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At a gaming convention, a lot of people meet up to play games together. It is a prime opportunity to make new friends or meet old ones, and one of the main reasons for why people go to conventions is actually the social aspect rather than the games themselves.

In general, one never has to bring any games to the convention unless wanting to. Boardgames are almost always kept by the convention for free use, roleplays and LARPs normally don’t require anything extra and sometimes one can even borrow miniature armies on the spot.

Photo: Magnus Gyllenhammar Conventions are excellent places to buy odd or cheap things. The larger conventions often have stores on site, which lower their prices while there. Some conventions have auctions where real bargains can be made both in terms of prices and rarity.

A typical gaming convention is arranged with no profit involved whatsoever, by a voluntary staff and crew. No one gets paid for their time and effort, other than through the appreciation of the visitors of course. Some clubs hold conventions as part of their yearly activities, while others are created and run solely for the purpose of arranging one large convention a year.

The sizes of the conventions vary, where the smallest house around 50 participants while the largest draw several thousands. Some conventions are really old. GothCon, in Gothenburg, has been run annually since 1977 and LinCon in Linköping has been held yearly since 1984.

Practicalities

Visitors have to bring sleeping gear, such as a sleeping bag, air-bed or something similar, hygiene equipment, clean clothes and money. This is because the housing generally consists of classroom floors or the like, unless a hotel, a friend’s couch or other options seem more appealing. Money are needed for paying the entrance fee and to buy food. Many conventions have a kiosk where breakfast and lunch or dinner can be bought to very reasonable prices, aside from the multitude of snacks, fruit and beverages of course.

There are seldom any age limits set by the conventions, although recommendations usually state 15 years as the lowest age for visitors. That does not mean that a younger person can have a good time, and as so many other things maturity is not necessarily dependant on age but on personality.


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