Some of my fondest childhood memories are of playing video games. It was never a ‘boy’ thing in our household. I remember tackling ‘Prince of Persia’ on the computer, spending hours on the N64 and becoming obsessed with completing the whole of Crash Bandicoot, not once – but multiple times. Gaming has always been more of nostalgia for me, rather than something I’ve kept up with. It’s not that I’ve lost interest but in between blogging, working and life – it’s kinda hard to fit in.
Hearing that Playexpo was coming to Eventcity, well I thought this was a perfect opportunity to free my mind from all the everyday drama and take this opportunity to immerse myself into the digital world once more. I’d never been to a gaming festival before so I wasn’t really sure what I expected from it.
Let me tell you now, it was not at all what I had in mind. I think I imagined it to be like an exhibition. rows of stands with one or two consoles, lots of people trying to sell you games.
That’s really not what this event was about.
This event was all about the game. Not just one or two games. LOTS of games. LOTS of tech. I literally don’t think I’ve ever seen so many computers in one place my whole life.
It was EPIC.
I’ll be honest, I had no idea where to start, I don’t like sweets but I can imagine this is what it must feel like when someone who does is thrown into a candy store. I wanted to try everything. And I was truly fascinated by all that surrounded me. I mean where else could you find old Atari console sat amongst 3d printing machines?
The Eventcity floor had been split into different sections: Cosplay & community; next gen & exhibitors; competitive; tv & movies; board & card games; stages & multimedia and finally retro games. When you enter, you’re given a wristband, which is ideal because it means if you have to leave and come back it saves a lot of hassle.
There were tournaments and battles, individual and teams, all shown on big screens for the ultimate audience experience. There were board game competitions, world record attempts and loads of quirky stalls selling all things gaming. We all kind of lost each other as we all got sucked into different game sections, I couldn’t help but turn to some of my old favourites, street fighter, tetris, super mario, pacman… oh and I found a new game with a chick which I thought was pretty apt 🙂 (It was seriously addictive too!)
One of the biggest memories I took away from Playexpo, was how amazingly nice everyone was. I have been to many, many shows at Eventcity and other conference centres, all just as busy as this was with people scurrying up and down the aisles… but everyone I bumped into, spoke to, encountered, well they were all exceptionally polite.
Now, I’m not for once saying that I assumed the crowd at a gaming festival would have been rude, but I just wasn’t used to being in such a crowded place where the chances are you always come across at least one person who is annoyed that you accidentally bumped into them. But there was none of that here, it was highly refreshing and made me feel like part of the family.
After a long day at the North West’s biggest gaming expo, I’d say you’d be pretty crazy not to leave on a high. Although the show is centred solely around games (obviously), there is no age limit or genre that this event was targeted at. Whether you’re a casual player or a serious competitor, Playexpo will definitely not let you down.
Time to brush up my joystick skills in time for next year!!
Thank you to Playexpo Manchester for inviting me to check out their event. As always, all opinions, thoughts and pictures are my own and I am very much looking forward to the comeback next year!
Did you get a chance to visit Playexpo? Are you into gaming? Or is it something you too left behind in your childhood?