Game On–Games & Tech at C2E2 2018

I Play Games' booth at C2E2 2018. Photo by Marielle Shaw. We were on the floor Friday for day one of C2E2, and each year it seems like it gets bigger and bigger. Fortunately for us, that also means there is a whole lot more video game and tabletop content than there has been in previous years. Not only are there the usual vendors selling gaming merchandise, paraphernalia, retro systems, etc. but there are also tons of ways to play games with your fellow con goers and even get some inside information during some of the game-centered panels. I Play Games' booth was a big draw at C2E2 2018 on Friday. Photo by Marielle Shaw. Taking up large amounts of C2E2 floor space is the amazing showing by I Play Games (IPG) in the 300 aisle. There you can play all sorts of games, from retro to new, right on the original hardware, with no fee to play. IPG will also be continuing to run tournaments throughout Saturday and Sunday for various games, with the Dragon Ball Fighters Z tournament headlining in the evenings. There are three scheduled tournaments for today: 11am will kick off the Smash Bros. Melee tournament, 2pm is the Call of Duty: World War II free for all, and 5pm will feature Dragon Ball Fighters Z. If you’re looking for card and tabletop games, there are also no shortages there. Not only are there quite a few vendors selling tabletop and card games, the 600 aisle has an entire lending library of games to play right on the show floor. Games are free to try out to show goers with only a photo ID required to get you playing. C2E2 2018. Photo by Marielle Shaw. If you love panels and games, Friday kicked off with a few panels that combine those two interests. Jackbox Games had a great panel to start off the con, called Jackbox and Friends, where they pitted local and international artists against each other for a few rounds of Party Pack 3. Party Pack is great in this setting, and we participated in the audience for a round of "Tee K.O". and "Civic Doodle." The best thing that came out of the panel though, was the announcement of the return of You Don't Know Jack, which dropped in a strange video for a nonexistent service called BinjPipe that turned into the Party Pack 5/You Don't Know Jack announcement. Party Pack 5 is expected to be released in Fall of 2018, and if it's anything like its predecessors, you'll likely want to pick it up.  Scholastic books (yes, the same ones from your childhood book fairs) also held a panel discussing their cleverly named AFK book series (AFK stands for away from keyboard, for those uninitiated). The panel of writers discussed how the Scholastic video game tie-ins actually helped expand lore for the various properties, and how they can tell stories that are able to flesh out your favorite games. Right now there are tie-ins available for Five Nights at Freddies, Assassin’s Creed, and a few others. You can see more about the Scholastic AFK series here. Friday's Women in Voice Acting Panel. Photo by Marielle Shaw. On Friday we saw also saw Charlet Chung, the voice of Overwatch’s D.Va talk about her experiences voice acting in a panel with fellow video game voice alums Vanessa Marshall (Call of Duty series) and the longtime voice of Wonder Woman, Susan Eisenberg, who lended her voice talents to Injustice 2, among others.  You can see more Charlet Chung in upcoming video game panels. During the first one, she'll be joining Overwatch’s Soldier 76, Fred Tatasciore as they talk about their experiences with doing voices for Overwatch, and more. That’ll start at 12:15 pm in room S401. Charlet Chung will also get some time up on the C2E2 Live Stage as she talks about her experiences as D.Va and beyond. That will be at 1:30 pm, at booth 2033. Cosmo's Quickstop and Road to Infamy both won a booth at C2E2 at The Logan Theatre. Photo by Marielle Shaw. We also wanted to give a shout-out to Cosmo’s Quickstop and Road to Infamy, winners of the Logan Theatre’s Playtest Party competition to get a booth at C2E2. Cosmo’s Quickstop is a video game that puts you in control of managing an intergalactic gas and service station, and Road to Infamy is a strategy board game about the mafia, and competing against other players to run a successful crime operation in Chicago. Both will be at the con all weekend, and they’re great representations of local Chicago game talent, so make sure to stop by and check them out at booth 393 on the show floor. We’re happy to see the greater focus on games at this year’s C2E2. Keep an eye on 3CR for continuing coverage.  
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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian. He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.