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Gabe Hawkins
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Have you ever attended a video game convention? Which one(s) did you attend? Did you enjoy it?
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Gabe Hawkins
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I've attended one small gaming convention held locally that was organized by a group of mom and pop game stores in the area. The atmosphere was great, and I was pleasantly surprised by how nice everyone was. I bought a few original PlayStation games from a guy's booth, and he was nice enough to give me a copy of Metal Gear Solid after we shared our mutual love for the series. I already owned a copy, but it was missing the manual and had a huge, ugly price sticker on the front that no amount of Goo Gone could remove, so it was nice to add a mint condition copy to my shelf.

They also had board games, war games, and tabletop RPGs set up. I bought a copy of Puerto Rico after playing it with a group of strangers at one of the tables. At the time, I didn't have much interest in RPGs, but now that I know how much I enjoy them, I wish I had played with a group.

Since attending, I've thought about going to a larger convention, but most of them are held so far away from my neck of the woods, it would be difficult to justify the travel expense without knowing it's something I would enjoy for sure.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Cedar Rapids
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I never have.
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Chris McDermott
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NI is too small to have one. At least if we have I heaven't heard about them!

There are a number of conventions on the mainland. I think they might be mainly retro-focused. Though I'm sure London has some of the big regular ones.
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♬ Stephanie ♩♪♩♪♩ ♩♪♩♪♫♪
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I've attended multigenre conventions, but my focus wasn't on video games. I didn't play any video games at the last one I went to, either (which was Connecticon).
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Caroline Berg
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Yes, and I've been paid to attend them as part of my job. Earlier this year I went to PAX East. I will likely go to more in the future...

But going to them for fun and not work? I don't tend to do that, unless the convention also includes something else (like GeekGirlCon celebrating women in all types of gaming). I'm not a big fan of crowds and avoid them when I can.
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Krzysztof Zięba
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PAX West (twice, in 2016 and 2018) and PAX East (once, in 2017). I've attended many other cons, but none of them were specifically video game related.

I loved PAX East mostly because Boston is a really nice city with great food, and I enjoyed last year's PAX West because I've met a handful of people that I'm a fan of and was happy to talk to them a bit - Jesse Cox, Chris Pramas of Green Ronin Games, Satine Phoenix, Adam Koebel and Bluejay, and even grabbed Jerry Holkins one evening. I mostly geeked out about their contribution to pnp RPGs because that has been a big deal for me lately.

EDIT: forgot to mention - every time I went, I was basically demoing games for 75% of the time. I went with colleagues, so we swapped on the spots, but even so I maybe get to play a demo or two during an event, and that's mostly when there's not much traffic at the booth, and mostly at side booths. Played a single match of the ill-fated Mirage: Arcane Warfare with a bunch of randos on Pax West in 2016, for example, because they were in an alley just across us.
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Ryan S
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I had a phase of my life when I went to almost every Anime convention I could attend, which was 2 or 3 a year. I always loved the dealer room and all the video game collectibles and such in them. I spent too much money at them a lot of the time.

At some point I stopped going and it's been probably 10 years since I've been to any convention, outside of CES which I attended for work a few years ago.

I've never been to a dedicated video game convention, but I would like to at some point. I'd love to go to E3 at some point, but not on my own dime, haha.
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Seth Brown
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I've been to PAX East twice, although both times I'd say I spent at least as much time in the boardgame area as the videogame area.

Videogames were... overwhelming. The spectacle of it all was sort of cool, and of course everyone loves swag, but waiting in line to play a demo for a few minutes... really didn't do it for me. I'd much rather wait and play a demo at my leisure in half a year. Seeing demos of games isn't nearly as exciting for me as just playing a full game at my home computer.
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Lauren Allbritain
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I have been to the Sac Gamers Expo (Sacramento) twice. What I like about it is that it has a family-friendly cosplay rule. My favorite section was the vendors.

I have also participated in a local Smash Ultimate tournament in Missouri, but I wouldn't call that a video game expo. Nobody was selling any video games or video-game related crafts, just a few geeky board game things a few raffles, free stuff from GameStop (where I chose to get a free Smash Ultimate poster), and I think a VR demonstration (?). There might have also been a video game design workshop, too, but I'm not sure.

