Let me start by saying that this convention was unexpected.
It popped up out of nowhere (most people only hearing about it two weeks before event), and brought a new kind of convention to the Raleigh area. A gaming convention! Playthrough Gaming Convention not only focused on video games, but table top gaming as well.
Upon walking into the venue (Raleigh Convention Center, in the room used for Artists Alley for all you Animazement goers) I was pleasantly surprised by the set up and size of the event. While only a first year con, they had a rather large dealer’s space populated with representatives from establishments and organizations such as Event Horizon Games, Fan Dames Initiative, East Coast Games, and Triangle Gaming Night as well as amazing local artists touting game inspired artwork. I was delighted to see that some booths were even running demonstrations of various boardgames, going over rules and gameplay with those interested.
Directly across from the dealer’s space was, perhaps, one of my favorite elements of the con…the arcade area, all set to free play. Everything from pinball machines to Skeeball were set up for the enjoyment of the convention goers. I have to admit, the Variant team had an ongoing battle of Skeeball highscores with PrideStark Entertainment (who was setting highscores on whatever he touched).
Arcade games not your cup of Nuka-Cola? Never fear, for a huge table top gaming area was open for all to enjoy! This station was, from my perspective, the busiest area in the convention. Gamers set up their favorite board games (or tried new titles, provided by the convention), or battled each other with popular card games.
They had Super Smash Bros set up and ready for the convention goers to test their skills and friendships of those they were opposing, as well as a designated stage area, equipped with a huge screen for tournaments.
Tournaments, you may ask? What gaming convention would be complete without them! The biggest competitions held were for Super Smash Bros and Magic The Gathering, as well as a grand tournament running players through various games for each round.
Tournaments were also held in Rocket League, Mario Kart 8, Mage Wars, Coup, King of Tokyo, Speed Runners, Sheriff of Nottingham, Love Letter, and Ticket to Ride.
My overall experience of the convention was fantastic! The staff and volunteers were incredibly friendly, the event was a great balance of video and tabletop gaming, and it was a great environment for the whole family to enjoy! I would definitely recommend attending Playthrough Gaming Convention next year.
Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or looking to get started, this is the convention for you!
Check out the video and gallery below: