What is a gaming convention?

What is a gaming convention? Well, it’s an event where people spend time gaming. What is gaming? Well in the case of gaming conventions, gaming has nothing to do with gambling:

  • Main Entry: gam·ing
  • Pronunciation: 'gA-mi ng
  • Function: noun
  • Date: 1501
  • 1 : the practice of gambling
  • 2 : the playing of games that simulate actual conditions (as of business or war) especially for training

This entry from Webster’s online dictionary (WWWebster) defines gaming as being one of two things, and in the case of gaming conventions we use the second definition. In recent years, that definition has stretched to include a hobby industry that produces hundreds of games for entertainment purposes, not necessarily training or testing. No wagers are placed in this type of gaming, and no money is won.

Biggest Gaming Conventions 2022

  1. MAGFest 2022 January 2-5, 2022
  2. Téli MondoCon 2022 January 4, 2022
  3. Fandom PDX 2022 January 4-5, 2022
  4. Ichibancon 2022 January 9-12, 2022
  5. PAX South 2022 January 17-19, 2022
  6. Sixty Six Games Expo 2022 January 17-19, 2022
  7. DreamHack Leipzig 2022 January 24-26, 2022
  8. Genesis 2022 January 24-26, 2022
  9. Maynard Comic Con 2022 January 25, 2022
  10. QuadCon Cedar Rapids 2022 January 26, 2022
  11. Savannah Animazing Con 2022 January 31 - February 2, 2022
  12. QuadCon Rockford 2022 February 1, 2022
  13. Life, the Universe, and Everything 2022 February 13-15, 2022
  14. Geeks of Color Expo 2022 February 14-16, 2022
  15. London Anime & Gaming Con 2022 February 14-16, 2022
  16. KupoCon 2022 February 15, 2022
  17. NärCon Vinter 2022 February 20-23, 2022
  18. DreamHack Anaheim 2022 February 21-23, 2022
  19. Lvl Up Expo 2022 February 21-23, 2022
  20. Florida Game Con 2022 February 22, 2022
  21. Geek Days Rennes 2022 February 22-23, 2022
  22. Minefaire Dallas 2022 February 22-23, 2022
  23. PAX East 2022 February 27 - March 1, 2022
  24. GalaxyCon Richmond 2022 February 28 - March 1, 2022
  25. Portsmouth Anime & Gaming Con 2022 February 29 - March 1, 2022
  26. AgamaCon 2022 March 7-8, 2022
  27. Puchi Con! 2022 March 7-8, 2022
  28. Harucon 2022 March 10, 2022
  29. Leeds Anime & Gaming Con 2022 March 14-15, 2022
  30. SwampCon 2022 March 14-15, 2022
  31. Aselia Con 2022 March 20-22, 2022
  32. Queen City Kamikaze 2022 March 21, 2022
  33. Genericon 2022 March 21-22, 2022
  34. MCM Comic Con Birmingham 2022 March 21-22, 2022
  35. Playthrough 2022 March 21-22, 2022
  36. Tiger Con 2022 March 21-22, 2022
  37. Fan Expo Dallas 2022 March 27-29, 2022
  38. Shine Con 2022 March 27-29, 2022
  39. 8-Bit Block Party 2022 March 28, 2022
  40. Superior Con 2022 April 4, 2022
  41. Manchester Anime & Gaming Con 2022 April 4-5, 2022
  42. Sci-Fi Scarborough 2022 April 4-5, 2022
  43. Tsunami Mérida Comic Con 2022 April 4-5, 2022
  44. Conapalooza: Vendor Bender 2022 April 11, 2022
  45. QuadCon Davenport 2022 April 11, 2022
  46. QuadCon Peoria 2022 April 11, 2022
  47. MegaCon Orlando 2022 April 16-19, 2022
  48. Barrie Fantasticon 2022 April 17-18, 2022
  49. Geek-it! 2022 April 24-26, 2022
  50. AniFest 2022 April 25, 2022
  51. Bristol Anime & Gaming Con 2022 April 25-26, 2022
  52. Makers & Creators Convention 2022 April 25-26, 2022
  53. Kingston ComiCon 2022 April 26, 2022
  54. Metrotham Con 2022 May 1-3, 2022
  55. Level Up Maine 2022 May 2, 2022
  56. Birmingham Anime & Gaming Con 2022 May 2-3, 2022
  57. Florida Supercon 2022 May 8-10, 2022
  58. Newcastle Anime & Gaming Con 2022 May 16-17, 2022
  59. Wayback Weekend 2022 May 16-17, 2022
  60. Comicpalooza 2022 May 22-24, 2022
  61. Thy Geekdom Con 2022 May 22-24, 2022
  62. DoKomi 2022 May 23-24, 2022
  63. Dream Con 2022 June 5-7, 2022
  64. QuadCon Altoona 2022 June 7, 2022
  65. E3 2022 June 9-11, 2022
  66. OMG!Con 2022 June 12-14, 2022
  67. Liverpool Anime & Gaming Con 2022 June 13-14, 2022
  68. PortConMaine 2022 June 25-28, 2022
  69. Animaritime 2022 June 26-28, 2022
  70. Planet Funk Con 2022 June 26-28, 2022
  71. GeekTakuFest 2022 June 29-30, 2022
  72. London Anime & Gaming Con 2022 July 3-5, 2022
  73. OtakuFest 2022 July 4-5, 2022
  74. ConnectiCon 2022 July 9-12, 2022
  75. Replay FX 2022 July 9-12, 2022
  76. Southern-Fried Gaming Expo 2022 July 10-12, 2022
  77. GACUCon Cruise 2022 July 13-17, 2022
  78. PokeFest SA 2022 July 17-18, 2022
  79. Metrocon 2022 July 23-26, 2022
  80. NärCon Sommar 2022 July 23-26, 2022
  81. Hazard Con 2022 July 24-26, 2022
  82. GalaxyCon Raleigh 2022 July 30 - August 2, 2022
  83. QuakeCon 2022 August 6-9, 2022
  84. Matsuricon 2022 August 14-16, 2022
  85. Portland Retro Gaming Expo 2022 August 14-16, 2022
  86. Cardiff Anime & Gaming Con 2022 August 15-16, 2022
  87. Animania Wichita Falls 2022 August 22, 2022
  88. Alcon 2022 August 28-30, 2022
  89. Hero Hype Expo 2022 September 5, 2022
  90. Megabit Game Expo 2022 September 13, 2022
  91. QuadCon Coralville 2022 September 26, 2022
  92. Kingston ComiCon 2022 September 27, 2022
  93. Fanaticon 2022 October 2-4, 2022
  94. Realms Con 2022 October 2-4, 2022
  95. HyperCon 2022 October 3, 2022
  96. C3AFA Tokyo 2022 October 3-4, 2022
  97. Tsubasacon 2022 October 9-11, 2022
  98. Newcastle Anime & Gaming Con 2022 October 10-11, 2022
  99. Memphis Comic Expo 2022 October 17-18, 2022
  100. DerpyCon 2022 October 30 - November 1, 2022
  101. Sheffield Anime & Gaming Con 2022 October 31 - November 1, 2022
  102. GalaxyCon Minneapolis 2022 November 6-8, 2022
  103. Bristol Anime & Gaming Con 2022 November 7-8, 2022
What types of games fall into the “gaming” category? Examples include Parker Brothers’ Monopoly™ game, WoTC/TSR’s Dungeons & Dragons™ game, and literally hundreds of games in between. The gaming convention brings an element of friendly competition to these games, and allows people who share interest in playing them a chance to get together and play. A gaming convention hosts tournaments, which are organized play sessions of a certain game, with the winner receiving a non-cash prize. BOARD GAMES – Games at a gaming convention fall into a number of broad categories, including board games, such as Parker Brothers’ MONOPOLY™ game, Mayfair’s Settlers of Catan game, and advanced historical simulation games such as Avalon Hill’s Age of Renaissance or Civilization games. Many of these games have been computerized in recent years, although many people do not know that these complex computer games often had their roots in a tabletop board game.

