Bringing together simulation games of all varieties, the University of Rochester Simulation Gaming Association will host its 24th annual Simcon conference from 7 p.m. to midnight tonight and non-stop from 5 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Events will include anime, role-playing, board games, card games and guest speakers. “We get people from all over the country,” sophomore and URSGA chair Carl Filler said. “It is quite a big thing.”

Simcon is western New York’s largest and longest running simulation gaming convention. Filler said he expects between 350 to 400 people at this year’s conference and should draw people from throughout the northeast and as far away as California.

But the event is mainly designed for UR students who are gamers, people who are interested in learning more and people looking for something to do this weekend.

“They can browse to see if they’re interested,” Filler said. “If they find something, then they can play.”

Visitors to the conference will also be able be able to attend the Merchant’s Bazaar where demonstrations of new games and game accessories will take place, miniatures battles, and a Dungeons & Dragons tournament, which will begin Friday. There will also be a charity auction at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Fifty percent of the auction procedes will be donated to support the Literacy Volunteers of Rochester.

Guest speakers at this year’s Simcon include illustrator Drew Baker, who has worked on games including “Legend of the Five Rings,” Kenneth Hite, who is a game designer and columnist, Geoff Grabowski, the line developer for the highly popular role playing game “Exalted,” and Tony DeGerolamo, whose credits include writing for television, films and comics, most recently working on the television show “Millenium.”

The event is a great opportunity for URSGA to learn how to network with former alums, plan a convention and how to fundraise for an event.

“It is good to get to meet people who were students here 20 years ago,” Filler said. “We get to meet all the people and see all the work that goes into planning a convention.”

Because URSGA is SA recognized and not SA funded, Simcon is the way URSGA raises funds for the entire year. The event is staffed mostly by current UR students and alumni.

An exact schedule of events and locations is located on the Simcon Web site at There is a $15 admission charge at the door but discounts are available for students with a valid UR ID. Some tournaments and events require an additional fee.

Hildebrandt can be reached at

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