PAX East & West
This massive gaming festival was originally started in 2004. Just about every other “nerdy” activity had its own convention, so the founders figured, why not gaming? At PAX, fellow gamers can come together to experience new titles, chat it up with top developers, and even enjoy some awesome concert music. It’s all out nerdvana.
We are pretty sure that Blizzard has touched just about every gamer with one title or another. This massive and wild festival celebrates all of Blizzard’s biggest titles like StarCraft, Warcraft, Diablo, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm. You can’t really call yourself a fan of any of these games unless you pop your cherry and attend this convention at least once.
IndieCade can be looked at as the game industry’s Sundance. Any and every serious indie game developer will be in attendance to show off their blood sweat and tears. It’s an unforgettable experience and opportunity to witness some of the newest and biggest indie games before they hit the market.
Carnage Gaming Convention
This little-known gem of a convention is yet another one based around multiple genres of tabletop games. I know, who would have thought there were so many conventions about tabletop games? Started with the idea of strengthening and uniting fellow gamers that didn’t have local spots to play at, the Carnage Gaming Convention provides a safe haven of sorts.
Can you guess which video game this convention is all about? Yep, Minecraft. Mojang had no idea that their sandbox indie game would take off and become one of the top grossing games. It has fans that spend hours creating their own personal words in every corner of the globe and MineCon is the chance they get to unite and share their love of Minecraft.
Welcome to the world’s largest sci-fi and fantasy convention. This multi-genre festival drew crowds in excess of 77,000 people in 2016 and is expected to top 80,000 this year. Fans of cosplay, games, sci-fi, and of course, partying can meet at this wild event for some unforgettable experiences. You’ll have a hard time peeling that plastered smile off of your face as you walk around between the seemingly endless rooms of booths and fan content.
Go Play NW
All you role-playing/story game enthusiasts, this one is for you. Go Play NW was originally started in 2007 to promote and grow this unique community of gamers. Wouldn’t you guess it – the convention was a massive success. The event has since grown exponentially and nerds can come to enjoy tabletop card games, board games, and even some strange new concepts that are just a blast to experience.
Japanese anime shows have seemingly taken North America by storm and captivated even the most unsuspecting of audiences. Naturally, with such a large fan base, the Anime Expo stands as the largest anime convention in North America. Here, fans can unite under one roof and share their passion for their favorite animated characters and storylines. Without a doubt, the best part about it seeing the costumes people come up with.
E3 is one of the most well-known gaming conventions in the industry, and for good reason. It’s a behemoth of an event that attracts all of the bigwigs from the best companies that want to come and show off their latest toys and titles. The gaming community loves E3 because it offers the rare chance of getting an inside glimpse at the newest titles that are being worked on, or are even ready for release.
Have you ever witnessed a group of people playing out what looks like a medieval battle scene in a grassy field somewhere? Well, there’s a convention for that too. Oh yeah, it’s called LARP (live action role play), by the way. Intercon has gone under a few different names, but its premise is to grow the player base of LARPs and introduce more people to the fun. As ridiculous as it may look, once you get into it, your inner nerd can’t help but shine.
Gen Con is the single largest tabletop gaming convention in North America. That probably got your heart racing. Attendees gather to enjoy a slew of strategy, role playing, and collectible card games, and that’s just naming a few. You can enter in a number of tournaments and compete for prizes while making new friends and gaming partners across the states.
While it’s not quite geared toward video games, it no doubt fits into the realm of nerdy yet awesome conventions. Comic Con is the largest international comic convention in the world. Fans of comics from all over can gather at this legendary event either dressed as a favorite character or simply to witness and enjoy the festivities. If you’ve never been, you should consider looking up the closest convention and plan your life changing trip.
The Official Star Trek Convention
Looking to find the largest gathering of fellow “Trekkies” on the face of the planet? Look no further than The Official Star Trek Convention. Here you will encounter the most diehard of fans that have memorized and deciphered every scrap of information relating to the Star Trek universe. If that’s up your alley, you’ll no doubt make some friends and enjoy the festival.
Lucca Comics & Games
Have you been looking for a way to justify a trip to Italy? You just found your reason, Lucca Comics & Games. This monster of a convention is one of the largest comic and gaming conventions in the world, attracting crowds in excess of 250,000. What better way to visit Italy than by immersing yourself in a lively atmosphere filled with fellow gamers and comic book lovers.
It’s important to mention that this convention is held in Germany, but, it’s the freaking largest video game convention in the world. Drawing a staggering 335,000 people each year, Gamescom has attendees from over 88 different countries. Fans will have unprecedented opportunities to try out and even sometimes buy games before they even release. Put this one on your bucket list because it’s well worth the travel cost (unless you live in Germany).