Gaming at a convention. A Pause Button’s inside look into competition at Phoenix Comicon.

30 05 2010

This year’s Phoenix Comicon established itself in its new home of the Phoenix Convention Center. Whereas the convention used to be held in the much smaller Mesa Convention Center, the new building provided areas much larger and roomier for programming at the event.


This translated to large dual gaming rooms set up for more tournaments and casual play hosted by the Arizona Hobbyists Paradise and Howie’s Game Shack, than ever had before.

Gamers and con-goers alike could stop into the rooms all day for chances to play Modern Warfare 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Rock Band 2, Super Street Fighter 4, and more, with opportunities to participate in almost hourly tournaments.

While the rooms weren’t terribly appealing to the eye, upon further investigation, it could be seen that there were good points to both rooms.

Snake was discovered by a soldier and the entire convention center went into the Alert Phase for awhile.

Howie’s Game Shack set up two lines of PCs for lag-free multiplayer matches on their various games of Bad Company 2 and others. There was also a dual-panel stand with 4 LCDs back-to-back for Modern Warfare matches, as well as another large TV for Super Street Fighter 4 and Rock Band.

The other room run by the AZHP was slightly underwhelming. Although there were several set ups for multiple games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Rock Band 2, Super Smash Brothers, Tekken 6, DJ Hero and much more, most of them were set up on small LCDs and televisions.

This made gaming a bit more difficult as those who were competing had to sit extremely close to the screens and if crowds gathered, hardly anything could be seen of the games going on from mere feet from the televisions. On the other hand though, having smaller TVs allowed for more game setups so it was a bit of a trade-off.

There were a variety of tournaments and games however, that were available to any and all who wished to participate. The AZHP set up a large arcade cabinet that held over 200 old school games for open play, as well as dual Dance Dance Revolution set ups and a keyboard set up for the classic title, Typing of the Dead.

So there were quite a few games at the Phoenix Convention Center available for every kind of gamer: hardcore to casual. While it wasn’t as impressive as professional tournaments may be, it was more than enough for players who wanted to get a taste of competitive gaming or just kick back and play some matches and meet some new people.

There were several video game cosplayers present at the convention as well. This Army of Two duo were great for photo ops!



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