Wow, what a weekend! I attended the Q-Con Event which was held at Queens University, Belfast and it’s safe to say that this was without doubt this was the biggest yet. Q-Con was celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and with all of the games, competitions and events planned, it was clear that it was not going to disappoint.
In case you were unable to make, here is a bit of a rundown on this event:
Day 1 – Friday, June 29th, 2013
Friday evening is always the quietest at a convention as it gives the attendees plenty of time to register and receive the welcome pack which includes a detailed booklet on every game, RPG, LARP, PC and Console Game and competition that will be taking place over the entire weekend. With so much to see and do and the fact that Q-Con has grown so much that it has to be held in several buildings (a map was also provided), it was time to explore and sign up for that evening’s game.
I quickly signed up for a Star Wars LARP (Live Action Role Play) which was based on Tatooine, my character was an Imperial and a Rebel Spy (who would have thought that) it was a tremendous laugh. The LARP games typically last three hours so this took up a huge part of my evening, but I was able to a look around afterwards and saw the table-top gamers setting up for the weekend.
After meeting up with some friends, I was then introduced to an RP (Role Playing) game called Cliché, a game that is literally based on film clichés where players gain points for setting the scene, spouting film quotes and even adding the occasional sound effect.
With the night drawing on, it was time to get home for much needed sleep for the main even on Saturday.
DAY 2 – Saturday, June 30th, 2013
An early rise (I was queuing from 8:45am) for my competition, which meant that all attendees had to sign up for the games on the day so as to avoid any cancellations and to give everyone a fair chance to participate. It was great to see that even at this ungodly hour there were quite a number of attendees already queuing up ahead of me, not only to register to but also to meet fellow attendees.
After signing up for the Cliché competition (a game I only learned the rules of the previous evening) I had a little time to look around the now fully-occupied gamers’ area. With virtually every type of console ever constructed, there were over 20 different games and competitions running on multiple platforms, from Marvel vs Capcom to the ultimate classic game ever created, PONG!
A quick race round to my competition and I settled down for the morning’s RP game. After two hrs and much laughter, it was clear I was never going to win this competition thanks to some incredible and highly imaginative gameplay.
Thanks to a brief stop for lunch, I decided that I really need to hone my skills at Cliché and signed up for the same game for the afternoon’s event. Whilst everyone was taking some much needed downtime I decided that it was time to go for a wander. It was virtually impossible to walk five paces without spotting a cosplayer – for those who have never been to Q-Con; cosplay plays a huge factor in the con’s success. The cosplayers range in age from the pre-teens to the young at heart and the myriad of costumes on display was truly amazing!
Still, that was enough bright sunshine for me and I descended into the covered hall of the RP game area for the afternoon’s session of Cliché. Suffice to say that, with a little practice, I was soon finding my form and was able to at least put on a little bit of show, though why folks kept killing me I just couldn’t understand!
I had a little time for some dinner before my friends and I entered one of other main staples of Q-Con, the annual Q-Con Quiz. With questions ranging from table top gaming, computer games, animé, a movie round (I scored full marks on that one) and a music round which was on tv theme tunes, there was much banter from the 59 teams that entered – though the hall was very warm due to the capacity-filled area (sadly there were just too many people wanting to take part and the Mandela Hall was just over flowing), the atmosphere was something truly to behold. Though my team and I tried our best, we sadly came joint fourth but only four points behind the winners, so it was a very respectable score.
Having attended the after quiz disco in the VERY wee small hours of the morning, I was in need of much needed sleep for the final day’s activities.
DAY 3 – Sunday, June 31st, 2013
The final day sadly, was once again a VERY early start as this time I was donned in my 1920’s Gangster Garb (see me strangling Ivor nearer the top of the page) due to the LARP that I would be playing that morning. It was great to see so many familiar faces from the evening before (ok, so we may all have been tired but the enthusiasm was still incredible) and the amount of cosplayers turning up for the cosplay ball later that day was really inspiring.
On to my LARP, and for me this was without doubt the highlight of my weekend. Set in 1920s Chicago at the opening of a new speak easy (my character was Al Capone), it was some of the funniest moments of the whole weekend; I even had the Italian accent and mannerisms down to a tee! (Honest).
With the events and competitions in full swing for the final day, I finished off the weekend with another LARP, this time inspired by historical disappearances and headed over to the main hall for the weekend’s finale.
The finale was a roundup of the weekend’s events and also the announcement of the winners of the various competitions that took place over the weekend. The number of winners in the numerous categories was tremendous and it really highlighted how popular Q-Con has become. Not to mention that I was informed after the ceremony that I too had won a prize for the 192’s LARP I had participated in earlier that day: I won a prize for “The Most Amount of Extorted Money”, it was a piece of cake!
A massive thanks to everyone who organised this terrific event, from the GM’ers, the staff and security and especially a massive thanks to everyone who participated in the games and cosplay themselves, this event wouldn’t have been the same without you, thanks for a totally amazing weekend!