Why you should consider going to a gaming convention/expo

By Alex Maidment (nSanity Beach)

I’ve attended EGX (formerly Eurogamer Expo) every year since 2013. Each year ends up being very different and in many ways, I’ve done it all in that time, from doing one of the four days just to experience it through to doing the full four days and cramming in as much as possible. 

As gaming has become more and more popular, gaming conventions and expos have started popping up all around the world in an effort to bring gamers together and share their love for the industry. You only have to look at the attendance numbers for EGX to see how popular these events are becoming – from a humble 4,000 people at launch in 2008 to over 80,000 people in the last couple of years.

If you’ve never been to a gaming expo, you might wondering what it’s all about, and the easiest way to answer that is to say: it’s like-minded individuals sharing their interests and love for gaming in different ways. This includes trying out new games that are soon to be released, testing and buying new gaming tech, buying gaming merch, admiring and for some getting involved in cosplay, watching panels and talks, meeting people from behind the scenes in the industry, watching eSports tournaments, generally talking about games and so much more!

As mentioned, every year I’ve been to EGX has been a slightly different experience but it’s always something I love doing and enjoy and I’m already looking forward to heading to EGX 2019 in October!

The really nice thing about these conventions and expos is that they can suit all types and levels of gamers. I feel that some people see what’s on at these events and if they only dabble with an FPS here and there or a bit of FIFA, they instantly assume that it’s wrong for them, but from my experience I have met so many different gamers that all have a great time!

Here are some of the things that myself and the team at Casual Heroes Gaming love to do at EGX and that you can do at most gaming conventions.

1) Play the latest games

It might seem obvious to say, but playing the newest games to see what they’re like and even whether or not to buy them is always a lot of fun! Sometimes we get to try things we wouldn’t usually play and other times we just get to play the latest in a series we like before it even comes out!

2) Watching eSports

eSports isn’t for everyone and in the past, it wasn’t for me, but seeing it live and having the crowd build energy and an atmosphere brought it to life for me. It gave me a lot of admiration for the players, even in games I’ve never really been interested in. Over the years, we’ve seen pro eSports tournaments at EGX including: CS:GO, Overwatch, Rainbow Six: Siege, Street Fighter, Splatoon 2, League of Legends and more. 

3) Admiring the cosplay

At EGX, we’re lucky enough to sit down and watch a proper cosplay parade and competition. And even without the cosplay stand, there are people walking round in the most awesome cosplay pieces from such a variety of games. 

4) Testing new tech

For me, one of the best times to go to a gaming convention is when new consoles or new tech is released. I got to try out the Xbox One and PS4 a little while before release and it was a great experience. I’ve also played my fair share of VR games that I don’t ordinarily get a chance to play. 

5) Check out the merch and new accessories

I don’t usually like shopping, but when the whole convention is a nerd-shopping haven with nerdy t-shirts, bags, figures, hoodies, posters, PC cases, gaming peripherals and just about every other cool item you can think of, I like shopping!

So there you have it, my take on why you should consider trying out a gaming convention/expo near you!

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