We had attended MoGameCon 2018 last year and thought that that was as good as it could possibly get. Now, we back and fresh from MoGameCon 2019 and we have plenty to share. But right out of the gate, just know that they know how to really throw a party! Somehow, someway, this year was even better than last year! Let’s check it out, shall we?
Oh jeez, where do we even start?! Let’s just rapidfire through the great and many things they had to offer. We tried to be everywhere we could be and cover everything. So just know that we definitely aren’t doing the whole convention justice, but here we go!
- Food trucks! Now obviously it was nothing that was a surprise. MoGameCon had announced it early on, so we knew that they were coming. However, we didn’t know how freaking popular they’d be. The lines were long, but the nachos were worth it! We are hoping and praying that they keep food trucks for future years. They save you from having to leave the area and then try to find decent parking again when returning.
- Blood trucks? The other truck out in the parking lot was a blood drive truck. We were discussing it and agreed that it made sense to have a blood drive at a con as it contains tons of people with plenty of blood. As to how it turned out, we’re not entirely certain. We were too busy inside to truly see if it was popping or not. Let’s hope so for the greater good. We’ll know if it worked out next year if we see the truck again or not.
- Panels. It’s great the number of panels happening all day long and staggered. Having 2 panel rooms going at the same time was really a smart move. While it makes it difficult to see every panel, it does show that MoGameCon wants to make certain that their attendees have something to sit in on around the clock. The best part of this is that there is always something happening all day long. Whether you’re buying games, eating at the trucks, playing arcade games, meeting guests at the tables, or watching either panel room’s goings-on, you’re set.
- Panelists. And speaking of panels, we thought that the variety of panelists this year was great. Do not get us wrong, we loved seeing the Metal Jesus Crew as well as the other guests last year. This year it felt more as though they got people from different reaches of the corners of YouTube gaming channels. There truly was a nice difference between the people, their flavors, and what they had to offer in terms of personality as well as gaming expertise. Kudos to MoGameCon!
- Arcades. Just as they did last year, we were treated to plenty of arcade machines. This includes dedicated stand up cabinets, sit down cabinets, racing games, and some 1UPArcade games. The variety of game genres available was also a nice treat. They could’ve catered to just one type of gamer and only put in fighting games or racing games or vintage games like Pac Man, but they didn’t.
- A/V. We thought it was brilliant that the rooms are outfitted with HDTV’s as it helps the panelists do more than just talk. This is a treat compared to other big conventions who rarely if ever, do this. It could be that the TV’s are already in the rooms, but even if that’s the case, I’m glad that they leave them. Pat the NES Punk let people play NES games in competition for instance. The Gaming Historian gave us a live history lesson and played a trivia game with the audience. Nice touch from MoGameCon.
- VIPs. Having a VIP program is almost a necessity anymore for a con that’s worth its salt. Standard passes get you access to the showfloor and panels starting at a set time. VIPs should always have early access. They should also have access to getting into panels first for upfront seating. MoGameCon goes one step further even and lets VIPs in on a special party with the celebrity guests. Not just having one, but having with so many attributes and making it worthwhile.
- All are welcome. We loved that they let in people that aren’t just selling video games. This includes museum consoles, people selling art/decals, books, cosplay, etc. If it had anything to do with video games, it had a home at MoGameCon. It made even more sense too that they were all sprinkled about to offset the massive amount of videogames that were abound.
- Vendors. The videogame vendor selection and turnout was incredible. Many of the vendors had great pricing and were always open to further negotiating. Nobody was mean or belittling to anyone (or us) as we were walking the show floor. All we heard was lots of “Will you take this price for it?” followed up with a “Yes” or “Deal!” And if not, the person would respectfully counter with another offer. Best of all, by having lots of different vendor options meant that there were more game options to sift through. Some people had better pricing than others and some people started to discount their products as the last 2 hours came about.
Yes, there are definitely some downsides as nobody is perfect. Let’s talk those out as well.
- Arcade request. PLEASE have someone bring a DDR machine or modified ITG machine. Or at the very least someone can bring a copy of DDR and some metal home pads. There is always a place for rhythm games. If that’s too much, maybe we could see a Rockband set there. There could just be one rhythm game out there and it also adds music out in the arcade area where there is not normally music and the machines’ audio are turned down quite low.
- Food trucks. If there are going to be food trucks, we might need more. If there are food trucks, then nobody is really going to leave and everyone will use them. It’s a fantastic idea, we love the simplicity of parking lot food. However, two food trucks seemed to be too few and the lines were long for ordering and waiting for the food to be ready. A couple more might do the trick. We’re not counting the tropical ice truck as it doesn’t exactly have lunch for sale.
- Panel layout. Don’t get us wrong here, we already mentioned that we loved the two consecutive panel approach that MoGameCon uses. However, we should just have a label for panel room 1 and a label for panel room 2. This will let know which door is which and can line up accordingly. Volunteers weren’t always there or clear (timid/shy) when they were there. Basically, we were all asking each other for help.
- Seating. More sitting room for when people aren’t in panels or buying anything. There were a couple of benches on each level as well as some minor seating in the arcade room. Aside from that, it felt limited and people seemed to be hoarding the seating. I think sometimes people just want to talk about games and doing that in the middle of an aisle where others are trying to shop might be hard.
- Longer? Should MoGameCon be 2 days long now? Maybe. We were discussing it and were thinking that in a year or so they go back to a 48-hour run. The number of people had visibly increased from the previous year. Maybe different panelists day one from day two would also give a reason for people there on day one to come back for day two. And by doing two days, this enables people who can’t come on Saturday a chance to come in on Sunday. It also gives vendors also the chance to not have to sell discounted games starting at 5 PM and lose more money. They could hold off and do that on the second day. Basically, it’s a win/win all around.
Lastly, we wanted to touch on how MoGameCon seems to be for everyone in and around gaming. It’s not just game booths selling video games. If it were, it would be about the same as every other game con. No, we’re talking about the fact that from its celebrity panelists which are related to gaming and game culture to their booths of games. All of the way to the fact that they have YouTubers and Influencers as guests as well. And then on top of that, they still invite websites and press outlets that cover gaming and game culture (like us) so that people not attending can still get some of the flavor and maybe want to attend in a future year. And I’m not even talking about big websites and press outlets. Even small-time people and channels have a chance at MoGameCon to flex their journalistic muscles.
We think that all of that on top of the game collectors in and around St.Louis that drive in and add to the hustle and bustle and that makes everyone feel welcome. Heck, they even let the YouTubers and podcasters sell not just their own merchandise but any games that they have that they want to sell off. So instead of having these people just sitting at their tables waiting for people to potentially recognize them, they can still make money off of people maybe who don’t. It’s a great circle that they promote at MoGameCon, it’s very unique for a smaller convention, but it has the blood of a massive convention. We’re willing to bet that with time, they’re going to outgrow their space and have tons of more sellers, YouTubers, podcasters, celebrities, arcade machines, vendors, and more. Once we saw how much more they had grown in visitors this year, we know now that they’re destined for greatness!
MoGameCon 2019 Walkabout and Panel Coverage Video:
Additional photos, video, and co-written by @el_lee7
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