Break the Con Down: Playthrough Convention
Convention season is upon us! If you’re like me, you go to a few conventions a year and are always on the lookout to add more to the rotation and want to know which ones to avoid. It’s always the worst to travel out of the way, to attend a convention, only to find out that it doesn’t necessarily align with your interests or no one else showed up! On the flip side, almost nothing feels better than having a fantastic time making new friends and having an awesome time sharing an experience and your passions with others!
What’s in a breakdown?
For a Break the Con Down, we look at five distinct ideas that should help you determine whether or not a convention would be a great fit for you and your friends. Those five sections are Basic information (this includes stuff like location, cost, discounts available), what to do (Panels, things to do with friends, food options), What can I buy? (What kind of vendors can you except, are there vendors?), Who’s There (special guests, specialized vendors), and Don’t call this a comeback (growth, is it worth coming back to?)
Now let’s talk a look at a convention I attended and is coming up soon, Playthrough Gaming Convention.
Playthrough Gaming Convention is an annual con that takes place at the Raleigh Convention Center, in Raleigh North Carolina. It’s located in downtown and has an attached hotel for those who want to stay close to the event site. Tickets generally go on sale a few months before the convention and often have discounted pre-purchase rates up until the day of the event. Being in downtown allows any attendees to transition into the nightlife scene for food and drinks, including a close by barcade or attend some of the local museums in the day before reaching the event.
What to do
Playthrough hosted a cosplay contest, board game demos, a rpg play area, a free play arcade area, a small video game system museum/ play area, as well video game tournaments. I think my favorite part of the convention was the free play board game area. There were many really cool games to try, and some of them had such a great table presence! Also for event goers there was a escape room to try, as well as a game of Civ 6 auto-play to watch. Each con attendee gets assigned a country to root for! Rounding out the event line up was a series of panels they hosted on both days of the event.
What Can I buy?
Board games! There are ton of them to buy! Of course also there were a bunch of table top gaming items like dice, dice towers, and figures. A ton of different items were available to purchase. A few vendors did bring video games to sell as well, but personally I would have like to see more games. With that being said, I think if you’re into gaming in general you should be able to find something to take home and enjoy.
One of the strongest and most enjoyable parts of Playthrough is the attendance of indie developers. Attendees of the con are able to interact with the developers as they demo their games and products. You get a chance to talk to them on a personal level while you learn about their games. I think this a fantastic idea for a convention. It allows a little look into the development side of gaming. For me, this is one of the most stand out parts of Playthrough and the part that I enjoyed the most.
Don’t call it a comeback
Personally, it was great to see Playthrough comeback after being away for a couple of years! That tenacity to grow and continue to provide an event for all types of gamers to enjoy always puts this event on my radar! If you’re in the Raleigh area, I urge you to check out Playthrough Gaming Convention.
When he’s not digging through bins at the local flea market, Donald Paris is a contributing editor for The NES Page. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte in 2015, and his non-gaming-related work has appeared in several literary journals. His gaming-related work can also be found on East Coast Games. He spends most of his time dissecting video games. All while looking for the next exciting piece of video game history. He is also a graduate fellow of The Watering Hole