It’s all over folks, C2E2 2020 is done and gone, leaving us only with fond memories. It feels like C2E2 gets bigger every year–their game presence certainly has. There was a whole series of game-related panels as well as video, board, and tabletop games for everyone to enjoy. If you came to C2E2 to play games, I’m sure you found something to suit your tastes.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous two retrospectives, the floor had a selection of arcade cabinets, pcs and video game consoles to play. I Play Games provided a whole bunch of systems for casual and competitive play, DePaul eSports had stations set up for Rocket League pick-up games, and Galloping Ghost brought out a selection of their retro arcades set to free play. I even fell in love with a rhythm game called Chunithm, only to discover that it isn’t available outside of Japan. Awesome that I got a chance to play it, but how am I going to get my fix now?
There were some amazing panels this year, the most notable being the amazing folks of Critical Role, who provided a wholesome blanket of inclusiveness that has me still feeling warm inside. I got some awesome insight into tabletop writing from the Intro to Tabletop Writing Panel presented by Monte Games and I got to hear about the future of games from three up and coming professionals in the Gorgeous Ladies of Gaming panel.
A new addition this year was The Yard. At first, it seemed like a massive waste of floor space–cramping up C2E2’s already cramped confines. But, oh boy did The Yard turn out to be pretty cool. Trivia, lawn games, beer and a picnic-like atmosphere make a relaxing oasis in the middle of the throngs of con-goers. Even though I didn’t see many people taking part in the lawn games, I really appreciate the idea, and hope to see more next year.
The Dungeons & Dragons presence at C2E2 was absolutely undeniable. If you were a veteran adventurer, or just picking up the game for the first time, C2E2 had all sorts of ways to play. I’m absolutely thrilled with the rise of tabletop gaming, and as Darcy Ross said in the Gorgeous Ladies of Gaming Panel, it’s never more acceptable to admit you play games. And, at least to me, that means all games.
Everyone plays games–they’re an integral part of our lives, and play is an important tool for learning–an assertion made by Keisha Howard of Chicago’s Sugar Gamers, and one that I absolutely agree with. C2E2 has the right idea–as mainstream cultural embraces interactivity, games will be even bigger parts of our lives than before.
C2E2 continues to be the best Chicago convention in regards to games, whether that is video games, board games or tabletop roleplaying games. D&D is certainly a major force in the gaming world, and it’s never been easier to get into it, especially thanks to the amazing individuals willing to teach so many new players how to play. Each year C2E2 raises the bar, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store next year.