Another August, another Game On Expo. Don’t take that as its just an average con with no excitement, because that isn’t the case. I have zero problem admitting that I am not into modern gaming as much as I could be. Esports isn’t my thing, I have played Fortnite a handful of times because I play with my 8 year old, and I find the yearly releases of certain titles to be uninspired. HOWEVER, I LOVE retro gaming. It speaks to me on another level. Looking at the classic games I owned as kid, admiring the cover art, finding games I’ve never even heard of is a blast. The great thing about Game On Expo? It offers fans of modern gaming as well as retro gaming a taste of both (plus more!). Game On Expo is in it’s fourth year (second at the Phoenix Convention Center) and I felt it made a bigger stride in terms of what it offers this year than it did last year.
Here’s what I really enjoyed about Game On Expo: the variety. While from the naked eye it looked like the number of arcade cabinets were about the same or maybe a few less, everything else seem to grow. The list of areas included: An eSports stage which hosted Fornite every time I walked by.
Console area that feature many of the classic consoles from NES, to the Genesis, and Saturn. This area also hosted tournaments and such. Pachinko had its own area along with prizes that could be run (you can read about Pachinko right here). Plenty of tables with modern consoles for competitive as well as causal gaming, VR booths, arcades, and so on. Without even shopping the vendors or artists, you could spend a few hours trying out all the different type of gaming available at the con. That doesn’t even include the amount of board games and table top games that were offered throughout the convention.
The rest of the convention, which took place in the South Building of the Phoenix Convention Center, was filled with vendors, artists, and guest tables. Obviously a lot of video games, related merchandise, toys, and so on were found. I made a couple small purchases but there were so many tempting things, a lot of the vendors/artists had some great stuff for sale.
The con also had an impressive lineup of guests that featured many Youtubers such as my personal favorite The Game Chasers, Pat the NES Punk, and Reggie Williams. Voice actors included Troy Baker (who did a great of making an announcement about his panel on the convention PA system), Jennifer Hale, and Steve Downes. Gamers lined up to meet some of their favorite guests from various corners of the entertainment industry.
The convention invested money into displays and presentations, one thing I always appreciate seeing at cons. I haven’t even mentioned the amount of cool cosplay that was seen throughout the weekend either. The Game On Expo brand is growing which is exciting to see as it’s the only convention of its kind in Arizona. Can’t wait to see the growth in 2019.