I have been a gamer for as long as I can remember. My first gaming memories dating back to playing on my cousins Nintendo 64 and Gameboy (the big one). In those days Donkey Kong and Mario Bros were my vices and boy were those days the best. I say the best because in those days I played games out of pure innocence, not to complete them but just to enjoy the experience of playing. Nowadays most of us myself included play for more reasons than just fun. Sometimes I play for reviews other times it’s just because I’m bored, bored because I have free time and bored because the game I may be playing is not intriguing me. The latter happens due to my worsening lack of concentration which is directly related to the fact that I have more things (games included) than I know what to do with them, “oh and Internet procrastination”.
Now I’m sure there are many of you reading this that can relate to one if not maybe all of the things I mentioned above. You see this is because we gamers are not so different. We share similar views on things because we grew up playing similar games and share the same memories of saving the princess or shed the same tears when Sephiroth killed Aerith. Who saved their games almost one hundred times, who had to blow those cartages, who didn’t go out side to play for weeks or moths because they were on an adventure on the high seas to find their sister who was taken by a giant bird? most of us did all those things and much more. we killed vampires and surfed down mountains listening to radio big with Dj Atomika. As gamers we share the same memories and passions. as gamers we are also human too and a fundamental part of being a healthy human being is socialization and I don’t mean having 2000 friends on Facebook. personally I have kept my Facebook friend list between 200 and 250 and quite honestly I don’t socialize with half of the people in the list regularly. So there is no way someone with 2000 friends can find the time to interact with all their FB friends, it’s impossible to do unless you don’t have a job, family, gf/bf, and hobbies (gaming included).
So as a gamers how does one find people that they can interact with on the same level? Well Cons (conventions) are of course great places to start. Cons are events organized by gaming, anime, tech or what ever kind of enthusiast has the funding, time and organizational skills to do so. These events can range from 50 people in small room to hundreds of thousands of people at a convention hall. The biggest Cons in the world range from Comic con to CES and they are some of the most spectacular events a gamer can ever attend in his/her lifetime. Sadly some gamers spend most if not their entire life and have not attended one Con. Some of the reasons are because of poor social skills on the gamers part, Studies, lack of free time and lastly lack of Cons in that person’s immediate vicinity. Here in Trinidad I would have been among the ranks of folks who had never visited a Con if not for a few important person (thanks Keston Lewis and Adam Mc). I thank these two guys because they hosted the first ever gaming event I have ever attended in all my years as a game. It was that event that sparked my interest in Conventions and social interaction with fellow gamers.
The event In question was a TTGL gaming tournament It is also worth mentioning that thanks to a close friend by the name of Alpha who supplied some of the equipment this event would not have been as influential as it ultimately turned out to be.
That even was last year 2012 and now in 2013 I am a avid Con attendee. during the period of 2012 and 2013 I have attended Amazing events and made great friends. Each event had it’s own scale and charm and has a nice place in my gamer-heart.
Cons Worth mentioning and organizers:
TTGL gaming tournaments – Keston Lewis
Anime Voters Conventions – Adam MC
Alias costume Party – Josette James
Trivicon – Nigel Superville and Natalia Henry
Comicfest – Saun Riaz
Heroes Con 6 – Shaun Riaz, Eric Draven, Patricia Auguste, Kristy Anne Maynard, Quilla Seewai
Bankai Caribbean – Kevin Sylvester
These are just a few of the events I have had the pleasure of attending and some of the great people I have met because of these events, some of whom have become close friends of mine.
This is the power of a Con. it has the power to bring together like minded individuals in one place. There is something just so comforting about being able to totally nerd out among people who are not going to judge you for your passions but instead praise, love and appreciate your nerd level even if it’s over 9000. Conventions are social forums that allow you to truly be yourself in a public place, wanna sing the theme song to Pokémon? then do it, wanna pull out your 3DS and sit in a corner and play? do it, wanna dress up like a giant Pokémon? do it.
So what are you waiting for start planning your next or first attendance to a Con. This article was written to inspire more gamers, anime fans and tech enthusiast to put themselves out there and experience Convention life as much as possible. I know I’ll be probably attending every Con here in Trinidad and Tobago this year and pretty soon visiting Cons on an international level.
Lastly if you are a T&T resident or are planning a visit to our shores on the 26 make sure to checkout Arcadia: Cosplayers Ball