I am a gamer.
The very first game I ever played was on an Apple II. I remember having to wait my turn as four older siblings played Lode Runner or Choplifter. Then I would get my turn, and it would be so short compared to the wait to play again.

Very few things get me riled up today like thinking about playing Golden Eye with my brother. He used to play as Odd Job and would kneel down as he ran around. There were several arguments over the subject. If you’ve played that game, you know what I mean.

Back in my Call of Duty days, I maintained a 5.0 kill to death ratio.

In Destiny, my clan beat the raid in the first expansion before it was out a full twenty-four hours.

More recently most of my gaming has been on my phone. I was a significant member of the Stolendroids Clash of Clans clan. A couple months back, I reached rank 5 in Hearthstone, and for a brief period in my life, I was in the top two percent of players in the world for that game.

Because gaming has been such a significant part of my life, it would only make sense that I would find myself going to Salt Lake Gaming Con.

I briefly attended last year’s Gaming Con and found it to be a little lackluster. This might partly be because the last con I attended was Salt Lake Comic Con. If memory serves me correct, that years Comic Con had an attendance that put it in the top five (attendance wise) cons in the nation. (I may be wrong on that so feel free to correct me in the comments.) I don’t think I was prepared for how scaled back Gaming Con would be compared to Comic Con. This year, however, I went into it thinking that it would once again be small. I don’t know the actual numbers, but it felt like there were maybe three times more people who attended this year compared to last. Another thing that was very apparent was the number of vendors was easily double.

Side note: I love walking through the vendors and finding all the cool and weird stuff that I never thought existed. Most of it I could live without, but there would inevitability be something that grabs my attention and yells buy me! For me, this would usually be artwork or books sold to me directly from the person who created it.

But let’s be honest, for most people, it only takes a couple hours to see every vendor. So what else is there to do at Salt Lake Gaming Con?

Panels are generally my primary focus when at a convention. In essence, it’s a live podcast with some audience interactivity. Before attending any convention, I highly recommend skimming over the schedule of panels and planning your time around what you really want to see.

This year’s Gaming Con had many great panels that ranged from XBOX Vs. Playstation to fighting bullying in games. For the most part, they are great fun. Plus they give you some much-needed rest when your feet start to ache. It’s not every day that you get to listen to people argue over what was the best console commercial from the late eighties.

And if you like board games, the gaming floor has hundreds of games just waiting to be played. I didn’t play any of the general board games; however, I did find myself sitting down with the Board Game Designers Guild of Utah and play-tested a game for two hours. It was a lot of fun and an experience that I won’t soon forget.

Although I don’t usually like watching other people play games I made a point to watch as many of the tournament championship games as possible. One of those games that stand out was the final three games of the League of Legends tournament. The favored team went the entire tournament undefeated, but in the first game, the underdog team made a come from behind push and won. I couldn’t help but cheer for that team to win, but the following two games went to the other team.

I could probably nit pick things about the con but I don’t really feel like being negative right now. Yes, there were things that didn’t run smoothly. Yes, there were times that I thought “Really? This is how they decided to…?” But overall, the convention went well. I enjoyed my experience, and given the chance, I will go to it again next year.

Did you attend Salt Lake Gaming Con? What did you think?

Also, what games are you currently playing? I’m always on the lookout for my newest addiction.

Nathan Little

Nathan is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author. He studied physics and chemistry in school. Father, husband and owned by a Pug.