Game Tangents is covering Gam3rCon 2013! Here’s a short highlight video of Preview Night!
Before I begin to talk about Gam3rCon, I want to take a minute to reflect on some things that I sorely miss from my early years of attending Comic-Con. Things have surely changed. Back in the old days of the Comic-Con, the convention was all about comic books, anime and science fiction. It was about the authors, the artists, the characters, and the stories. We had people in purple pants playing video and board games. It was about being your nerdy self and having a place to belong and feel connected, albeit for only 4 days, away from the gimmicky kids and culture you had to deal with in middle school and high school. Today you have mosh pits of tweens screaming over television actors who have nothing to do with comics or anything related to nerdy goodness. I miss the old days… it’s as if the Comic-Con has lost its original meaning, not that it’s a bad show by any means, but it feels more like a commercial that I have to pay for than a comic book celebration. That said, when I attended Gam3rCon yesterday, I realized that all was not lost. There was a new hope for downtown San Diego.
Make no mistake, Gam3rCon is no Comic-Con, but it strikes a remarkable resemblance to the early days of Comic-Con; granted one is all about video games while the other is focused on comic books, but in many ways, they both began life as a nerd gathering. The two cannot be compared in terms of size or number of attendees, yet. As I entered the old downtown building on Gam3rCon Preview Night, I couldn’t help but feel a tingle in my spine and a sense of nostalgia in the air. I looked around the room and saw something I had not seen in over 10 years, people actually participating in nerdy activities and not just pretending to be nerds. They were playing games and they were fully engaged and totally absorbed in the hobby that they love. People were racing on the projectors, pvp-ing in League of Legends, and throwing Hadoukens at each other. Some didn’t comb their hair, while others slicked back what little they had left, and others wore army helmets – and it was no big deal. We had table games being played in rooms and even more doing the same at the rooftop lounge. We had people spray painting walls while others sang and played to Rock Band. I felt more at home at Gam3rCon yesterday than I had felt in Comic-Con since the late 90’s.
Gam3rCon currently occupies an old five story building with a flat rooftop in downtown San Diego. Each floor has a differing layout with the ground floor housing the main convention hall. In the main hall, dubbed the “Video Game Arena”, you will find rows upon rows of consoles & PC’s set up and waiting for attendee usage as well as a projector system that was playing Forza Horizon. It was basically a medium size LAN party. The Arena is also the location where various tournaments and challenges will be held throughout the convention.
There were no hassles for us to use the systems in the Arena on Preview Night because there were more open stations than attendees, which was very nice. I would imagine that during normal convention days, this area would fill up fairly fast and there might be some waiting for stations.
On the third floor you will find two rooms, the Retrocade with legacy consoles such as an Atari 2600, SNES, PS2, and Dreamcast; and the Tabletop Game Lounge which has a mountain of board games that you can choose from and play. If you like tabletop games, you might also want to take a look at the Tabletop Game Lounge >> schedule <<, to see what will be played and when. These special scheduled tabletop games are usually limited to about 6 people so you might want to show up early if you want to play. On Preview Night, there were always 5-6 people in the lounge playing Dominion.
The fourth floor houses a small stage for plays, skits, movies and other presentations. Some of these presentations are educational such as the Voice Over Panel, while others are presentations or contests. The schedule for the stage room is posted on the Gam3rCon’s Schedule page.
Lastly, on the 5th floor is a rooftop lounge area which will be utilized for parties and other events. The mural spray painting took place here on Preview Night, but on other nights it might be used for parties. The parties do serve alcohol so children are not allowed at that time. Other things you might see up here are karaoke and comedians. Since the rooftop is outdoors, you might want to dress appropriately if it is warm or cool. Check the weather if you plan to attend something specific.
Game Tangents will be at Gam3rCon all 4 days. We hope to see you there.
Here’s the info for the Convention:
July 18-21 2PM – 2AM
10th Ave Theatre
930 10th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101