My nerd vice of choice is video games, so I’m always on the lookout for fun gaming events! Here are my top five convention activities for the discerning gamer.
1) Try the latest and greatest before you buy
Have no doubts - being a geek is 80% about how much money you're spending. So at the very least you should make sure you won’t regret your purchases. Major software publishers like Nintendo, Bandai Namco (Owners of the Tekken franchise) and Konami (Metal Gear Solid and YuGiOh) ensure their most recent big title is available for the public to try.
2) Test your skills against the local talent
You may well be the Mario Kart master in your neighbourhood, but how do you fare against strangers? Gamers of all abilities - from amateurs to experts - are awaiting a challenge. Just don't get too upset when they beat you.
For the seriously hard-as-nails, exhibition tournaments for high-skill multiplayer games like the iconic fighting game Street Fighter IV or tactical 5-on-5 fantasy brawler League of Legends are often open to enter.
3) Hunt for rare gems
Did you know that commercial video games have been around for over 30 years? For such a new artistic medium, video games already have a massive back catalogue. There are always sellers of retro or import games at conventions, ready to help you relive your nostalgia of Crash Bandicoot on the Sony Playstation (or, if you're really old, Duck Hunt on the NES).
4) Connect with your fellow gamers
Whether it's shaking hands after a fierce game of Super Smash Bros for Wii U, or a brief moment of bonding over some rare memorabilia, there's a good chance you could make a new friend. It's easy for geeks to be awkward, but don't pass up the opportunity!
However if you want the human contact without the social interaction, several portable games (many of them on the Nintendo 3DS) have aspects that benefit from encountering other players in the vicinity.
5) Discover unusual indie gems
It’s not just the giant companies like Nintendo and Microsoft that make games – there’s been a recent surge of independent developers (or ‘indies’) releasing smaller titles. Conventions are a great way for indies to share their games with the public.
One of the biggest at the moment is Mighty No. 9, developed by Keiji Inafune, the creator of the Mega Man series of games. It’s of no surprise – Mighty No. 9 follows the jump-and-shoot formula of Mega Man to the letter, but with much shinier graphics.
Inafune even held a Q&A session via video conferencing, giving us the chance to get potential inside news about Mighty No. 9’s imminent release on September 15. Sadly though, he remained mysterious about his future plans.
Blog by Nathan Blades