WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

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Consternation is a roleplaying, science fiction and fantasy convention to be held at New Hall, Cambridge from 19-21 August 2011.

WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby Phil Masters » 8:32pm on 18 Apr 11

A quick poll for opinions and thoughts:

We can have open WiFi set up and available in the venue, if we think it's worthwhile. However, the college charges a non-trivial fee for this, and we'd either have to swallow the cost from our budget - which, all else aside, means that non-WiFi-users are subsidising the users - or run an honesty-box donations system (which would probably not recover the full cost anyway).

So I'd be interested to hear how many people, if any, regard this as a necessity for the modern convention, how many would be willing to contribute towards the cost, and how many think that mobile computing devices are a snare and a distraction from the gaming anyway.

Drop me a line at phil@philm.demon.co.uk if you don't want to discuss it here.
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby dpmcalister » 8:37pm on 18 Apr 11

Personally I think it's something that's nice to have but not a necessity. If push comes to shove (and as long as I have a 3G signal on my phone) I can hook my netbook to the 'net through the phone. With that in mind, I wouldn't pay to gain access to it but neither would I base my decision of whether to attend any particular convention on whether it offered free WiFi.
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby SJE » 12:22am on 19 Apr 11

I would find it useful, a lot of my games are on the Ipad, but every now and then you need to download a FAQ or erratta to sort things out. That said, I could use 3G (and do when WiFi charges are too high).
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WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby Evilgaz » 7:27am on 19 Apr 11

Phil Masters wrote:A quick poll for opinions and thoughts:

We can have open WiFi set up and available in the venue, if we think it's worthwhile. However, the college charges a non-trivial fee for this, and we'd either have to swallow the cost from our budget - which, all else aside, means that non-WiFi-users are subsidising the users - or run an honesty-box donations system (which would probably not recover the full cost anyway).

So I'd be interested to hear how many people, if any, regard this as a necessity for the modern convention, how many would be willing to contribute towards the cost, and how many think that mobile computing devices are a snare and a distraction from the gaming anyway.

Drop me a line at phil@philm.demon.co.uk if you don't want to discuss it here.

I don't think it can be called a necessity, but it's certainly something that several people get excited about if it's there. Knowing how tight budgets for conventions can be, I think your honesty box idea is good. Costs for individual wifi at venues is often silly prices, so I'd imagine most honourable delegates wouldn't mind chucking in a couple of quid. But you know, there's nowt as queer as folk.
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby maddz » 9:14am on 19 Apr 11

Nice to have, but in my case not a necessity as I can do what I want to do at home before coming into the con (I live 15 minutes down the road so I get to sleep in my own bed!) If I really need something, we have wi-fi dongles.
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby Phil Masters » 9:21am on 19 Apr 11

Evilgaz wrote:I don't think it can be called a necessity, but it's certainly something that several people get excited about if it's there. Knowing how tight budgets for conventions can be, I think your honesty box idea is good. Costs for individual wifi at venues is often silly prices, so I'd imagine most honourable delegates wouldn't mind chucking in a couple of quid. But you know, there's nowt as queer as folk.

Fact is, though, that we'd need a couple of quid from everyone at the con. And I know what people are like; they may honestly intend to put some money in the box, but getting round to it is another matter.

Plus, I think that the college bedrooms have open Ethernet ports (I'll have to check that), so it's not like we'll be cutting people off altogether...
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby PaulofCthulhu » 9:44am on 19 Apr 11

Pretty much the same as dpmcalister.

If people really need the access, they will likely have 3G already. A perk but not an essential.
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby dr_mitch » 10:50am on 19 Apr 11

WiFi access at a con is not something I personally would use at all. I'm not going to try to speak for other people of course. :)
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby Newt » 11:24am on 19 Apr 11

I see it as a nicety and in some ways a distraction from the con.

I quite liked having Ethernet in my room at last year's Continuum, to browse the net when I was calming down before bed though.
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby David A Harvey » 9:36am on 20 Apr 11

Free wifi at a con is an occasionally handy bonus but usually I`m too busy being at a con to make use of it :wink:

That said, if there were serious plans to use wifi to enhance the con and the gaming I'd be in favor but this doesn't seem to be the case here.
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby w00hoo » 10:08am on 20 Apr 11

Can't see me being at Consternation (although not ruling it out completely, the summer is looking quite bare Con wise) but will say that wifi is handy to have but not worth paying for when I go to a Con. I liked the option in the rooms at Continuum, meant I could listen to iPlayer during down time, but I didn't miss it at the various Naish cons. Providing the Con Desk can get access for those true GM emergencies then its a nicety and nothing else, not worth gambling Con funds on. Practically speaking, an honesty box isn't going to cover the costs if they are in the three figure range, which is what it sounds like (reading between the lines).
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby catty_big » 8:09pm on 29 Apr 11

Think I'll be using my dongle (Oo er missus!).

Ethernet ports in the rooms, eh? I think I'd be worried about being sucked through them into a monster-filled parallel universe. However, it's an RPG con so, well, bring it on!
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby Phil Masters » 7:42pm on 10 Jun 11

Just to let people know, to be fair; given the general responses we received on this topic, and what the venue charges, we won't have free WiFi at Consternation. Apologies to the one or two people who seriously wanted it, but we really couldn't justify the expense, and would have been unlikely to recover the cost through a voluntary system.

I was in the Castle pub not far from the college the other day, and I did observe that it advertises free WiFi there. So if people are desperate...

(I'm afraid that the Ethernet ports in the rooms also require payment. Sorry, but that's how it goes. My impression is that we've gone from "WiFi is rare and a specialised requirement" through "Free WiFi is a necessity!" to "Everyone's got 3G anyway, so why bother?" in about two years...)
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby maddz » 9:10am on 13 Jun 11

There are one or two other hotspots in the area, but I'm not sure if they're operational at the weekends as they're office hot spots (my offices included - and they actively discourage people working at weekends). Judging by some comments I've heard, you can use the hot spot sitting in the car waiting to get into the Castle Court car park, which means if you sit on top of the Castle Mound, you probably have a choice between the CCC hotspot and the Castle hotspot.
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Re: WiFi at Tabletop Games Cons

Postby Phil Masters » 9:43am on 13 Jun 11

maddz wrote:Judging by some comments I've heard, you can use the hot spot sitting in the car waiting to get into the Castle Court car park, which means if you sit on top of the Castle Mound, you probably have a choice between the CCC hotspot and the Castle hotspot.

I now have a vision of a cluster of Web-addicted gamers sitting on top of the Castle Mound in the rain...
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