Mission Report: Salt Lake Gaming Con 2017, Day 1

I’m going to try to make this fairly quick, although I’ve got a ton of stuff in my head and loads of pics and some video to process for you all to see. I’ll likely spend most of tomorrow (Sunday) working that and putting it up.

Yesterday was day one of the 3rd annual Salt Lake Gaming Con. Last years, the organizers of Salt Lake Comic Con, Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg, stepped in to help the fledgling (and, by some accounts, floundering) event by purchasing a 50% stake in it and leading a last-minute PR push.

This year, Dan and Bryan and their Salt Lake Comic Con organization have stepped in with both feet and really gotten their hands dirty to bring Salt Lake City gamers a high-quality event.

SLGC Banner.png

And they aren’t lying about the types of games they’ve got. Check out the size of the tabletop/CCG/game test play area:

**Note: This photo was taken before the doors were open. Trust me; there’s people here…**

Tabletop test play and tournament area 1.JPG

I got a brief discussion with a CG developer who brought his game to be test played (video to come), and to the right of this are a bunch of those smaller, round tables like you see in the right of the frame, where countless RPG’s are being run by various GMs.

That part makes me a bit nostalgic. But we’ll get to that.

More game vendors than Funko dealers, 2–count ’em, TWO–different dice retailers (both of whom have really nice products, too…. I want), lots of artists with their game-inspired art (including a local artist I should be having a quick conversation with today, so watch for that, hopefully), and FIVE video game voice actors, including the prolific Jennifer Hale, along with a couple of actors from the insanely popular game, Overwatch. There are also several Professional Game Players, and displays of the newest VR gaming technology.

I have no doubt the Salt Lake City fans will wow them with their enthusiasm.

But more on all that later. I said this would be quick, so let me talk about a conversation I had with Bryan Brandenburg when I ran into him on the floor. He saw me and asked (since I had intended on getting a comment from him) whether I was official or unofficial press at that moment. I told him unofficial, so we just chatted about the event for a few minutes. He wound up asking me what I thought of it, and I told him I was glad SLCC was involved, because I think it’s important that games, especially the older, table-top-style games were being preserved, presented, and re-appreciated by younger gamers. And their involvement lends a great deal of legitimacy to the effort.

If you’ve read this previous post of mine, then you know how I feel about gaming, especially RPGs. [Remind me and I’ll tell you a great story PJ Haarsma (developer of “Con Man, the Game”) shared at last week’s Denver Comic Con about gaming, as well.]

I also told Bryan I was mostly spending the day trying to get a feel for how the attendees were reacting, and that I was very impressed with the level of involvement and enthusiasm by them, not simply walking and window shopping, but heading in to the various booths and engaging with the game sellers, developers, and other professionals. Without that level of engagement, an event like this can’t survive long.

That speaks to the gaming culture here in Utah.

But since I’ve now, officially, blown way past any semblance of “short,” I’ve got to go start getting ready to drive back down to the South Towne Expo Center for day 2. Maybe I can fight off the urge to pick up that set of completely incredible dice… Or maybe not.

Gaming is a funny thing, like a virus. Once you catch it, you’re trapped.

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