Obviously I have lots of PAX experiences, which is pretty much the biggest gaming convention “for fans”. However, this weekend I had a chance to go to a smaller con, and it reminded me why it can be really nice to go to shows of all sizes. This was the perfect example of a local sized show. It ran Friday through to Saturday, staying open overnight. They had a tabletop area, a small expo hall, console freeplay, about 8 arcade cabinets of various types, multiple tournaments , an esports arena and even a BYOC.
While I didn’t sign up for an tournaments or anything I spent a good bit of my time in the BYOC area. They had a full turnout, to the point where they started seating people in the extra tournament tables to make sure that everyone who wanted to take part could. I really liked seeing that, since at the bigger shows the BYOC section is usually an unknown part of the show to 90% of the attendees. It was really fun to have so many people who were there for the LAN, and that were willing to party up and just play.
I think the part I notice the most in a show this size is that I can relax a bit more. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the hustle and bustle of PAX, but there is something to be said for being able to sit in a LAN for hours and not feel like by doing so you are missing out on other parts of the show. With PAX West only about a month out it was a really nice way to sort of warm up for the show and get in a bit of con time without quite as much hustle and bustle.