TempleCon kicked off the 2010 New England gaming convention schedule this past weekend. Taking over the Crowne Plaza in Warwick, Rhode Island, 2010 celebrated the event’s fifth year, bringing players together from all forms of gaming. Billed as an event experience unlike any gaming convention, TempleCon paid particular attention to gamers and what we like – extending beyond gameplay. Here you were likely to see belly dancers, musicians, and filmmakers, mixed among the gaming and panels. Arr, there be pirates too! This is Rhode Island after all.
Board Games, Collectible Card Games, Role-Playing Games and Video Games were all represented. There was something for everyone. Without a doubt, some of the biggest draws at TempleCon were the Miniature War Games. This was clear as soon as you registered for the event. All pre-registered attendees received custom imprinted Dog Tags to commemorate the event. Even if you aren’t into War Gaming, Dog Tags just make you feel bad-ass.
Privateer Press, one of the major sponsors, maintained a dedicated presence in the main ballroom with plenty of space for miniature gaming. Among the games and demos running all weekend were WARMACHINES, HORDES and MONSTERPOCALYPSE, including championship gameplay with prizes to boot. Sharing the space was another sponsor, The Warstore. The Warstore packed lots of product for popular games and ran Malifaux demos throughout the weekend.
So miniature gaming isn’t your thing. Don’t worry, there were lots of other gaming opportunities. From tabletop Role-playing games such as Unhallowed Metropolis to Collectible Card Games like Vampire: the Eternal Struggle, or casual games like Apples to Apples, gamers of all skill levels found themselves at home. PC and Video Gamers like myself, could lose ourselves in the LAN Lounge day or night. Even better, if you brought your Xbox 360 or PC, all you had to do was plug and play. Still not what your into? How about some good old-fashioned Arcade games? Neo-Geo games were on hand with Samarai Shodown & Kings of Fighters tournaments.
TempleCon began as a small regional convention. Over the past few years, it has drawn more attendees from an international audience, growing so much, the event had to change venues for 2010. With all the gameplay, it’s no wonder. Gamers are the target audience, but TempleCon is not just for gamers. Like most conventions, there are attendees that come to show off their costuming skills. With its retro-futurism theme, TempleCon openly embraces cosplay.
We all know it just is not a convention with some Star Wars cosplay.
What better way to show off costuming skills than with a costume contest? Saturday night, that is just what we got. The Penny Dreadfuls scoured the crowd at the Deco, Dance & Design event to find some of the most creative costumes.
Half the reason for attending conventions is all the great performances and after hours fun. Friday night’s Diesel, Deco & Dance event was all about music, featuring The Dirge Carolers, Sasquatch & the Rock-a-billys, Emperor Norton’s Standing Marching Band and DJ Delicti.
The Mad Hatter served as the Master of Ceremonies for Saturday’s Deco, Dance & Design event. The show opened with a Godzilla-inspired interpretive dance performed by Ameena. Following her performance was Neylan with a Firefly inspired belly dance routine and Paloma showing off her skills in a gothic number. Additional dance performances included Happy Hour Burlesque, Samara, Troupe Moirea, Tempest and Ela Rogers. All these lovely ladies certainly know how to put on a show. Rounding out the performances was a bit puppetry from Rick Sardinha with his creations Terrance Redbone & The Great Grimpen Mire.
Watch out the videos below to see performances from Ameena, Neylan and Paloma.
Being a fan of video games, and being blessed to have friends who game, this event was right up my alley. As soon as I heard about TempleCon, I knew I had to attend and I am glad I had the chance. At the end of the weekend I found myself curious about other types of gaming and intrigued by retro-futurism culture. There may be belly dance lessons in my future and I will definitely be calling on my new found friends to introduce me to some other games.
The best part of the weekend, by far, was the people. I got to spend some time with Nicole Wakelin of Nashua, NH (visit her blog at TotalFanGirl.com), to get her thoughts on Templecon. Attending the convention with her husband for the second year, it was board games that caught her interest. Though she confessed, one of the main reason she attends is also because of the people. As a very social person, TempleCon affords Nicole the chance to meet up with friends throughout New England she does not get to see often. She has been to larger conventions like Atlanta’s Dragon*Con, as well as smaller events such as Carnage Con in Vermont. As Nicole explained, each convention is its own event – large conventions can be somewhat overwhelming, and the smaller events have the benefit of seeing the same people each year. TempleCon seems to be the best of both worlds. The event is full of fun people and events. With its location within New England, it is a convenient event, making it easier for fellow gamers to come together.
So, if you find yourself in New England around this time next year, be sure to make time to hang with the gamers at TempleCon. Better yet, break out your calendar now and plan to see me there!
For more information on TempleCon, visit their website at www.templecon.org. Please be sure to check out the websites for some of the sponsors and performers below.