I really want to go to E3 (LA) and E2C2 (Chicago) some day.
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I've been to MagFest for a couple of years. Back then, they've had 10K to 15K attendees. They started off as a venue for video game music and concert. Original name was "Music and Game festival", but at some point got changed to "Mid-Atlantic Game Festival". Also, they're a festival, not a con . Like Gen Con, they're big enough to cover A LOT of things. They had a ginormous room for bg-ing, although they pale in comparison to even smaller dedicated bg-ing conventions.

Case in point, a Dominion tournament that spanned several games rounds/heats/flights ONLY had the base game, even though Hinterland (exp#6) was released that year. They just didn't have enough expansions to reasonably get in enough games beyond the base game.

.

Did A LOT of their panels. They have A LOT of gaming celebrities there. James Rolfe (Angry Video Game Nerd), the guy who does Happy Video Gaming Nerd, Brentalfloss (the guy who does the "what if vg X had lyrics" videos), voice actors (the Sniper from Team Fortress 2, Duke Nukem, GLadOS from Portal... a signed poster from her sold for $60), Nobueo Umatsu (most famous for composing music for the Final Fantasy games*). Panels on events, how to program in Unity, and of course, vg concerts

Vg music ensembles include local bands ("complaints that it was dominated by Contra and Mega Man music), Triforce Quartet

.

They also have a big-ass room of arcades that individual owners and groups alike let the MagFest crew borrow at no additional cost to them (transport is on the con). Tournaments of course. One person in our vg group who was pretty good at Mortal Kombat (9) played against someone who was so good that he couldn't get his life below 90% wow



* A HUGE line to get their autographs (umatso and his music crew). We were allowed ONLY ONE ITEM PER PERSON. No joke, one guy (who was obviously disappointed at the news) brought in a mini-trunk of stuff he was hoping to all get signed. I decided to have the band sign a program from a previous vg music concert. Chrono Trigger will have to wait. Good thing too, as later on, I forgot that the music for Chrono Trigger was NOT by him blushblush


Gam3rCon. IIRC, they changed the name to GamerCon. If so, I missed the '3'.

Went to this for a couple of years. First time was b/c I coudln't get into San Deeigo Comic Con. I vowed NOT to go back b/c 1) it was a reminder that I coudn't get into SDCC, and 2) with SDCC on the same weekend, everything was more expensive and crowded (hotels, parking, etc.). A few years later, they held it on a different weekend, so that made it MUCH better.

I discovered Castlestorm. Hella fun game, but strive for the Steam version. NOT the mobile versions.

A panel had a kid talk about how he competed in professional League Of Legend games. His teammates were in their 30s, surprised to be teaming up "with a kid", but he certainly pulled his weight.

a 1-man play about a guy who works at Best Buy Geek Squad so he can live at home with his mother while playing video games most of the day instead of going to college, studying some computer related degree.

This was also where I tried Mortal Kombat X's fatality mode, and then noticed there were a couple of kids (6yo to 8yo) standing next to me, watching. At that poiunt, I've already done the following fatalities... torn limb from limb, burning, freezing, organs telekenetically removed. I hope their parenets wion't be pissed. I couldn't ask them anyways, as I looked around, but there were no parents near them. let's see what Raiden does...
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I attended a GenCon many moons back 2007 or 2008, I think...maybe 2010. Anyway, that particular year they actually had a huge Videogame presence there, mostly RPGs though.

Anyway, I was sent by PC Gamer to that particular GenCon (Woohoo, free Con!) and the highlight was getting to interview the main developers for The Witcher. After my interview, I KNEW this game series was going to be a big success. You could just tell from the things he said and what I saw.

That's always been a fun little thing of mine that I was on top of that series from the very beginning and knew it would be a massive hit.
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Brian
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I went to E3 in 2000, back when I wrote for GamePro.com. It was one of the super extravagant ones and it was pretty great. I spent most of my time rushing between meetings and then heading back to our booth to write articles, but I got to wander around the floor a bit and ogle the booth babes. Our managing editor scored us tickets to the Sony party, which was on the Sony Pictures studio lot, and that was pretty special.
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Simon Woodward
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Never have I ever.

