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Convention Fans @ Game Core Con 2009: Convention Report

14 September 2009 by

On Saturday, Dan and I ventured out to Oaks, PA to attend Game Core Con, a one-day gaming convention. Although it was a small con, it was a breath of fresh air considering we had just recently returned from the mammoth sized Dragon*con. We had an enjoyable time, and got to connect up with a lot of well known members of the Philadelphia geek community.

One of the big issues for a convention is location choice. The organizers of Game Core Con selected the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center as their facility. It had plentiful (and free) parking. The size of the main hall was big enough to allow for wide vendor aisles and plenty of table gaming space. There was also space set aside for the numerous bands that were performing, and a nice sized conference room to be used for panel discussions.

The down side was that the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center was far enough away from center city Philadelphia that you had to get there by car. This may have limited the number of attendees, especially since the convention was advertising in Metro, a Philadelphia paper. We did get word that some of the vendors were a bit disappointed in the number of attendees, and the subsequent lack of sales. But at the same time, we also heard that Game Core Con was communicative and organized when it came to dealing with their vendors.

Game Core Con had numerous tournaments going on throughout the day. Magic the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! games were being playing at the various tables set up in the middle of the hall. There was a miniatures demo going on at the tables as well. The walls were lined with televisions and gaming systems. There was even a copy of Beatles Rock Band available for attendees to play. In the middle of the hall were a ton of old arcade games, which attendees could not only play, but purchase. Finally, a DeLorean and KITT were there for fans to oogle over.

While we didn’t participate in the tournaments, we did attend the first panel of the day, which was about table top RPG design. The panel was run by RPG writer David Hill. It turned out to be one of the best panels we’ve ever attended at a convention. David worked with all of us to create the basic outline of our very own table top RPG game. Not only was it a great way to discuss RPG game mechanics, but it was a ridiculous amount of fun. David has promised to post the resulting outline on his website in the coming weeks.

While we were there, we ran into two of the ladies from Seventh Kingdom IGE, who were hoping to recruit some new LARPers at the convention. I also finally got to meet some of the folks over at Geekadelphia! We’ve managed to miss each other at the past couple of events we’ve both attended, but did connect up at Game Core Con. If you don’t already read their blog, it comes highly recommended by me!

Overall, Game Core Con was fun, and we definitely recommend it if you’re a gamer. We will say that this convention has a lot of room for expansion, and we’d love to see other game tournaments included in the future (maybe a little Munchkin or Star Trek/Star Wars CCG?). It could also benefit from adding some additional panels. We can’t wait to see what they come up with for 2010!


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