RAGECon 2015 was held the last weekend in June at the Nugget Casino in Reno, Nevada. In its second year, RAGECon is a growing event in the Biggest Little City in the World, and it is growing up very nicely.
The “RAGE” in RAGECon stands for Reno Area Gaming Extreme, and the passion and emphasis on gaming is palpable from the moment you hit the convention space. As you enter, the vendor tables were to the right, and to the left was registration – in a room dubbed “The Library”. The Library was a large room in which convention attendees could be found at practically all hours of the day playing any number and kind of games; the wall across from registration was lined with hundreds of games to check out for free and play at your leisure. Several more vendors were in the back of the library, including vendors selling games (who likely made a killing!)
There were scheduled games and events held throughout the entire convention, with enough scheduled and unscheduled events on tap to satisfy any kind of gamer. D&D campaigns, Magic: the Gathering tournaments, video games, board games, and, of course, panels! There was an entire room devoted to tabletop RPGs for those who love to game, and there were Dungeons & Dragons campaigns running practically all day long, with offerings from small one hour affairs to four hour campaigns.
Drawing from a diverse group of storytellers, cosplayers, and gamers, the panels at RAGECon were varied and interesting. To incentivize attending panels and other scheduled events, audience members were given “RAGE Bucks” to use in raffles, a clever way to bring your convention attendees into panel and event seats. Topics in panels ranged from Storytelling to Wig Care to 80’s Gaming, and speakers were authoritative and fun to listen to. [Full disclosure: I was a guest speaker at several panels for RAGECon this year, as well as a judge at the RAGECon Cosplay Contest.]
As a second year convention, it was also nice to see RAGECon pushing their own boundaries and adding a heavy emphasis on cosplay this year. They hosted their first costume contest, bringing in a well known Reno area emcee and nerd, Reverend Rory Dowd, who kept the festivities moving and did an excellent job of entertaining the crowd. There is an opportunity to continue to grow and develop the cosplay element of their convention, but for a first year approach to building cosplay into the convention’s brand, the focus was evident.
The vendor space was small, but filled with compelling and interesting vendors with a large variety of wares. Overall, RAGECon is a small con, but it is an excellent one. If spending 3 days playing games, making new friends, and celebrating all things gaming sounds up your alley, then make sure you start preparing now for RAGECon’s 3rd year, where, undoubtedly, things will just get bigger and better!
Article by: Ember Sky Cosplay
All photos taken by Perry “Agent P” Louie