- Written by Stephen Fox
Back in the early stages of planning for the first Eirtakon, there was some concern that the planned date for the con was only three weeks from Gaelcon, Ireland’s largest traditional gaming convention. Looking back its kind of quaint to think about fears of conventions being three weeks apart when the convention calendar is now so crowded. At the time we decided the date was ok because there wasn’t a big crossover between people who would go to a traditional gaming convention and those that would go to an anime convention.
The issue with the traditional gaming conventions at the time, was that the industry that made the games played at those conventions was in decline and the conventions looked like they were going with it. The conventions very much appealed to an older audience that had been playing the games for years and very few new gamers were joining the scene. However things have really turned around in the industry in the last few years. Interesting and in-depth new board games, weird and wonderful card games and easier access to RPG’s through the internet has opened traditional gaming to new audiences and Ireland’s traditional gaming conventions have grown to be even more fun and welcoming than they were before.
When I was at Gaelcon in October last year I was stuck by how young the crowd had gotten in the last few years and while I was there, I caught up with past and present members of the Eirtakon, Nom-Con, Kaizoku-Con and Brocon committee’s as well as a bunch of people I knew from anime cons. All of this made me realise that now there is a crossover and a potential for even more.
There are gaming conventions all over the country and throughout the year so here is a brief guide to some of the ones you may not have heard of but would be interesting in heading along and trying them out.