The biggest gaming convention in North America was bigger than ever this year, with an explosion of board games, cards games, RPGs, miniatures, and cosplay. Here's what we saw that blew our minds.

Gen Con attendance grew over ten percent compared to last year, and has doubled since 2009. It's actually kind of insane how much it's growing and how big the hobby games market is getting ($700 million in 2013 according to ICv2). The launch of the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons is obviously driving a lot of interest right now, but gaming in general is growing in terms of game types and interests.

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This gallery is by no means comprehensive — it's just a collection of fantastic stuff I stumbled across over the course of the week. You can find more awesome photos at The Escapist and the official Gen Con Facebook page.

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At Gen Con, you don't just cosplay. You cosplay and demo board games.

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It's possible to build out a pretty impressive Lantern Corps with HeroClix these days.

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Every dealer's booth was sold out of Rocket Raccoon minis.

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Star Trek: Attack Wing is pretty spectacular.

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Our friends at Flying Frog Games rocked some great steampunk cosplay to promote Shadows of Brimstone.

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Some gorgeous minis. The triceratops might be my favorite mini ever.

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He came a long way from Angmar.

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Pathfinder minis tied to the Skull & Shackles adventure path.

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Dr. Mrs. the Monarch and a henchman.

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Lord Vader intimidates at the Fantasy Flight booth.

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Imagine all these coming to life like in Toy Story and it's pretty terrifying.

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Some kind of armistice, apparently.

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Fantasy Flight's X-Wing is their biggest selling game.

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Mirror Box Games was showing off production mock-ups for Chaosmos.

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Some of the best Warmachine (Privateer Press) cosplay armor I've ever seen.

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The best thing about this is that they were using an app to make clop-clop horse sounds.

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Roughly 1,000 players in one huge shared Pathfinder event.

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Elspeth and Garruk.

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Top notch cosplaying by everyone.

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I loved the whimsical dungeon aesthetic of Super Dungeon Explore by Soda Pop Miniatures.

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This popup paper terrain from Stonehaven Miniatures is great for epic gaming on a budget.

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I'll never get tired of mechs.

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Dwarven Forge was showing off this huge cavern set.

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There's so much going on in this amazing diorama.

We'll have more in-depth Gen Con coverage in the next few weeks, and for more gaming news and ideas, follow me on Twitter.

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