Glasgow’s SEC (formally the SECC) plays host to this years Insomnia Scotland/ Resonate Gaming Festival, from 21st – 23rd July 2017 we see a host of games, YouTube celebrities and more merchandise than you could blow a months wages on. The Festival marks the second year of Resonate Gaming which we happily attended last year and were happy to go to once again, it also shows a great demand for Gaming events in Scotland which have been neglected in recent years.
Events such as Play Expo and the likes have pulled together and met a demand for computer game themed events that the Scottish public clearly want. These events are extremely family friendly and do not exclude anyone, the atmosphere is fantastic and if you are looking to take someone to their first experience of a Games Show then you probably wont get much better than this.
Insomnia teamed up with Resonate to bring a much bigger show and greater advertisement of the event, though some personalities were missing this year; such as XG The War Room’s Lord Cabbage. His arena last year hosted constant Rocket League Tournaments and witty banter that could always be a source of comic relief; sadly this was greatly missed this year.
The event did have a much bigger market for PC Gaming and PC accessories featuring stalls from companies such as Halberd Desks and more tech focused stalls like Respawn Gaming. The staff at every stall would happily chat in depth about the products that they were promoting and they would give you some insight into the companies that they were working for or even owned. This detail alone gave the show a much more personal feel that you would not get at the larger events such as EGX.
Gaming at the event was a much larger section of the show floor than the previous year as well, this was helped greatly by the Retro Section which hosting a plethora of consoles from the earliest stages of gaming all the way up to the Wii U. This section was free play and people would either queue for a specific game or they would have people just walk up to an empty computer and turn your hand at a classic title. The nostalgic feeling dredged up from playing old fighting classics on actually fight pads was probably a highlight of my weekend at the event. Combined with watching children getting engrossed by 20+ year old games that I loved as a child, this showed that gaming connects all ages and they bringing the family to events such as this can help promote a healthy outlook towards gaming, which can have a lot of negativity attached to it.
The show floor did have a particularly large section for merchandise again this year which catered a lot towards gaming and comic book culture. The stalls on store ranged from hand painted ducks that resembled pop culture characters all the way through to Glasgow’s own Geek Retreat. The stalls were greatly varied and people can easily spend the majority of their day spent looking at everything that is on offer.
The event did have an 18+ section which consisted of LAN party games of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on PS4, there were a few different game modes on offer for people who wished to show off their skills at the different offerings the game had to offer. This was an age restricted section which meant that no underage children were going to be wandering in and taking part in the games.
Near the 18+ section was the careers fair which had a lot of different offering from different walks of life. Their was a British Army stand which allowed you to talk to active members of the military and check out some of the equipment they use and train with as well as hear what prospects and career paths could be open to you in the military.
Alongside the Army was a number of Higher Education institutions in Scotland that offer degrees and high level qualification in Game Creation and development. These included representatives along with current and former students from The University of the West of Scotland, Abertay University and the Glasgow School of Art. Each institution had work on show from current and former student and then you would have time to chat to the people who have attended these Universities and find out how accessible a career in the games industry is to you.
Possibly the most active section of the show floor was the stage, this area allowed audience participation and shows throughout the day. A few features on show were; “Final Boss” which pitted audience members against notoriously hard boss battles, Scotland Vs England at Rocket League and Q&A panels featuring Scottish YouTube personalities such as Batchy and Marley 13.
Depending on what your tastes were, there was more than likely something for everyone on show at the stage at some point throughout the day.
This event is very welcome in the Glasgow area with its change in hall which created a much larger show floor from last year, I only hope to see the show expand next year and get more Scottish and UK game developers to show off the talent of games being created in the UK right now.
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