As a gamer I love going to all of those gaming/sci-fi conventions that run throughout the year. I can remember when gamer conventions were these low key gatherings that many looked upon as just a group of geeks drooling over video games. Well those days are over and gaming conventions can now be found all over the world and are pretty major events! Here are some of the best gamer conventions to visit from around the world:
Dragon Con – this is one of the largest multimedia conventions to be found in the USA and they have been running since 1987. They have everything; sci-fi and fantasy, the newest games coming out, pop culture, comics, and lots of role players! The convention runs for a weekend, usually the last one in August, in Atlanta Georgia. It’s so big that it runs in five different hotels in downtown Atlanta. The gaming section of the Dragon Con isn’t just about video games. They cater to your traditional RPG dice rolling games, tabletop games, a full LAN gaming section for when you are having gamer withdrawals, and you can even talk with some of the best gaming programmers out there if you have the drive to create your own games.
Comic-Con International – This is another huge event that runs over a four day period in San Diego, California. They have some really nice open game areas and run tournaments for all of you competitive gamers out there. They also cover a large variety of gaming genres and have an awesome masquerade for those who really want to get into character and show them what you’ve got.
MCM London Comic con – Across the pond we go, to England, where over 100,000 fans gather together to join the fun that is gaming. It caters to everything from Steampunk to Anime and hosts some of the best actors and special guests. Last year I got to meet some of the cast of Warehouse 13 and Game of Thrones. You can find many gaming sections scattered throughout the site with a large Game Expo featuring popular and independent game developers.
Insomnia Gaming Festival – Insomnia is another UK based gaming convention that focuses solely on..you got it ..gaming! The festival hosts your favorite YouTube gaming stars, LAN gaming halls, and a great exhibition hall where you can buy unique gaming paraphernalia.
Warpcon – This is Ireland’s very own, biggest gaming convention and it is a student run event. It has been going on since 1991 and runs every January. It started out as a small event for students but has really taken off. It’s more of a role playing convention but it gives gamers who love WoW, Warhammer, and other RPG video games to be part of the action themselves.
EB Games Expo – Australia has its own huge video game event that usually runs the first weekend of October. They host a lot of entertainment that is suited for families as well but there are areas where you need to prove your age because the events are listed as MA 15+ and R18+. They feature just about every game, developer and gaming system out there for you to test out and get your game on!
PAX – PAX is in Seattle Washington and hosted by Penny Arcade. They wanted a convention that focused solely on the culture and community of gaming. They have an exhibition hall, a lounge for using handheld games, a console free play area, and the Omegathon challenge where players enter to beat each other in various games, some of which have not been seen before. Kind of helps level the playing field.
MGCCon – The Malaysian Games & Comics Convention host a great, well balanced mix of the gaming community and industry. It caters to games, comics, and your own creativity! Guest stars include many comic artists from companies like Marvel, and the top Cosplay figures out there.
Gaming conventions have come a long way and these days you can find something to please every aspect of the gaming community and industry. These are but a few of the conventions and expos that run worldwide throughout the year and I hope to be able to visit many more.