Our resident cosplay aficionado takes a trip to Comic Con but finds no games.
At the weekend, on a whim, my friends and I packed a bag and headed up to Wrexham for Wales Comic Con. I’ve been to similar events before, such as MCM Expo in London, and as we approached the queue bright and early for on-the-day tickets, I couldn’t help but buzz with excitement. It was an opportunity for a weekend of all things nerdy. Meet the stars, buy some comics, and of course hit the games demos and have a look at the games coming up later in the year.
I expected, like the other conventions I had attended, to find stations where I could stand and play all of the games I am excited about in the year ahead. It’s like teasing yourself; escalating your want for a game into a need to own it. The thought of the goodies inside kept my shivering at bay whilst we waited a full four hours for the doors to be opened to us, while the early-bird ticket holders shunned us as they passed. We were nevertheless entertained by cosplayers; aliens, predators, storm troopers and all manner of superheroes.
Then, as I donned my wristband and practically ran through the double doors into the arena… I found no gaming section. I glanced down the aisles of stalls and tables, looking for the demo stations, and I found none. My friends, not being gamers, didn’t understand my confusion. Not to be thwarted by the absence of games that I could play, I set out to find games that I could buy. My investigation was met with stalls offering crate upon crate of retro video games, card games and consoles. N64s still in the box, cartridges I’ve not seen since the early 90s, even shiny YuGiOh cards being sold for £10 a pop. It was a blast from the past as my inner child wished it could purchase every item I glanced on my way around the room.
After having a good long look around everything available, I headed outside to catch a gaming fix. I opened my 3DS to find streetpass stats in double figures; there were obviously other gamers about. After spotting someone else wearing a Zelda t-shirt (I was wearing one with a Zelda/Star Wars related pun on it) and a guy cosplaying as Link, I felt confident that I couldn’t be the only person at the event that felt that gaming was under-represented. After asking some expert con-goers in the hotel after the event, I was told that the event was still growing, and had already gotten bigger since the previous year.
Despite the lack of games, Wales Comic Con was a great event with an electric atmosphere and fantastic guests. Comic fans will not be disappointed, with endless comic vendors providing all genres, and artists drawing on request. It’s definitely something I’ll be keeping an eye on, and hopefully given the opportunity to grow, they can team up with the gaming companies to provide some kind of service for those of us who like to play video games, even if it’s just a DDR machine.
Featured image: Clare McDonald