11 Tips to Surviving Gaming Conventions

With many of the gaming conventions that are open to the public coming up, I thought I’d take a leaf out of Assassionista’s book and offer advice to the internet. Conventions like PAX, GAMEFest, Euro GamerExpo, and GamesCon all have some really cool things on display and here are some helpful hints and tips to help you make the best of these events:

1) Bring a backpack or satchel – the thing about these conventions is there’s usually some free stuff for you to get your hands on and you’re going to need somewhere to put all that swag. So, bring a bag for you to put your loot in.

2) Pack some anti-bacterial hand gel – there’s going to be a lot on show at these events and many people will be using the same controller. It’s best to have some anti-bacterial hand sanitizer in your bag as you never know where these other people have been. It’ll prevent you from catching one of the notorious con bugs.

3) Don’t rely on your cell / mobile phone – these conventions are a gathering of geeks/nerds who all have smartphones and will be on the 3G bandwidth most of the time. This means that you’re not going to able to check Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/G+/etc. while at the show – unless there is free WiFi, which is very doubtful.

4) For the safety of everyone, please shower – they call it Eau D’Geek at a gaming convention. To average people, it’s just called B.O. These rooms are full of about 50,000 people - all of whom are creating body heat in addition to the many gaming consoles pumping out heat. Heat + Human Body = sweat & stink. Please, do yourself and your fellow gamers a favor and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD REMEMBER TO SHOWER EACH DAY!

5) There will be lines, so be patient – there are going to be lines at this convention. People en masse will want to play the latest Call of Duty/Gears of War/Battlefield 3/My Little Pony (maybe not the last one?). Just be patient and wait in line, bring a DS and start a social game of Mario Kart? Or…

6) Talk to other people in line – yes, this mean interacting with REAL people in a NON-INTERNET based type of communication. When you’re standing in line waiting for things, just turn around and start to chat to the people around you. You never know who you’ll meet there. Some of my best friends I’ve met in lines and we still keep in contact to this day

7) Plan ahead – if there are panels or major games being shown, try to plan your day ahead as these conventions are only open for a limited amount of time each day and you will spend some time in lines. If the event is over a few days; spread things out, try to think ahead a few moves, and really go for the things that you want to see at the event.

8 ) Bring food & drink – most conventions will last all day and, in some cases, well into the night. This means that you will need to eat and drink at the show. These convention venues  know this and charge an arm and a leg, so it’s a good idea to throw a few pieces of food and drink that will keep in your bag to ensure you keep energized and hydrated while waiting in line.

9) Bring a camera – you never know who you’ll meet at these conventions; which means when you come across someone like Wil Wheaton, Stan Lee,  Felicia Day, or yours truly, you may want to get a photo with them (maybe not me) or just to say hi and meet them. They’re all relatively nice people and will be glad for you to catch that moment of joy in a photo

10) Bring some money – in addition to the free swag, you’re going to want to bring some money for the merchandise that’s going to be offered for sale. It’s unique, geeky, and hard to pass up. So a little money can help when it comes to buying that Dead Rising 2 biker jacket

11) Have fun – yes, it may sound stupid but you’re there to enjoy yourself; so please don’t forget this!


DrDogbert (43 Posts)

My name is DrDogbert I'm a Movie geek, Gamer, reader, writer, down right plain normal guy who likes to talk to himself at times