Field Trip: Twitch Con 2018

This past weekend was Twitch Con in San Jose! I got to go this year and it’s my second Twitch Con, as I went in 2016 as well. Although my focus for this year was meeting up with friends I met through the platform, I did also do a bunch of other stuff and we’re going to recap it all right now. 

 

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Let’s Talk About #LineCon2018

I’m just gonna jump right into this topic so then I can carry on with the recap. If you were following #TwitchCon2018 on Twitter, you probably also saw #LineCon2018 on Friday of the event. It was apparently taking 4-6 hours in line to pick up badges for the con, and that is not including getting inside. The line to get inside was just as bad. I will say that I did not go to the con at all on Friday, partially because I had plans with my friend to do other things in San Jose and also partially because we saw #LineCon2018 and wanted no part of it.

At first, I did not like Twitch’s response to the situation and how they were fixing it. They were pretty bad at communicating times correctly (they closed early pickup on Thursday over an hour early for no reason), so I was skeptical of their solutions. So on Saturday when we went to get our badges and go to the con, we went really early. And I have to say, Twitch’s follow through was really great and #LineCon2018 ended. In fact, my friend and I never experienced any line, and I’ll talk more about that luck later.

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The App

I really like when cons have apps with all the info in it. It makes it easier to get around, save panels and activities for easy finding, reminders of favorites, and there own special games and things. In general, Twitch Con’s app got the job done and it was a handy resource. My one complaint is I could never get The Hunt to work. The Hunt was a scavenger hunt to earn points and once you got 250 points, you’d get a special prize. I had so many struggles getting the QR codes to scan that I eventually gave up on The Hunt. That is my only grievance with the app.

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Expo Hall

Expo Hall is always fun because there is always something happening somewhere. Whether it was a competitive match at the Esports stage or the Jackbox booth hosting a stream where we could sit down and join in, there is something to do. There are also great opportunities to earn free stuff, from exclusive candy bars to a Cup of Noodles to enamel pins to gummi bears. Those were all things I got while walking around the Expo Hall.

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Panels

I’m a fan of going to panels at cons because I enjoy the educational aspect of panels. I did not go to a lot of panels this year but the three I did were Mental Health in Streaming hosted by Take This, Make YOUR Way in the Game Industry, and Women in Gaming. Overall the topics were good and I enjoyed the panels. The mental health panel is always a favorite of mine and this one was still good, although I prefer 2016’s more.

Women in Gaming was probably my least favorite, partially due to my exhaustion from the weekend and it being at 3pm on Sunday and partially due to the panelist setup. There was only one woman on the panel who was a streamer, and when the Q and A happened there were many streamer related questions (this was Twitch Con after all) and I would have loved to have more than one perspective on streaming specific issues. I do want to shout out one panelist, who was Laura Teclemarian. She works for EA and had some great insight and was a wonderful speaker. I wish I could have heard her more during that panel.

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Cosplay Contest

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I was looking forward to the cosplay contest the most and told my friend we had to go to it she had no choice. The cosplays are always amazing and seeing these streamers bring their talents to Twitch Con is just really cool. There are 4 categories being Needlework, Special FX, Armor, and Larger than Life. One person wins each category and then someone from those 4 winners wins the grand prize of $15,000.

 

The winner was Casey Renee Cosplay, who is the far right person in the photo above and pictured on the right. I was so happy for her because when she won her category which was Needlework, she was so surprised like she didn’t know she could even win. So when she won the whole thing I almost started crying because she was so happy and excited.

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Charity Stage and Lip Sync Battle

In the expo hall was a full stage for a charity fundraising stream hosted by Tiltify, along with a bunch of booths of different charities from Able Gamers to Extra Life to St. Judes Children’s Hospital and so many more. They were hosting a bunch of random and fun competitions and we decided to watch the lip sync battle, where different partnered streamers represented the different charities to win money for their charity.

While the lip sync battle was entertaining, it was also kind of a mess. They had technical difficulties that caused issues and the contestants had some weird song choices, everything from the Baby Shark song to It’s Raining Men to Lose Yourself by Eminem. Overall it was fun and funny, but not sure I’d sit through it again.

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Swag

So I would say I have three types of swag: the gift bag, the bonus stuff, and merchandise. The gift bag (shown above on the left) had a deck of cards, a keychain, a dog tag necklace, some promo codes, a water bottle (not pictured), and a Magic the Gathering pack, along with the drawstring bag it comes in.

The bonus stuff I got for two reasons: either it was free expo hall stuff like a Bongo Cat enamel pin or because I have Twitch Prime, which is via Amazon Prime, so I got a tote bag, access to the Prime Member only lounge which had drinks and snacks, and 10% off merchandise in The Loot Cave, which was Twitch’s merchandise booth.

Speaking of The Loot Cave, here is where that no lines at all comes. when we decided to get in line for the merch booth, it was probably a 40-minute wait. We were prepared to stay in it cause our morning wasn’t busy. We had maybe waited 5-10 minutes when a staff member handed my friend and I fast passes. Yes, fast passes! It was like Disneyland and kind of blew our minds. And that fast pass got us not only into the booth but also we had a fast pass for checkout as well. That was one highlight of the con we didn’t expect was pretty lucky, so I had to share. I got 2 pins and 2 shirts from there as my chosen souvenirs from the weekend.

I think I have now covered all the big and important stuff. There were moments of meeting up with friends from communities and those are my favorite because that is why I went. And overall it was a good time, although maybe not a good as Twitch Con 2016.

Have you gone to any gaming cons before? Which ones and how was it? Let me know with a comment below!

 

 

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