Every year, us people living on the East coast watch our computer screens in jealousy as huge and impressive gaming conventions are held from California to Washington. While a trip out would be a great adventure, not all of us can foot an expensive Airplane ticket or can take the time off required to make such a trek. Seeing all the news pouring in from the West coast, it may feel like the East is absolutely devoid of any conventions or celebrations of geek culture…
Well here are a few conventions that can sate that appetite, and that you can look forward to every year!
East Coast Gaming Conventions
Undoubtedly the largest and most well-known convention the East has to offer, most have heard of PAX East. A three day convention packed to the brim with table-top gaming, console gaming, game reveals and demos, and countless panels, held in glorious Boston, Massachusetts (I’m biased). If you’re looking for more information, their website is very well developed and I recommend you attend next year!
Also, who could forget the absolutely legendary Acquisitions, Inc. Dungeons and Dragons game that happens at every PAX? Join the fun in person as master DM Chris Perkins leads his amazingly funny players (Wil Wheaton included!) on unlikely and hysterical adventures. Even if you have no background in table-top gaming, these games are a MUST watch.
Held at the beautiful Westin Boston Waterfront, Arisia is a convention with a focus on cosplay; its main event being the much lauded “Masquerade” cosplay contest.
From the Website:
“The Masquerade is a costume contest and display of creativity by your fellow convention
members. Entrants may dress as anything interesting and fun so long as they can motor
themselves across the stage and back. You’ll find a variety of BEMs (Bug Eyed Monsters!),
Transformers, faeries, royals, dragons, cosplayers (anime-inspired costumes), movie and
TV characters, and just plain silly people in costume. This is a judged event and is a
highlight of Arisia. If you’re not competing, come cheer on your fellow fen. All entries
are judged in three separate categories (Novice, Journeyman, and Craftsman/ Master) to
give everyone a fair chance.”
On top of the cosplay events, there are also arts and crafts, loads of unique merchandise and vendors, and a dance described as “Graceful period dance, raucous energy and everything in between”.
A massive board game convention in the beautiful and scenic ski resort of Killington in
Vermont. Hundreds of DMed board games of every variety, historical miniatures that allow
you to relive world-changing battles from the 1600’s to the early 1900’s, and dozens of
Live Action Roleplay events.
Love DMing? You can sign up and DM your very own table with more traffic than you can
If you love table-top games, this is the one for you.
Held in early July, Connecticon typically has impressive turn outs. Events this year included everything from Cosplay Crafstmanship Contests, a ConnectiCon dating game, and a cosplay Roast of Tony Stark.
ConnectiCon is a three day event, with a League of Legends New England Open grand finals on the third day!
Held just outside of Boston in the town of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, this one is for all of you LARPers out there. The goal of Intercon is to “Encouraging LARP (Live Action Role-Playing) throughout New England and
beyond.” Every kind of LARP makes an appearence, be it Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Lovecraftian, and more. This is a place where LARP meets storytelling and literature. Panels and speeches include writing tips,
acting tips to improve your in-character roleplay, learning about the psychology of being
in character, and many other interesting and light hearted talks.
As their website states, Intercon exists to:
Run the New England Intercon convention, the premiere multi-genre all-LARP convention,
that tries to attract as many different kinds of LARP as we can find. Hundreds of LARPers
converge on Intercon every spring, to play in several of the dozens of LARPs on the
schedule. We’d love to play in your LARPs, so propose running something.
Run NELCO, the New England LARP Conference, with panels, workshops, and discussions about
the theory and practice of LARP. NELCO is a weekend designed for LARP creators and GMs,
to exchange ideas and experiences. Come teach us what you’ve learned!
Run Build Your Own Game (BYOG) seminars, an intense weekend-long effort to write and run
a new LARP. Experienced writers and people who’ve never written a LARP before get
together to produce interesting and successful LARPs.
Sponsor LARP writing contests like the Iron GM competitions and Small Game contests.
Teams of writers sign up to produce new LARPs that are run at Intercon, for prizes and
Host a LARP Game Bank, with complete LARPs you can download and run. The Game Bank
includes our contest LARPs and more. Submissions are also welcome. These LARPs are free,
so take them and grow your LARP community!
Look for brilliant and clever new ideas about how we can grow LARPing and the LARP
community, in New England and beyond. Tell us about it; if it’s something NEIL can help
with, there’s a lot we can do to make the idea into reality.”
Touted as Maine’s “celebration of Geeks”, PortConMaine has gotten quite large with a turnout of nearly 3,000 in attendance.
This video sums it up wonderfully if you’d like to learn more!
Vericon is an annual science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction convention,
featuring awesome events like book signings, movie screenings and author panels. Past
guests have included George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson and Tamora Pierce. This year’s
guests include Patrick Rothfuss, Saladin Ahmed, and others!
Vericon takes place at Harvard University located in beautiful Cambridge, Massaschusetts.
Most events take place at either the Harvard Bookstore, Sever Hall or Lowell Lecture
hall, and is the largest college-based science fiction convention in the US.
Vericon XIV will run from Friday March 21st to Sunday March 23rd. Events usually go from
10 in the morning until 8 at night, though this varies throughout the weekend.