First Annual Dallas Gaming Expo: Pros and Cons

Addison hosted the first Gaming Expo in the metroplex. Photo Courtesy: Unsplash
Addison hosted the first Gaming Expo in the metroplex.
Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

By Stephen Elliott

From classic to modern gaming, all players were welcome at the Dallas Gaming Expo over the weekend.

Tournaments featured Mario Kart for the Nintendo 64 to new games like Call of Duty Advanced Warfare and Mortal Combat X. If you were a fan of gaming you were at Dallas Gaming Expo. Other competitions featured guitar hero, super smash bros. melee and high score arcade challenges. If dress up was your game, then you were more than likely competing in the cosplay competition, where gaming fans dressed up in their hand made costumes as their favorite character.

I had the pleasure of attending the event and had some mixed emotions. A ‘pros and cons’ list is a good way to settle those emotions. I’ll start with the positives.

The whole idea of games like Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart, Halo, Crash Bandicoot, Dance Dance Revolution and more accessible in one setting is cool. Consoles like Super Nintendo, Playstation 2 and Xbox all in one room and available to play. You can just sit down play Donkey Kong Country 2, get bored and move ten steps to Halo 2. Want to win money while playing? There were tournaments that could win you upwards of $1,000 and on the observer side, really fun to watch.

The event also hosted guest from actors to professional costume dressers. You got the chance to meet Verne Troyer dressed as the hit Austin Powers character Mini-Me. Troyer was the biggest headliners but other guests include Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and cosplayers Raychul Moore and Alexia Jean Grey. However, to meet them you needed VIP passes which brings me to the cons.

Unfortunately, the bad out weighs the good at this event. This is the first year for Dallas Gaming Expo, but by no means gives it an excuse to disappoint gamers. There were complaints about busted controllers, guest cancellations, games promised but not present and pricing concerns. Sixty-nine bucks bought you a three day pass to play all the “free” games you want, or at least the ones they had. If you wanted to get pictures and meet guest, that would cost you extra. The only way you felt “okay” about the price for admission is if you won the tournaments.

Look this is the first time I’ve been to an event like this and I expected to be blown away and I wasn’t. Attendance was low, televisions for the gaming systems seemed cheap and scrapped together and food, drinks and accessories were overpriced and underwhelming. All these issues can be fixed for next year. I saw a tweet that featured a petition to sign to never let Dallas Gaming Expo happen again. That would be a huge mistake. Let them take a year to hear and act upon the participants’ issue being expressed and hopefully it will be a first year learning curve.