About 4 weeks ago, I started to explore G+ more thoroughly. I had ignored it before; it just seemed like another pseudo-Facebook type deal. Come to find out, it is a gamer's paradise. Dozens of obscure, forgotten games have found a home there. New RPGs are playtested. Free materials are shared. And lots and lots of games get played.
Within the first 20 minutes, I was approached about playing a game of Boot Hill. I nearly swooned. Boot Hill? I literally do not know anyone but the local game shop owner that has even heard of it. I have had a player-in-waiting, The Albuquerque Kid, for years. Powers and Perils? Yes sir! Oriental Adventures? You don't say? Numenera? Why not? Mutant Future? Let me at it. Night's Black Agents? Holy moly! Pathfinder as far as the eye can see. D6 Star Wars. Shadows of Esteren. Dungeon Crawl Classics. Cthulhu. The opportunity to play games of all varieties is staggering.
I got to play in an OD&D game for the first time in years. I got to playtest the latest 5e packet. And the games just keep coming and coming. I don't have time to play half the games I would like to. If I had this while I was in college, I may have never graduated.
There is no real cost of entry. Most games are played on free tables, usually Roll20 being run through a Google "Hangout". You will likely need a mic, but that's about it.
Now, I am sure I sound a bit noobish to many. I am certainly late to the party, as there are already thousands and thousands of gamers taking advantage of it. All I can say is, better late than never. Anytime I want to find a game, I can pretty much just hop on, click around a bit, and find something going on. There hasn't been a day that has gone by that I haven't seen a game posted that I would love to play in.
Another bonus is that there seems to be a dearth of assholes. I am not saying they don't exist, it just seems like there is a lot less cynicism and edition-warring on G+ as opposed to the typical forum. I hope it stays that way. Everybody I have met has been cool.
Anyway, while you might be down in the dumps about not making it to GenCon for whatever reason, if what you feel like you are missing is the sheer GAMING, all I can tell you is that everyday is a convention on G+. Freelance designers share ideas, gaming companies preview materials, freebies flow like water, gaming news abounds, and most importantly, ACTUAL GAMES are going on near-constantly. So, don't just sit there feeling sorry for yourself! Get on G+ and find some games!