I did drop in to Armageddon one time it was in town, which is a kind of comic, gaming, pop culture thing. Maybe that counts. I don't even know if New Zealand has an video game conventions. We do have board games ones.

Let's see...

https://nzgda.com/events/
https://nzgamesfest.com/
https://playbyplay.co.nz/

...all in Wellington boo hoo...
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Simon Lundström
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Täby
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Not a convention, no, but I've attended fairs. But not many.

Most recent was Game-something in Stockholm. It was just before Saints Row 3 was released. I also attended Tokyo Game Show like 15 years ago, once.

I'd like a video game convention, where everything is just attendees playing video games. I'm don't like fairs that much anymore.

Edit: I HAVE been to a few video game concerts. In fact, I've interpreted for Nobuo Uematsu on several occasions, the latest being a "Piano Opera" tour of Europe. I remember the name "N UEMATSU" appearing in the credits for Final Fantasy IV, so he is a big name for me. When I waited in the hotel lobby in Paris for Piano Opera, I saw them going outside for a smoke, and when I went out to say hello, Uematsu turned around and went "Oh, hi Simon", and resumed smoking. I was like "my life is crazy". Probably one of my biggest bragging rights in my life is having Uematsu recognize me and casually address me with my first name.

BTW, that concerts was in the Balaclava. Exactly 7 days before the terrorists struck that very place. It was pretty mind-boggling when I read about it.
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Forgot another one... Bit Bash. This hear showcased a bunch of games from indie devs. This was where I discovered Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime on PS3. Ended up getting the PC/Steam version a few years back. Many, many other great games discovered!


Zimeon wrote:
Not a convention, no, but I've attended fairs. But not many.

Most recent was Game-something in Stockholm. It was just before Saints Row 3 was released. I also attended Tokyo Game Show like 15 years ago, once.

I'd like a video game convention, where everything is just attendees playing video games. I'm don't like fairs that much anymore.

Edit: I HAVE been to a few video game concerts. In fact, I've interpreted for Nobuo Uematsu on several occasions, the latest being a "Piano Opera" tour of Europe. I remember the name "N UEMATSU" appearing in the credits for Final Fantasy IV, so he is a big name for me. When I waited in the hotel lobby in Paris for Piano Opera, I saw them going outside for a smoke, and when I went out to say hello, Uematsu turned around and went "Oh, hi Simon", and resumed smoking. I was like "my life is crazy". Probably one of my biggest bragging rights in my life is having Uematsu recognize me and casually address me with my first name.

BTW, that concerts was in the Balaclava. Exactly 7 days before the terrorists struck that very place. It was pretty mind-boggling when I read about it.
Nobuo Uematsu and his posy used to be called "Black Mages", but changed their name to "Earthbound Papas". That year they attended MagFest, the con folk were trying to sell their T-shirts. I kinda wanted to listen to their music first. However, I skipped their concerts b/c of some choice panels I wanted to attend, and all of their CDs were already sold out.

Speaking of which, MagWest is in Sept. 13th to 15th at San Jose, California, but I'd have to spend about $1000+, minimum, just to attend, so I'm leaning towards no :x OTOH, if I skip 3 to 5 activities that set me back a few hundred $'s each trip, that could make up for that. Am thankful that "the internet is free" :\
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Robert McLaughlin
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I've been to a few, though I don't religiously plan for gaming conventions like I do anime conventions. Why? I'm not sure. Probably because there aren't many around where I am.

The big one here is the Salt Lake Gaming Con. I missed it this year, but do remember it was fun last year. There wasn't much gaming to be had for me, but I did participate in some open Rocket League play and my wife and I watched a League of Legends tourney (while not having any clue as to what was going on).

Part of the issue I think is how little there is in the way of panels. The Con has a few here and there, but it is mostly a giant Dealer room with some competitive tourneys set up. Some guests show up but have very little face to face time (especially if you aren't paying).

Meh. I have more fun with the Anime Banzai convention hosted annually.
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