Are Local Game Conventions a Dying Institution?

Yesterday, I forked out $30.00 for a weekend pass to the sole remaining gaming convention in my state.  In previous years, it was a bazaar of gaming, cos-play (creepy!) and a thriving vendor area.  The entire convention center hummed with activity and table space was at a premium.  It is a well run convention with lots of events and great organization. Even the venue, a convention center was quite nice.

I did not do an accurate census, but it was my perception that attendance was significantly down this year. Keep in mind, this is the biggest gaming convention in the entire state.  There are some other sci-fi/fantasy conventions with ancillary gaming(WesterCon ,) but I am not counting those.

I discussed this with my usual gaming cronies and we came up with some ideas as to why it was so poorly attended this year.

1. Gas prices discouraged driving

2. Online gaming

3. Everyone is holed-up at home playing 4th edition

4. High costs to attend ($40.00) for the weekend

I am quite concerned about this, as conventions are the only oppportunity to run large events, like “Battle Interactives” and I rather enjoy playing in this kind of event.

I would like to know if this is specific to my area (Arizona) or  are other gaming conventions in other regions also seeing a decline? If so, why do you think it is happening?

Trask, The Last Tyromancer



Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.