Five For Friday: Gaming Conventions!!!

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m ready to do some intense gaming today and over the weekend, which made me think back to September of last year. If you’ve been reading my blog for some time, you’ll know by now that I’m an absolute geek for video and computer games, but had never attended a gaming convention. That changed when the hubster and I attended PAX West in Seattle, Washington! I had so much fun; far more than I expected, and am looking forward to the next time we can go. Conventions offer the opportunity to mix and mingle with programmers, designers, representatives, and gamers galore: pick up some collectibles, t-shirts, or other sweet swag, or sit and game side-by-side with that noob who regularly pwns you in AvA! Conventions are also great places for people to meet others, face-to-face, who have similar interests and are hardcore geeks about those interests. I’m one of those gamers who’s into role-play, cosplay, and LARP (live-action role-play), so I’ve found that conventions are the best places to meet others who are into it as well. I’d rather talk with someone in person, not worry about some strange head-trip being played, or engage in an unnecessary guessing-game online. Far too many people do that already!

Our travels for this year are done for the most part, as budgeting and financing roof repairs has taken top priority, but we’re frugal and will have the money saved again before we know it. So, today’s “Five for Friday” post lists the five gaming conventions, not including PAX West, that I would like to go to in the near future. I listed them in alphabetical order because some days, it’s just the best and easiest way to do it.

1. Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3): The Electronic Entertainment Expo, referred to by most as “E3,” is one of the premier events for gaming fans around the globe. When the gaming industry began to explode in the mid-90s, the necessity for a trade show for retails became glaringly apparent. The first E3 was held in 1995 and drew more than 40,000 attendees. By 1999, that number had nearly doubled. The most recent E3 was held in Los Angeles and closed its doors yesterday; attendance was over 60,000 people.

2. Emerald City Comicon (ECCC): The Emerald City Comicon, held in my home city of Seattle, just had its 15th event back in March of this year. The legendary Stan Lee was present to mark the occasion, according to the Seattle Times. From the article:

“United in their love of “nerdy things,” nearly 90,000 people are expected to swarm into the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle for the 15th annual Emerald City Comicon, from Thursday through Sunday. They will be coming to breathe the same air as comic-book legend Stan Lee, look at rare, collectibles comics (and perhaps buy some), meet celebrities, hear panelist discussions, cosplay and celebrate among like-minded individuals.

“It’s something I look forward to all year,” said 19-year-old Seattle University student Leah Dooley, who will be wearing three costumes during her fourth consecutive convention. “There’s so many things to look forward to: the costumes, the shopping, the panels, the community of people. Everyone is kind of united over a common love of nerdy things, and it’s a good time.” It’ll be the seventh year in a row for Colleen Mold, of Renton, who first attended in 2010 with her best friend, her best friend’s husband and their newborn son. While not a huge geek herself, attending with her friend’s family has become a tradition she wouldn’t miss.”

I’d say that the attendance of ECCC rivaled that of PAX West 2016!

3. San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC): The San Diego Comic-Con is possibly the oldest of the conventions. It started out as the Golden State Comic Book Convention in 1970, then later became the San Diego Comic Book Convention. Originally it primarily showcased comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film and television, but has since expanded to include a larger range of pop culture and entertainment elements from virtually all genres, including horror, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, and video games, to name a few. It has been listed by Forbes magazine as the largest convention of its kind in the world, drawing crowds of 100,000+ over a four-day period. In 2015, the attendance was listed at approximately 167,000.

4. Sakura-Con: This convention is another that isn’t solely about video games, but is centered around another one of my passions – the world of anime and manga. I’ve been into these for about as long as I’ve been into gaming, but am pretty selective about the anime and manga that I consume. It typically offers, amongst other things, anime game shows, anime music video contests, art shows, dances/raves, collectible card gaming, cosplay contests, and Japanese cultural arts presentations including aikido demonstrations, kabuki performances, kendo swordsmanship, and taiko drumming. Sakura-Con also hosts charity events, raising monies for programs like the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Bloodworks Northwest. Definitely an event worth supporting!

5. Twitchcon: I know very little about this convention, other than the fact that you get an awesome, personalized hoodie if you attend! I have my own humble little Twitch channel, which is mostly active on the weekends when I’ve gotten tired of the leveling grind and want to take my frustrations out on others in some nice, competitive AvA action. I’m slowly getting more viewers; each time I get involved in the salty chat on the bi-weekly Bethesda / Zenimax Online TESO broadcasts, I gain at least one new ‘friend’ and one new follower. Progress is slow and steady, which is fine with me! Taking the time to learn about others and getting to know people in person is always best.


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