A Gaming Perspective on Sci Fi On The Rock VII

It's that time of year again, folks! In two weeks Sci Fi on the Rock will be upon us, with all of the fun and shenaniganry that comes along with it! This year we have a wider array of guests, we have a fantastic lineup of workshops and events, and we have vendors, clubs, and community groups banding together from all over the province. It's really looking like this is shaping up to be one of our biggest years yet, if not the biggest yet!

Now, this is well and good for the veterans who have been present at SFOTR the last several years running, but what about the new people? What about for those checking out our dear Con for the very first time? With such a rich lineup of varying events and workshops, NLGamer requested a summary of some of the upcoming tables, events, and workshops that gamers - virtual and tabletop gamers alike - are really going to want to keep an eye out for at this year's Con. I'm happy to oblige!

First off, let's start with the community groups who will be showing up at this year's convention. Sci Fi on the Rock always features some fantastic community organizations, but this year there'll be more gaming-oriented tables than you can shake a stick at. The St. John's Games Club, the St. John's Tabletop Community, and the MUN Tabletop Games Club will be representing the tabletop gaming end of things, with Goodwill Gaming showcasing a mix of traditional tabletop gaming and virtual gaming as well. NLGamer will also be on-site, and representing video games, tabletop games, and live-action games as well. Sci-Fi on the Rock is also happy to welcome Red Meat Games, an independent game development studio testing out prototype video games and board games.

Where does one go to find these groups, or to get in touch with these good folks? Traditionally at Sci Fi on the Rock community organizations will have tables set up either in one of the dealer's-room areas or in the corridors, so if you're wandering the convention grounds in general you should have an easy time locating each of these groups and the good people manning these posts. The tables aren't where the gaming presence stops, though - there will be several events showcased during the convention, along with workshops, some of them being facilitated by the very groups mentioned above.

Goodwill Gaming and the IGDA (International Game Developer's Association) are definitely going to be on their toes this year. Both of these groups, throughout the convention, are going to keep gaming on the go and keep people actively playing and engaged.

The Goodwill Gaming Games Room will run from 9:00am to 5:00pm on both Saturday and Sunday, and will offer games that you can walk in, pick up, and play. Bringing along a deck of MTG cards or a handheld game is also strongly encouraged! Part of their program for the weekend will include tournament events, so this will definitely be an event you'll want to hit early on, just to get a healthy edge over the competition.

The IGDA's Game Jam promises to be fast-paced and exciting as well. The Game Jam is a 48-hour rapid prototyping and designing exercise, with games designed over the weekend by small teams to follow a theme announced at the start of the Game Jam itself. We're expecting to have 4-6 games produced by the weekend's conclusion. The new games will be presented on Sunday, so if you have an interest in video games, tech, or programming, this won't be an event you'll want to miss.

The last two workshop events that fit the gaming niche are the Console Culture podcast and the Speed Gaming Showcase by Jason King. As a note, Console Culture's workshop is restricted to persons 18 years or older for mature themes and content, but if you fit that bill then this could be a good chance for you to learn about podcasting, how to start podcasts, and all sorts of other good stuff. While this isn't a dedicated gaming event per se, Console Culture handles a cartridge and virtual gaming niche well, and this would probably be a good opportunity for other gaming groups to look at new mediums that we can use to reach new audiences. Definitely worth a look!

Being a veteran of this particular convention, the best advice I can give is when you get to the Con, pick up one of the programs and hold onto it for dear life. All of the events will be scheduled and displayed in the programs, which make it much easy to figure out what events you want to attend and when you want to be there. Always try and swing by a little early if you can so that if rooms change or if there's similar last-minute issues you'll be able to get to your event or workshop in time, and before the room fills up to capacity. You can also check out scifiontherock.com, the website we have set up for the convention, where you can find information on all of the events, all of the groups attending, and copies of the workshop schedules.

And there's all sorts of stuff going on outside of the gaming world you might want to check out, too, while you're in the neighborhood! There's going to be a dance held Friday night, a chance to have champagne with some of our celebrity guests, a costume contest showcasing some awesome local cosplaying talent, and much much more on top of that. It promises to be a good year, and one of our biggest yet - come on out, get involved, and enjoy!

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