STORY BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Get this — a gaming convention called TooManyGames.
The 12th annual TooManyGames Expo is set for June 24-26 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center and will feature retro and modern gaming, YouTube celebrities and other special guests, live music, tournaments, cosplay, wrestling, new game releases, an arcade, vendors and more.
In a prepared statement, TooManyGames co-founder and co-owner Paul Truitt said, “I love holding TooManyGames to bring gamers of all ages together to celebrate the culture of gaming.”
What qualifies as being a YouTube celebrity?
In the eyes of the regional gamers that organize TooManyGames, it’s users with more than 50 million views monthly and subscribers in the hundreds of thousands. These top YouTubers from around the world will be hosting panels, concerts and autograph sessions. YouTubers named in the event press release are The Angry Video Game Nerd, Team Four Star, Super Best Friends, ProJared and The Nostalgia Critic.
People come out to this?
Last year’s event topped 7,500 in attendance.
So when can I check it out?
2 to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The marketplace closes at 7 Friday and Saturday.
What kinds of games are you talking about?
Video game systems from Nintendo to PS4, board games, card games, role-playing games, plus tournaments in “Super Smash Brothers 4,” “Street Fighter V,” “Mortal Kombat X,” “Marvel vs. Capcom” and more for a chance at cash prizes. The show is also hosting a gaming-for-charity event run by Extra Life, and funds raised will benefit Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
What about new games made for old systems?
There is one “homebrew” release that we know of — “UXO” for Nintendo. There will also be an indie game showcase with games for PC, consoles, mobile and tabletop.
Did I see wrestling?
It’s a Live Cosplay Wrestling Tournament featuring video game characters. Other events include Video Game Comedy Improv, a VIP After-Party with dinner and special guest performers (you need the Final Boss three-day pass) and a Cosplay Costume Contest with a grand prize that includes a chance to be filmed for a Cartoon Network commercial. New this year will be the Starship Horizons Bridge Simulator, an interactive role-playing experience. View the full schedule and download a guidebook app to customize your experience at http://toomanygames.com/things-to-do/schedule. Be advised that some events are for adults only, and you should peruse the day’s schedule if you’re bringing children.
What kind of tickets are available?
There are three different types of three day passes, which you should take a closer look at www.toomanygames.com. Saturday only passes are $30. Sunday only passes are $20. Sunday family four-packs are $15 (and not available at the door). Note that tickets purchased at the door cost $5 extra, except for the Final Boss and Mini Boss three-day passes. Children 10 and under get in free with a paid adult (one free child per adult).
Refresh my memory where the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center is.
100 Station Ave., Upper Providence, off the Roue 422 Oaks exit. If you’re using a GPS, type in 1601 Egypt Road, Phoenixville (Yeah, we know — it’s not in Phoenixville at all.).
I like to cosplay. Is there a weapons policy?
It’s pretty common sense when you have a couple thousand people in one place. Prohibited items include swords, bayonets, knives (sheathed or not), star knives, metal armor, objects made of metal that have an edge (sharp or not), projectile weapons (including but not limited to airsoft guns, BB guns, pellet guns, crossbows, dart guns, blowguns, water guns, pistols, stun guns and tasers), real bows or authentic arrows, nunchaku — meaning two sticks with a short chain or rope in between, explosives, chemicals. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
What kinds of vendors will there be?
The more than 60 vendors will be selling/trading/buying retro games, new games, board games, crafts, art and more. Refer to http://toomanygames.com/things-to-do/marketplace.
What is there to eat?
The expo center will have pizza, salad, sandwiches, snacks and more. And being this close to 422, there’s lots of outside restaurant options.
Is there free WiFi?
What kind of musical entertainment is there at a gaming convention? Is it all chiptone?
Click on the artist profiles at http://toomanygames.com/musical-acts.
STORY BY BRIAN BINGAMAN