Observations at Salt Lake Gaming Con

This is an event that is obviously created out of love and enthusiasm. I can feel that when I walk in the hall. I can also feel that it is a new show, only two years old. It hasn’t yet settled into what it will become. My personal hope is that it will keep it’s emphasis on actually playing games rather than getting distracted bringing in celebrities. For this year the focus is right. There are areas for people to hit each other with foam swords or shoot each other with Nerf darts. There is an extensive board game library where attendees can try out games. Then there are the rows upon rows of computers set up for LAN gaming and console gaming. Everywhere I went I heard “Would you like to play?”

I did an informal count, and the attendee population was definitely skewed male, at least 3 to 1 maybe 5 to 1. Yet when my daughter sat down to play Super Smash Bros with eight guys, none of them reacted to her gender, just to how she played the game. This is the side of gaming that isn’t as apparent online. The vast majority of people who love playing games are kind and well adjusted. They have excellent social skills and a welcoming attitude. I would love to see this event grow and foster that community even more.

My attendance at the convention was low key. I was mostly serving as transportation for my kids. I brought work and sat at a table alternately working and observing. My kids had a really good time. The show floor had lots of energy, but was never overly crowded. There was plenty of parking. I imagine that it looks and feels much like the early days of GenCon before it became so beloved and crowded. There is one more day of the show. If you’re local and you like games, it is probably worth your time to stop by. saltlakegamingcon.com