Salt Lake Gaming Con 2015 [Overview]
Three days of playing games with other gaming enthusiasts makes for a great time for gamers of all ages and types. That is the experience had at the first Salt Lake Gaming Con.
The convention was focused on gaming, tabletop games and electronics. Along with other events, this was a mix of activities allowing everyone in attendance to be involved in what they like and try out a number of other games and activities they might not normally have access to.
The main hall was divided into several areas, but there was overlap between them so it would have been hard to keep isolated in one style of gaming and not come in contact with another. The soft boundaries between the areas allowed for a mingling you usually don’t see.
Local league players of the Star Wars Miniatures game were set up on several tables and maintained a regular audience of people seeing the game for the first time. There were introductory Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games being hosted by the D&D Adventurers League. Participation of new players was high enough that sign-ups were closed hours before game time because all of the seats were filled. The table top area was supported by SaltCon and Fongo Bongo Games with a game library. They didn’t bring their full selection, but the library supported hours of gaming.
Every night, the gaming area, all of it, ran for a several hours after the vendor area closed down. This meant there were electronic and tabletop gamers mixing till 10 pm on Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday. Even though everyone had their favorite games, the mingling and accessibility of the games has probably recruited new gamers to all of the different styles of play. There were events where people could apply their expertise, testing it against other players.
There were a lot of tournaments taking place around the convention center, some organized by the convention and others by the vendors. From the crowds I saw, the three largest were Call of Duty, Magic the Gathering, and Cosplay. There were other prize being given away around the hall. The largest I saw was a $1,400 package of electronic gaming equipment.
Other scheduled events included panel discussions, a full participation mystery, and speed dating. Voice actors and professional cosplayers were present, and “hiding” in the crowd were other geek celebrities that people were able to bump into.
The event had a lot of extra room where people were able to spread out for playing a game, talk, eat, or just relax and watch the amazing cosplay participants. This allowed for excitement to build around the games, tournaments, and other events while providing an area for others to unwind a little.
There was also an area set aside for the next generation of gamers who were not yet ready to participate fully in the available games—bounce houses and slides. This was a family oriented event with ages from infants to folks into the much later years. It was great to see the mix taking place and everyone getting along, and helping each other out.
If you were interested in a game you had not played before, there were people willing to help teach the games and the strategies of how to play. This allowed experienced players to mix it up with newer players and create new friendships and expand gaming groups.
This year was the first time for this event in Salt Lake City, and I think it should be one you look forward to coming around again. This event was interactive for the participants making time fly by way too quickly. The longest line I saw was the entry, and they were moving people into the hall fast. Inside, even where there were crowds and lines, the wait was shorter than expected. The people and companies who had organized participation had enough equipment and time frames to keep the action of the games moving without a lot of just standing.
Congratulations to the first Salt Lake Gaming Con, I’m looking forward to next year’s event and what you will have planned for the gaming community.
Additional pictures are available on the Salt Lake Gaming Convention and SaltCon Facebook pages.
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