ROLE-PLAYING GAMES – Another category is role-playing games, in which each player takes on the persona of a character in an interactive story. Although the most popular of these role-playing games worldwide is WoTC/TSR’s Dungeons & Dragons™ game, many other companies produce games in other settings, or genres. Genre has the same meaning in gaming as it does in fiction writing – the setting and style of the story. Dungeons & Dragons is set in a fantasy world, where the players, via their characters pretend to battle fantasy monsters such as dragons and trolls, using imaginary swords and crossbows. Other role-playing games cast the players as characters in a variety of settings, from space to the Old West to the middle of your favorite horror movie.

In role-playing games, the players work together to slay the monsters, or solve the crimes, or save the village. As such, the players are not competing against each other. At a gaming convention, where these games are played as tournaments, the players continue this cooperative spirit in resolving the story, but winners are determined by the players and storyteller voting on who portrayed their character the best. This is basically a combination of how well the player knows the rules of the game, the setting, and the background of the character, an how well they were able to use that information to contribute to the story being enacted by the players. A good role player is often a good improvisational actor.

Each tournament has a different setting, and different characters, forcing the player to quickly assume different personas and portray them convincingly. Many of the tournament scenarios played at conventions come from the Role Playing Game Association Network (RPGA Network™ ), an international organization of role-playing enthusiasts which sponsors role-playing games at conventions, and pays its members to write entertaining scenarios that are sent to conventions around the world and used as tournaments. Players and storytellers are ranked in the RPGA Network based on how many tournaments in which they have participated, and how well they did.

MINIATURES GAMES – Miniatures games are not only popular but visually impressive. Typically, a miniatures game is a reenactment of a certain type of combat using miniature figurines to represent the troops. Battles fought in time periods from the Crusades and the Civil War to thousands of years in the future are simulated with figurines and terrain. Miniatures gaming is a combination of artistic skill in fashioning the terrain and figurines, and strategy, as the tabletop generals decide how to deploy their troops.

TRADING CARD GAMES – A recent addition to the gaming convention are Collectible Card Games, aka Trading Card Games or TCGs. One of the most popular of these games is WoTC’s Magic: The Gathering™ game. These games have been described as a combination between baseball cards and board games. Out of a collection of thousands of cards, the players choose a few to play with. Their opponent does the same, and then the cards are played according to the rules of the game to resolve which player’s card selections and play strategy was more effective. Typically, the cards simulate characters and items, which are combined, deployed and lost according to the rules of the game. Other collectible card games abound, each allowing players to experience their favorite genre, or in many cases, television or movie milieu. Collectible card games are as diverse in setting and genre as role-playing games and have been produced based on a variety of worlds, including Babylon 5™, Star Trek™, Star Wars™, Dune™ and Pokemon™. LIVE-ACTION ROLE-PLAYING GAMES – Some conventions also host live-action role-playing games, which are like role-playing games with fewer rules, and fewer restrictions. Costumes are encouraged in live-action games, and the game is not physically restricted to a table, but perhaps a room, or an entire hotel. The most well-known live-action games are the How to Host a Murder™ games from Parker Brothers. But, as we’ve seen with other types of games, if you have a favorite genre, a game probably exists that will let you experience it.