SIMCON, Western New York’s longest running gaming convention, is being hosted by the UR Simulation Gaming Association and UR-Go club in Wilson Commons and Douglass Dining Center from March 17 to 20.

“SIMCON is a games convention in its most basic sense,” senior and URSGA Business Manager Ian Slattery said. “It’s a bunch of people who gather together to play a bunch of games.”

SIMCON, celebrating its 27th year, will provide various games, including board games, miniatures and card games, such as Magic and Lunch Money.

Two notable guests, Justin Dagna and Drew Baker, will make an appearance at the convention.

Dagna is famous for creating his own role-playing game system Pax Draconis, which is set in a science fiction setting. Players are immersed in a world where aliens have taken over the galaxy in a pseudo-peace. Baker’s fame arises from his artistic nature.

“Drew Baker is a fantasy artist, drawing for Legend of the Five Rings as well as many other card and RPG games, such as [Dungeons and Dragons],” Slattery said.

A D&D tournament will be held on March 20, involving three rounds of competition. Participants will be judged on gamesmanship, knowledge of the rules and role-playing ability. T-shirt prizes will be provided by the Sci-Fi Channel.

SIMCON will also be holding a charity DanceDance Revolution tournament for the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center on March 18 at 6 p.m. The entry fee is $5 and participants must pre-register with URSGA or register at 5 p.m. on the day of the event. Arena51 is providing free game time as prizes.

Free anime rooms and a merchant’s bazaar will also be set up, intended for anyone interested in watching or participating.

“I like the idea of having a weekend for gamers to come and meet other gamers,” graduate student and URSGA member Phil Chang said. “It is important to have a sense of community, especially for younger players to know they have a place to go to – that it’s not entirely a geeky thing.”

The convention also presents an opportunity for students to experience a new culture. “It’s definitely a view of a culture – the gaming culture,” Slattery said. “It’s a place you can come to role-play without being made fun of. And frankly I think its fun to pretend to be someone you are not for a little while.”

SIMCON is also a time to try new things.

“You should come to participate [in the games], or learn to play, and maybe become more interested in, new games,” sophomore and URSGA Vice-President Ed Fazekas said. “It will be a good way to have fun.”

Director of Wilson Commons Anne-Marie Algier supports URSGA and the UR-Go club in hosting SIMCON. “These are students following their passions,” Algier said. “This is what [UR] is all about.”

On March 18 and 19, events and open gaming will continue around the clock.

Students can register for SIMCON in Douglass Dining Center at 7 a.m. on Thursday. It will be $12 for those with a student ID and $15 for those without. More information about the specific events and registration can be found at http://www.simcon.org.

He can be reached at mhe@campustimes.org.



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