The sounds of a mushroom approaching from behind in Mario Kart and Waluigi’s creepy a*s voice is in the background. Can you hear it? It is Super FamiCon, and it is back for its second video game extravaganza. Super FamiCon is a retro gaming convention and tournament series that will be taking over the Elm Street Center in downtown Greensboro Nov.17-19. This will be its second installment after the success of last year’s convention.
“We booked guests as well as top players from around the world. And the response has been strong,” said Joe Scott, the head of Super FamiCon. “We’ve doubled ticket pre-sales, and it looks like the excitement that people have for our celebration of video game culture here in the Southeast is going to be bigger than ever.”
Super FamiCon is a phenomenon that has been gaining notoriety in recent years. Many people overlook video games as a valuable artistic medium and tend to think of them as a youthful or adolescent activity, but that is far from the truth. Con’s like this are living proof that the gaming community is stronger than ever.
Joe even went as far as to say “They are bigger than movies, TV and music. They bring people from all walks of life together in ways that nothing else today really can.” The hype for this year’s con is bigger than ever and they have the line up to show it.
They will be kicking off the two-day long gaming fest with a screening of “The Wizard,” the video game-centric film that introduced Super Mario 3 back in 1989. The film starred Luke Edwards, who will be there to discuss the film afterward and take part in a Q&A.
FamiCon is not just about playing the games, they have a string of panels held by video game experts that delve into the history of video games, even the history of specific video games like “The History of Hyrule.” The video game’s panel will include Patrick Thorpe, who is the editor of Dark Horse Publishing and has worked closely on chronicling the franchise’s history and how it still captivates audiences. That panel will be on Saturday, Nov. 18.
These panels cover a wide range of topics from one that is about the relationship between video games and autism that will be held by Elizabeth Mehaffey, and ones like “We Are Not Your Princess” which is exploring the rise of women gamers and the issues they face. There is even the “Nerd or Nothin’ Comedy Show” hosted by Dusty Cagle, Wills Maxwell Jr, Zo Myers, Tyler Wood, JD Etheridge, Rene’ Luna and Reid Pegram, who are all North Carolina comedians. They will do a live stand up from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on Nov. 18.
A concert will be held by Console Command, a Durham-based band who plays all your favorite songs from the best video games. And of course Cosplay, the staple of any convention, will take place, with a costume contest. No doubt, Greensboro is filled with creative cosplayers so the competition for that must be something fierce. The only stipulation, if it was not already obvious, is that it must be a video game character. The contest itself will be from 6-7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18.
For those of you out there who think they are the best of the best when it comes to retro games like Super Smash Bros., Melee or Smash Bros. 4, Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart 8, even the Pokémon Sun & Moon games, then test your skills by entering your name into one of the tournaments. Entry fees vary from game to game, but passes can be bought on their website. The tournaments will have different prizes for every winner. They are selling all tickets online as well.
So get those costumes and controllers ready, Nov. 17-19 is when Super FamiCon is rolls into town.