Where Gam3rs Go to Play at SDCC

By: J.c Sales

Gam3rCon is a five day gaming convention that takes place about a mile away from the San Diego Convention Center at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center and, runs exactly during the same week as San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC).

Devoted Gam3rCon volunteers
Devoted Gam3rCon volunteers

Coming in at it’s 5th year this annual event was created by gamers for gamers.

Brian Bielawski, Co-Founder and CEO, helped create  Gam3rCon when he saw that SDCC has a severe lack of gaming events. This year’s con was filled with not just gaming, but panels, rooftop parties, and geek theater. Let’s start with the video game arena. The arena features all modern systems, such as PC, PS3, XBox 360 and Wii consoles. It held tournaments for League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Titanfall and Call of Duty: Ghosts. The arena was moved to a newer venue within a short walking distance of the main Gam3rCon convention location at the New School of Architecture and Design. Points were awarded to winners who could then cash in those points to redeem prizes.

Loot table
Loot table

At the Tenth Avenue location, on the bottom floor, there was also a second venue for PC and console games. This area included the “Retro Arcade” which carried such systems as Atari, Sega Genesis, and NES.

At the third level you could find the Tabletop Lounge. This floor had a fairly large selection of games to check out and play, as well as opportunities to game test Kickstarter games still in development. In addition to the open gaming, there were special events such a Warhammer 40K Tournament and RPG events from Patherfinder and Outbreak Undead.

Reaching the fourth floor on our trek, we find the Forum Theater. This room hosted a variety of panels from a discussion on increasing the female demographic in the gaming industry (The Zelda Problem) to building an audience on YouTube. The theater is also where you could catch Brian Bielawski’s original one-man show Gam3rs: The Play and a series of geeky one-

Retro Arcade
Retro Arcade

acts presented by the Nomads Theatre Company.

Finally, you reach the top floor. An open roof-top venue with a beautiful view of the city and host to a variety of entertainment. Attendees were treated to a movie screening of the Super Mario Brothers, and a live music night featuring the bands Songhammer, Chamber Band, Awesome City Lights, and Dez Thrill.

One of my favorite moments of this con is the “deConpression” event. Held on the last night of the con, attendees are entertained by live music, a well-stocked bar, and a fun party. It’s one of the best ways to end a long weekend of running around.

Brian Bielawski in "Gam3rs: The Play"
Brian Bielawski in “Gam3rs: The Play”

If you missed out on buying tickets to SDCC or would like to enjoy the atmosphere of Comic-con without attending I would definitely recommend stopping by Gam3rCon. It’s a great opportunity to get in some gaming, meet new people, and comes at an extremely reasonable cost of $60 for the entire weekend.