WHAT ARE GAME CONVENTIONS?
Gaming conventions typically have games scheduled for various time slots. Most gaming cons use some system of pre-registration to ensure that games are neither over-full nor under-full.
Competitive games typically have tournaments set out where players meet in matches. Prizes are typically awarded to the winners. There are also competitive role-playing games, where the best roleplayers, most successful parties, etc. get rewarded. Most scheduled RPGs, however, are not competitive.
The types of games often include many of the following:
- Collectible Card Games, like Magic: The Gathering & Pokémon
- Board games
- Role-playing games, like Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, & Traveller
- Table-top miniatures games like HeroClix, Car Wars, Flames of War and Warhammer
- Electronic games
Open gaming goes on throughout any such convention, and it is common that all seating in common areas will be taken by people playing pick-up games. Pick-up gaming is not generally discouraged by the convention management; in fact, pick-up games are a large part of the appeal of gaming conventions.
There is almost always a dealers’ room where various game manufacturers and related companies sell their products. Many game companies choose game cons to reveal new products.
Often there are other activities at a gaming convention as well. Costume balls, art auctions, and screenings of movies may all take place. Lectures, workshops, or panel discussions on gaming might be part of the programming, or for some cons, even the focus.