If I Ran the
Zoo ... Con
The Smofcon 3 Game
by Leslie Turek
The insider’s guide to everything that can possibly go wrong at a convention
A role-playing game where the players make decisions about the Bidding, Planning, and At-Con phases of a World Science Fiction Convention. First introduced and played at Smofcon 3 in 1986. Revised and updated in 2015, with nine new scenarios and interior cartoons by Steve Stiles.
“It is difficult to overstate the impact that 'The Game' has had on Fandom and, more specifically, convention-running fandom. Con runners can still be heard today to say things like, ‘Well, I’d like to do that, but we just don’t have the people points for it,’ or ‘That’s a bad idea, we’d lose a lot of goodwill points.’ The fact that these concepts have not merely lasted but have become ingrained in our culture is a testament to its timelessness.”
— Glenn Glazer, convention-runner and Sasquan (2015 Worldcon) Vice-Chair
“The game is intended to help wannabe Worldcon bidders at least understand some of the problems people have faced before, and (hopefully) get them to avoid making the most obvious mistakes. It serves that purpose admirably—and even if you don’t plan on making a Worldcon bid, it’s pretty fun to play, at least if you have an interest in science fiction and the field’s personalities. It’s rather amazing what can go wrong.”
—Greg Costikyan, game designer and author of Uncertainty in Games
Produced from Off World Designs. Printed on Black 100% Cotton T-Shirt, in the USA. No longer available.
: Black on white text-only cover, side-wire stitched, 8-1/2"x11", iv+109pp. plus bound-in game cards, Printed by MCFI for Smofcon 3, December 3, 1986, ISBN 0-9603146-4-4 / 978-0-9603146-4-5, out of print!
: Black on blue cover with art by Merle Insinga, side-wire stitched, 8-1/2"x11", iv+103pp. plus bound-in game cards, NESFA Press, October 29, 1987, $6.00, 100 copies, 50 additional copies authorized July 1991, ISBN 0-915368-37-4 / 978-0-915368-37-2, out of print!
The second edition corrected many errors in the original game
. Most of these errors were incorrect frame number references or missing point changes in various choices. There were some minor formatting improvements, chiefly in the area of the save situation boxes. The end-of-scenario marks were added to improve clarity.
: Black on blue cover with art by Merle Insinga, plastic comb binding, 8-1/2"x11", vii+91pp. plus bound-in game cards, NESFA Press, November 2003, $15.00, print run unknown, ISBN 0-915368-51-X / 978-0-915368-51-8, out of print!
The third edition was scanned and reset from the previous one
, but no substantive text changes were made.
: Black on green cover with art by Merle Insinga, plastic spiral binding, 8-1/2"x11", 146 pages. NESFA Press, July 2015, $15.00, print run unknown, ISBN 978-1-61037-312-8.
The fourth edition was re-typeset, proofed, and expanded.