UNCASVILLE — When I walked into the lobby of the Sky Convention Center at Mohegan Sun on the first day of CT Gamer Con, Providence-based video game rock trio Lame Genie was performing on stage to my right.
The talented act shredded music from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Mega Man X, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest and Chrono Trigger to clips of each game projected on a screen behind them.
Guitarist Jeff McGowan, bassist Mike Costigan and drummer Kyle Sawaia were wearing fluorescent neon visors, similar to ones worn by Geordi La Forge in Star Trek and a DragonBall Z Scouter, along with light-up sneakers like the LA Gear I wore in my youth.
The set was met with generous applause and the band “brought the thunder” so much that a person from the sign-in desk nearby asked them to turn down the volume, just a tad.
After checking out Lame Genie’s set, I wandered around to see the rest of the convention.
As expected, cosplay was definitely on point with Naked Snake from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Pyramid Head from Silent Hill, Master Chief from Halo, DC Comics’ Harley Quinn, Marvel Comics’ Deadpool and folks in uniforms inspired by Fallout the highlights.
But when I entered the Uncas Ballroom, my main objective was to play some games.
There were tons of tournaments going on — Super Smash Bros., Dragon Ball FighterZ, King Of Fighters and Street Fighter. There was also a free play area with people mostly playing Fortnite. It was packed so I ended up going to the vendor area next door, which offered an abundance of nostalgia.
There were comics and vintage video games galore along with plenty of Funko Pop! figurines, especially where Rhode-Island-based Sensational Comics was set up. I did see a lot of cool art, especially from Metro Orange which had pieces ranging from films Night Of The Living Dead and The Warriors to superheroes and supervillains like Spider-Man and The Joker, and pop culture icons like Prince and Marilyn Monroe.
Player2Artwork had some cool pieces as well which were inspired by Super Mario Bros., Zelda, Mega Man and even Batman: The Animated Series. Comic book art legend Keith Williams, who has done work on The Phantom and Superman among others, had a booth and it was wicked cool seeing a classic style of drawing being displayed in various forms. There were old school video games I wanted to buy, but I decided to be a responsible adult and save my money for things like bills and rent.
I went back to the gaming area, but the tournaments were still going on and the free play area was still packed. So I went to the lobby and sat down at the System Arcadia table where people were playing the fighting game Guilty Gear and some other games I had never heard of, like a game that’s a mix of boxing and Tetris called Tetris Effect: Connected. Even though I consider myself decent at Tetris, this game was really hard. I got beat by a kid twice and then I lost to the CPU twice.
I really would love to see panels of game developers talk about various RPGs, platformers, fighters and other types of video games they’ve made. I’m always a fan of conventions that allow for interaction with the attendees. And next time that I should sign up for one of the tournaments so that I actually get to play without getting in anyone’s way. What’s the point of going to a gaming convention when you’re not going to risk getting beat by a kid who’s a third your age?