On the weekend of the 8-9th I visited the London Anime and Gaming Con, a convention dedicated to – you guessed it – anime and gaming. DolphGB attended during the weekend too, but more about that later…
PS3 Attitude and PS4 Attitude have been media partners for the event for the last two years. In fact, the organisers have been good enough to help us support GamesAid for the last two outings, which we’re deeply grateful for. If you fancy chipping in and helping us to increase our donation total, please drop by our JustGiving page – every little helps.
With cosplaying, special guests, game tournaments, in-depth Q & A’s and anime showings, I had a brilliant time covering the event.
The con is set at the Rocket Complex in London and unlike my previous trip to London, I didn’t get miserably lost this time! The weather however was still pretty poor. The event is laid across two floors with the bottom floor housing the gaming and social areas, and the upstairs housing the stalls and main stage.
The emphasis on anime and games is quite equal, with the gaming tournaments offering cash prices and drawing in a fair share of people. Maybe one day some of us at PS4A will enter a competition!
I can’t speak for other con-goers, but my favourite things to visit are the stalls. There’s one in particular I spend a chunk of cash at and that’s Estatic Arts. Alongside stalls that offer figures and merchandise, there are many that offer home-made goods, gaming merchandise and there are even artists that can draw you. An image below featuring my girlfriend and I was drawn in an anime/manga style.
Most offer reasonable prices on their works and are happy to discuss them with you, giving you an insight into their hobby and work.
Any con worth its salt features at least one guest star, and the person who greeted us this time was Colleen Clinkenbeard, a famous voice actress. She’s best known for voicing Teen Gohan in Dragonball Z, Luffy in One Piece and Lilith in the Borderlands games. She hosted a Q&A and also did a signing and photo session, and it’s always amazing meeting those who inspire you.
Clinkenbeard wasn’t the only person hosting interesting Q&A sessions, there were also well-known cosplayers with their own panel and the team behind Wolf Girl, a fan-made movie which acts as a sequel to Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke. This one in particular was eye-opening because, as many gamers are aware, playing with an already existing IP is a tricky thing. Capcom and SEGA in particular have put a halt to fan-made projects, especially those that feature on Kickstarter.
Not all guests were there to give talks; GAME and Namco Bandai were there to show off various titles and to promote competitions. There were prizes available for cosplay, but games got the lion’s share of the giveaways with huge hits such as League of Legends, Call of Duty and Street Fighter IV amongst many others. Not everything was competitive though, there were entertaining moments when a fan dub contest was held on stage, with one person reciting a very memorable Goku speech.
There are multiple chill out areas, which is great considering the amount of time you’ll likely be on your feet, and there’s a Maid Cafe. A Maid Cafe is exactly as it sounds – it’s a cafe where you’re served by people dressed up as maids.
There’s a retro gaming area where you can buy games and consoles from almost all generations, ranging from Mega Drive (even boxed!) to more current games. You can purchase a lot of merchandise too such as mugs, figures, plushies and t-shirts. If you have a bulging wallet full of cash, you can be assured that it’ll be a lot less heavy when you leave.
Overall I had a great time, and I look forward to attending the con again in July, where the outside areas are used and more can be done. The weather was extremely windy and chilly when we visited, so the sunshine will make a huge difference.
We’d just like to thank the organisers of London Anime and Gaming Con again for raising money for GamesAid through their Charity Cosplay Auction. I’ve personally seen the convention grow with every passing event, and this was no exception. The gaming areas in particular were more extensive with a huge range of games on all possible platforms, old and new. We’re looking forward to being involved in the next event this summer.
Please help us raise extra funds for GamesAid. Visit our JustGiving page and donate what you can, no matter how small. Your money helps fund children’s charity projects.