Though summer is generally considered the height of convention season, fall too provides some great opportunities for game events in the United States.

Several run through the upcoming weekend. Perhaps the biggest, certainly the most elaborate, is Play Fair, a consumer toy and game show Saturday and Sunday in New York City. At Play Fair, families will find demonstrations, activities, and character appearances from some of the largest brands. Look for a world-record slime, drone races, life-sized games, virtual-reality opportunities, and more. Tickets are generally $30 per person for a 4 hour session but a discount code (“TOYASSOCEMP5“) shared with us by the Toy Association will give you $5 off per ticket.

EuroQuest, an event put on by the Games Club of Maryland, begins Wednesday in Pikesville (just outside Baltimore). Featuring board game tournaments and an active and friendly open game room, EuroQuest is also a good place to catch some of the hot releases from Essen Spiel on this side of the Atlantic.

Gamehole Con, Thursday through Sunday (November 2-5) in Madison, Wisconsin, hosts nearly 2,000 scheduled events covering all types of tabletop games, including the live action True Dungeon.

Also starting Thursday (in Morristown, New Jersey), Metatopia is a convention for game designers, with scheduled playtests, seminars, and panel discussions. Gamers who haven’t yet been hit with the design bug are also welcome, to help with playtesting.

Friday through Sunday in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is Fall-In, which focuses on historical miniatures gaming. There’ll be tournaments and scheduled games for a wide range of periods and systems. Also, dozens of classes on painting and terrain-making.

Another war game-focused event follows the next weekend, Friday-Sunday (November 10-12). That is the San Diego Historical Games Convention, where in addition to open gaming and scheduled miniatures, attendees have access to a number of play-with-the-designer events, a large game raffle, and free table space in the flea market.

Con on the Cob takes place the following weekend (November 9-12) in Richfield, Ohio. This one includes all types of analog games, along with a healthy dose of art, music and comedy performances, cosplay, and partying.

Then just before Thanksgiving we get three major conventions all on the same weekend! BGG.Con November 15-19 in Dallas is sponsored by the Board Game Geek website. Its big draw is a large open gaming room and a library of hot new titles but unfortunately it’s been sold out for a while.

ChiTAG is an event in two parts. There’s the consumer show, the Chicago Toy & Game Fair, Saturday and Sunday (November 18 &19), with many large and small exhibitors welcoming the public to play. There’s also the Chicago Toy & Game Week track of professional conferences and networking events that begin on Thursday (November 16), such as meetings for inventors and educators and the TAGIE Awards Gala. A special part of ChiTAG is the Young Inventor Challenge, a design contest for children ages 6-18. Prizes include over $10,000 in scholarships. For tickets to the consumer show, discounts of 50% are available through Groupon.

Finally, there’s PAX Unplugged November 17-19 in Philadelphia, where you might find me some part of the weekend. PAX Unplugged is a new convention from the organizers of PAX West, PAX East, etc. The series might be described as fandom events but this one is specifically focused on tabletop games. In its first year, it’s already seeing strong support from hobby game publishers. There’ll be a keynote address from the president of Wizards of the Coast, live performance Dungeons & Dragons games (Dice, Camera, Action! and Acquisitions, Inc.), open gaming, vendors, lots of board and card game tournaments, and a variety of panel discussions.

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Okay, this is strange.

So there’s Shut Up & Sit Down, a games review site that publishes game news, and they’re kind of a big deal. Like, crazy big in the general gaming otherspace that’s not actually involved in designing or publishing games. Over 50,000 people are subscribed to their YouTube channel with several review videos having over 100,000 views.

Now they’ve decided to leverage their brand to launch a quite small gaming convention in “annoyingly beautiful” Vancouver, Canada on October 6th through October 8th of this year. Aiming to sell 740 tickets to a board game convention based in a downtown hotel (The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown), they’re bringing the Seattle Megagames Society to run a few events over the weekend and a few select publishers (some small people, like Fantasy Flight Games and Plaid Hat Games) to run demo areas. Mainly funded by ticket sales instead of exhibit hall rental space, Shut Up & Sit Down is hoping that the US$150 admission price will help fund this show and lay the groundwork for future SHUX shows.

In particular, they’re using the funds to pay for flights and hotels for SHUX’s special guests. “You would be shocked by how few conventions do this,” SU&SD writes. SU&SD co-founder Paul Dean responded to that thread on their website:

…We constantly get invited to speak at or put on events at other cons, ones with far bigger budgets, without any offers of accommodation or travel assistance or fees for our time/preparation/work. That basically boils down to people saying to us “Please be an attraction we can advertise at our con for free,” while we look at air fares and hotel costs running into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

That sucks and we don’t want to do that to other people.

The mainly UK-based media company said that one of the reasons they chose to debut SHUX in North America is that continent has about 70% of their audience. “The UK is 15% of our audience, and has been from day 1,” was posted on Shut Up & Sit Down’s twitter. “70% of our donors are US and CA. If anything, it was the USA that gave us our start.”

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Summer is traditional game convention season—Origins started today in Columbus, Ohio—but these two you may not have heard of.

APBA logoConnections, running August 9-12 at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, has a serious purpose, “to advance and preserve the art, science, and application of wargaming.” Actually more of a conference, the event includes a number of presentations and panels by military officers and historians, as well as an opportunity to participate in game lab activities.

The 2016 APBA Convention (June 24-26 in Alpharetta, Georgia) is an event dedicated to the 65 year-old company’s sports strategy games. There’ll be tournaments for baseball, football, and hockey, and a playtest event for a new nine hole par 3 golf course.

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Comes to Origins

YCSA Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series premier-level event will be held on June 15-19, with the Main Event scheduled for June 18-19, during the five-day Origins show at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Pre-registration for YCS Origins will run from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 17 and registration will continue promptly at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 18. Registrants will receive 5 Shining Forces booster packs, and an exclusive YCS Origins play mat.

What are the prizes?

1st Place – Ultra Rare Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Prize Card: Minerva, The Exalted Lightsworn; Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Trophy; Paid travel and accommodations to the winner’s 2016 World Championship Qualifier; VIP Status at the winner’s 2016 World Championship Qualifier; PlayStation 4 system
Invite to the 2016 World Championship Qualifier tournament;
Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Top Cut Game Mat; and 20 Ultimate Duelist Series (UDS) Points

2nd place – Super Rare Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Prize Card: Minerva, The Exalted Lightsworn; 32GB Tablet PC; Invite to the 2016 World Championship Qualifier tournament; Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Top Cut Game Mat; and 10 UDS Points

3rd place – Super Rare Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Prize Card: Minerva, The Exalted LightswornXbox One console; Invite to the 2016 World Championship Qualifier tournament; Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Top Cut Game Mat; and 10 UDS Points

4th place – Xbox One console; Invite to the 2016 World Championship Qualifier tournament; Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Top Cut Game Mat; and 10 UDS Points

5th – 8th place – Nintendo 3DS XL; Invite to the 2016 World Championship Qualifier tournament; Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Top Cut Game Mat; and 10 UDS Points

9th – 16th place – 24 booster packs of Shining Victories; Invite to the 2016 World Championship Qualifier tournament; Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Top Cut Game Mat; and 10 UDS Points

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Gen Con 2015 Exhibit Hall: Hello, Hall G

Gen Con logoThe Gen Con 2015 Exhibit Hall is even bigger, but we all knew that was coming with the convention’s record growth. This year’s Gen Con has the exhibit hall has 283,000 square feet and about twenty additional vendors than the 2014 convention. In previous years, Hall G was host to Magic: the Gathering tournaments and organized events from AEG, Fantasy Flight Games, and others. There are 390 vendors listed on the official exhibit hall map (available at, about twenty more than in 2014. (Vendors may occupy multiple separate booth spaces.)

An earlier version of this article indicated that 2015 was the first year that the exhibit hall expanded into Hall G. Gen Con expanded the exhibit hall into Hall G in 2014. We regret the error.

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Screenshot-Board-Game-Challenge-ID-700x400Indonesia based news outlet Kompas, in collaboration with Indonesian game design company Kummara recently announced the upcoming Board Game Challenge, which is a board game design competition that will premier in 2015.

The Regional Phase of the competition will be held in five of Indonesia’s major cities, Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Jogjakarta, and Surabaya. Participants will take a game design class provided by Kummara in one of these five cities.

Then, the Board Game Challenge committee will announce the design theme. Participants will have to create a board game based on the parameters set by the committee.

The committee’s theme may differ by regions, so as to include the possibility of adding local culture and influence, such as folklore, tourism, fashion, food, and more. Judges will select finalists from successful submissions. Those chosen will then be invited to Jakarta to participation in the Grand Final.

During the Grand Final stage, the finalists will present their prototype to the judges, as well as players selected from government, corporate, and business members, will play the games and determine the best three board games.

The first place winner will receive 15,000,000 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) (approximately $1,100). Second place will receive 10,000,000 IDR (approximately $755). Third place will receive 7,500,000 IDR (approximately $565). The winners will also have the chance for their design to be published by Kompas, and possibly other publishers.

Gencon LLC Files Chapter 11

GenconGen Con LLC, the company behind the popular Gen Con Indy convention, filed for bankruptcy on Friday. According to the press release distributed by the company, the bankruptcy will not affect any of Gen Con’s currently scheduled events. The press release is not specific, noting only that the bankruptcy is related to “attempts to expand its core business to encompass externally licensed events,” but there has been some speculation that the bankruptcy is related to the lawsuit recently filed against Gen Con by Lucasfilm. Given the company’s own explanation, this interpretation seems entirely reasonable.

(Gen Con, via GameGrene)

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