Greetings fellow Nerds and Nerdettes and the build has once again begun for Q-Con XXI, the biggest gaming convention in the entire UK and Ireland. From Friday 20th until Sunday 22nd June (that’s this weekend folks), Queens University Belfast will be overrun with gamers of all ages and descriptions!
With an event that is bigger than ever before, spanning three days and note that this year registration will be starting from 2pm on Friday due to the immense popularity this convention brings.
As in previous years there will be games of all types: for video-gamers there will be the usual PC games, console games from everything from the Wii U, 360, PS4, PS3 to the more retro types such as the SNES and classic arcade game emulators with retro game controls. There will, of course, be the usual flash of fingers and thumbs for the various tournaments that will happening throughout the weekend.
For card and tabletop gamers, there will be treats galore as, once again, Q-Con is expanding its gaming areas for the battle weary tabletop gamers. Even if you have never played a game like this before, the amount of skill that the GMs (That’s Games Masters) put into creating the various terrains and vehicles – with various types of warfare from WW2 to White Dwarf and beyond, the players and fans too enjoy every pulsating second with multi-sided dice spinning and battle cries galore – is astonishing.
If you prefer your gaming to be more imagination-based, the RPGs and LARPs (that’s Role Playing Games and Live Action Role Playing) are the best place to be. These games are limited in numbers with no dice or highly detailed mechanised weapons to help you, Instead you are left to your own imagination, with a guiding hand from the GMs to get the clues and solve the various puzzles. Many of these type of games encourage players to dress up in the style of the games, from 1920s gangsters to superheroes. Oh, and for the eagle-eyed among you, you can spot me at the LARP on Saturday Afternoon as everyone’s most loved Gangster, complete with props!
And speaking of dressing up, where would Q-Con be without cosplaters? Every year, a deluge of young and young at heart descend upon Q-Con in all manner of costumes, from popular Anime and television show characters, to various Marvel and DC Comic superheroes and often there are others who simply create their own cosplay outfits with incredible results.
Also back this year is the Cosplay Masquerade Ball which will be taking place on Sunday. Judging starts at 9:30am so best to get there early and impress the judges with your character and performance, all of whom will then be taking to the stage in the Cosplay Catwalk later on Sunday with various prizes given out.
The great thing about Q-Con is that the gaming is for all ages: over 12s do not need accompaniment and can join the various activities taking place. Anyone under 12 can also come, though they need a guardian present. For those over 18 wishing to take part in the games or access various restricted areas, remember to bring your ID!
With the now legendary Q-Con Pub Quiz on Saturday Night, various Anime screenings and talks from special guests, the evenings are as action packed as the days! So get yourselves down to Q-Con, Queen’s University Belfast for a gaming convention that is better than anything, Game On!