The third annual Salt Lake Gaming Con took place July 7-8th at the South Towne Expo in Sandy Utah. This event brings gamers of both sides of the spectrum from Video gaming and e-sports to table top gaming to one location. For conventions, I have the distinct honor and privilege to volunteer for the event. While my responsibilities and experience of any convention is different from what the traditional attendee would experience, at the end of the day it’s just that; an experience. The initial reaction to the convention for me was that this was a great convention. Having worked multiple Comic cons here in Utah, the crowd for SLGC was not only a different crowd, but the size was different which in all honesty made it more enjoyable for me.
There was the Pinball alley with a lot of classic pinball machines, including some very retro machines which was cool to watch in action. The retro gaming area provided an additional treat with a history of gaming which allowed for people to see some very old consoles. Some of these included the Intellivision, Commodore 64, and the Nintendo Family Computer (Famicon) which later because the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). For some this would have been the first time that a person may have seen some of these consoles in person. I personally like to think that seeing these classics brings a greater appreciation to the consoles we have now. Even seeing all of the Gameboy consoles too. Also in this area was the ability to play these classic systems and games. I’ll admit seeing people struggle playing Super Mario Bros 3 was both confusing and entertaining. I think I can speak for many gamers when I say that there are some levels that you should be able to clear with no issues whatsoever, yet in this scenario, it happened. Keep Practicing there kids.
This convention did bring some Special Guests as well. Starting off, Jason Hayes, music composer who is noted for composing the music for some games such as Starcraft, Warcraft, World of Warcraft, and my personal favorite Diablo. Additional Voice Actors included Jennifer Hale and Steve Blum. From the popular first person shooter Overwatch, we had the chance to meet Anjali Bhimani, Josh Petersdorf and Feodor Chin. I must say this was a fun aspect of the convention for me. Meeting Steve Blum was a blast and he is just down to earth hilarious. I love speaking to voice actors. They’re just fun to be around and when they do their respective voices, it’s a trippy moment for anyone.
There were lots of different vendors and activities for all ages. The most entertaining to watch was the Kart race that both kids and adults were seen participating in. There was also other activities which included table top games, D&D, Warhammer etc. For gamers who have never played these types of games but always wanted to, this was a great opportunity to not only learn these new games, but also make some new friends as well.
From a volunteer perspective, this was so much fun. Anytime I have volunteered for a convention, the best way to describe it would be like a family reunion you look forward to. This group of extraordinary people give their time and talents to really help the show be a success, and help the attendees have a great experience. Sure it is a lot of walking, and my feet hurt each night, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. If you ever get the chance to be a volunteer for a convention like this, take that opportunity.
Overall I would give this convention a 4 out of 5 stars. My only feedback would have been to see more gaming vendors with more classic games and systems, but I also realize that this show is still young in respect to other conventions of its kind. It’s heading in the right direction, and has the potential to become one of the country’s great gaming cons.
Side Note: This is a real life view of a cheat code being used in action: