humbleness.

Things we do not care for:

  • Alpha competitive behaviour.
  • Cheaters.
  • Self-centered people.
  • Misogyny.
  • Braggarts.
  • Sore losers.
  • Sore winners.
  • Drama.
  • Negativity.
  • Racism.
  • Drinking & driving.
  • Agendas. Looking at these gatherings as a marketing opportunity.
  • Narcissism.

This may all sound really simple & silly, but it is amazing how much an errant behaviour can be toxic to a group setting. We guard our values vigilantly. We cherish these gatherings and hope to see them flourish for many years / decades.

That means these events are ALL on an invite only basis. All of the events are a little bit different so we add a person here or there to certain event invite lists and occasionally remove a person as well. Most of our invitees tend to be people we also socialize with outside the hobby of boardgames. You know; friends.

I often get questions like” “How can I get invited?” The answer is really quite simple: Be an awesome person. 

Perhaps if you want to be invited into our home, you should maybe invest some time cultivating a friendship. Maybe you could invite us into your home, or take some initiative in nurturing a friendship that exists outside of boardgames. We host so many events that in the past some people started to treat our home as a public venue and began to treat us like entertainment providers. We really do not appreciate people feeling entitled to attend everything we host. Yep; it happens. This is our home. One of the risks of being as open and public as Kathy & I are is that some of our friends and acquaintances feel hurt when they are not invited. Don’t be; please don’t be. 

Instead of dwelling on FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) for events you do not attend, please focus on Gratitude for the things you do attend. We really do enjoy hanging out with cool peeps and sharing in our home; but the reality of running things at our residence is that we have to impose limits. 

“Life is Short; Play Games”, and be Awesome and Loving to others…