Game On Expo 2017 – Revelry, Cosplay and Friendly Guests

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This past weekend I attended Game On Expo AZ and my convention blues were washed away by the sheer JOY that convention emanated. Since I completed SO MUCH I’ll have to break this down by day…

Friday

This was day one for Game On Expo AZ. I hosted a panel with Stevie Spade Cosplay and Amber Brite on Cosplay Basics. The panel room was small and the turn out minimal but the attendees were interactive and we covered a lot of material during this presentation. We visited the 105th Squad Phoenix Hive (a cosplay charity and educational group) then began our exploration of the NUMEROUS arcade, table top, pc and console game areas. The layout was easy to navigate AND this convention had the foresight to place directory signs throughout the convention hall that assisted with discovering places of interest. Friday was pretty chill and it only made me look forward to Saturday even more.

Saturday

This was game day (get it?). I attended the convention with Stevie Spade Cosplay and the other half of ThermoCosplay (that is my cosplay handle – my friend Lina is my parnter in cosplay mania). We hosted another panel this day; this time we focused on Video Game Aliens and how to create costumes for them. The panel had a better turn out than Friday and the attendees were incredibly curious about body painting, SFX application and how to simplify complicated forms. Here are a few shots by Edification Studios of our panel…


With our panel wrapped up we had time to explore the convention before I had to check in for pre-judging (I decided to participate in the masquerade at this event to get a feel for its organization and atmosphere). There were loads of vendors at this event and plenty of cosplayers communing with one another. By happen stance I ran into another group of Mass Effect cosplayers and we got a picture together…

Being Thane Krios seemed to have its benefits at this con. Not only did I have LOADS of people excitedly asking how I created my costume (don’t worry fan girls, I still planning on posting the other half of my costume build tutorial for all of you) BUT I was also stopped by Mark Meer. MARK MEER! Mark was the lead voice actor for the male Commander Shepard in the original Mass Effect video game trilogy. He asked for a photo and I had this distinct fluttering of excitement that left me speechless. Photos aside, we had a terrific day on Saturday. Edification Studios Photography assisted me with capturing the event through a lense eye while Stevie Spade, Amber Brite and Lina helped enliven the experience further.

At 4:45 PM I checked in for pre-judging and discovered the event had LOST my audio. There were bereft and somewhat flustered by this notion. I found that endearing. This event is still fairly young and their coordinators/volunteers worked hard to keep the happiness/pleasure of their attendees alive. I asked for no audio to be played (most cons play random music when they don’t have anything assigned to you) and they agreed to my request. The masquerade was fairly quick (each participant had no more than a 30-40 second skit) so this was INCREDIBLY refreshing (some costume contests take HOURS). The masquerade started at 6 PM and by 6:30 I was on stage then ten minutes later I was seated in the crowd to watch the half time show. Some improv artists performed on stage before Mark Meer and Mr. Lowrie went on stage to voice over attendees who were pretending to make a banana split (it was a hilarious skit – you can see some of it in our summary video below). Winners were announced shortly after and the entire costume contest was wrapped up before 8 PM. Here are a few images from the masquerade…

Sunday

This was shopping, relaxation and booth day. I met a lot of great vendors, spoke to some wonderful cosplayers, discovered a few new shops, visited some old friends and FINALLY had the chance to take in all that was Game On Expo AZ.

Overall Experience

Let’s break this down…

  • Security – Prop bans for the Phoenix Convention Center were still in place however; if you met the requirements (no metal, no fire arms, no wood, no explosives, etc.) you were fine to enter. You were wanded but this made entry faster for some reason.
  • Vendors – EXCELLENT! They had Alienware, 8 Bit Aleworks, loads of local artists and great layout.
  • Guests – AMAZING! The guests would often leave their tables (there was a row dedicated to them which you could walk into for free) and visit/interact with people at the convention.
  • Gaming – LOADS of games. Anything from Atari to X Box One to the latest and greatest PC streaming was available.
  • Panels – Limited but interesting. This was clearly more focused on gaming than education/presentation.
  • Costume Contest – A bit disorganized but VERY accommodating.
  • Food – Limited inside but the downtown area had LOTS of food options.

I HIGHLY recommend this event to gamers. It is an inexpensive way to play ALL the games from your childhood and well into adulthood. Here is a quick video of our time at Game On Expo AZ; if you’re ever in AZ during the first weeks of August PLEASE check out this convention and FAN GIRL ON!

For More Images from this event please visit our PHOTO GALLERY.

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