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So ... I’ve never been to a con, but I’d like to. Questions.


Lago
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I’m talking specifically about video game related cons.  I’m located in Panama City, Florida.  With that being said I’d like to stay within a days travel.

Can you recommend a good con for someone that’s never been?  I’d prefer to not go to a huge one for my first one.

Is a con a good place to buy games?  Are they typically kid friendly?  Would there be things for my wife and kids to do if they didn’t want to attend?  What’s been your experience at cons?

Looking forward to hearing from the community!

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I’ve been to one “geeky” con in my life, so I’m a bit of an expert at the subject now. (that’s sarcasm mind you)

I went to TooManyGames this year and I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on all these years. I felt I could just let go and geek out and not have a conservative “normie” attitude to 30 year old plastic grey squares.

The only thing I really noticed that wasn’t family friendly is the very VERY few lewd cosplayers (either accidentally or purposely). The ones walking around in spandex without a dance belt...seriously guys, I don’t need to know your religion from across the building. There was one REALLY legit Attack on Titan monster there though.

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I've only been to two gaming cons - TooManyGames (Philly area) and Midwest Gaming Classic (Milwaukee).  I agree with @ThePhleo - from my limited experience with gaming cons, I'd call them pretty kid-friendly... the cosplay is far less risque than at ComicCon.  

As for buying games, I have found them to be a mixed bag and it really depends on what you're looking for.  If your goal is finding good deals on games, I think cons are generally worth skipping... especially once you factor in the potential travel, parking, lodging, and entry costs of the con.  If your goal is to find a specific game in a specific condition, the task is somewhat daunting because of the chaos and the number of vendors with varying levels of organization.

Personally, I think the best thing about cons is just meeting up with people - chatting with vendors, chatting with other people who share your passion for games.  Both cons I went to, I went specifically to meet up with people from around the country whom I've met online through various forums and social media.

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17 hours ago, VGCollectaholic said:

I've only been to two gaming cons - TooManyGames (Philly area) and Midwest Gaming Classic (Milwaukee).  I agree with @ThePhleo - from my limited experience with gaming cons, I'd call them pretty kid-friendly... the cosplay is far less risque than at ComicCon.  

As for buying games, I have found them to be a mixed bag and it really depends on what you're looking for.  If your goal is finding good deals on games, I think cons are generally worth skipping... especially once you factor in the potential travel, parking, lodging, and entry costs of the con.  If your goal is to find a specific game in a specific condition, the task is somewhat daunting because of the chaos and the number of vendors with varying levels of organization.

Personally, I think the best thing about cons is just meeting up with people - chatting with vendors, chatting with other people who share your passion for games.  Both cons I went to, I went specifically to meet up with people from around the country whom I've met online through various forums and social media.

The only con I've been to is MOGameCon but this has been my experience exactly.  It's fun to browse and see what's there, but a lot of stuff is overpriced and good luck finding a deal.  But chatting to people has ended up being my favorite part of my time there, hands down.

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My experience as someone stuck in the convention desert of North Carolina:

  • Small, local retro gaming cons can be really weak. A corner of like 5 mediocre arcade games, vendors made up of a bunch of Craigslist flippers and local stores you can go to anyway, local college kids showing off bad indie games (no offense local college kids, do your thing).
  • A lot of the bigger stuff I know about near the Southeast (MAGFest, Southern Fried, Freeplay Florida, Dragon Con) is a little more arcade/pinball/music/general fandom focused than vintage games. Especially in terms of vendors, nothing matches the big vintage game expos.

I'd say find something local and check it out, but if you're going to fly/travel just go wherever the most interesting looking convention is and don't restrict yourself too locally. I'm jealous of people who live near stuff like MGC and PRGE.

Edited by DefaultGen
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