TooManyGames has come a long way in the past 12 years. Long removed from the dinky side room at The Inn at Reading, TooManyGames has become one of the largest video game conventions on the East Coast. Now housed in the giant Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, the convention is looking to be bigger and bolder than ever when it takes place this weekend, from today until Sunday night. The bedrock of the convention is its always-stacked vendor area, with sellers from all across the state and beyond converging to sell everything from Atari 2600 games to new releases for the Playstation 4. However, if you think that a three-day convention could be sustained by an ad-hoc nerd farmer’s market, you’d be wrong. Though, hey, it covers 20,000+ square feet, so there’s that. Here’s a look at just a few of the special events the organizers have planned for this weekend.
An influx of tournaments
If there’s one thing that nerds love, it’s a skill-based competition. Thankfully, TooManyGames has them covered. For the fighting game fanatics, recent standbys like “Marvel vs. Capcom 3,” “Street Fighter V” and “Mortal Kombat X” will be on hand with $10 entry fees (AKA there is prize money at stake as well as pride). However, as far as this writer is concerned, the cornerstone of video game competitions exists in the land of the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Melee, Smash Wii U and the beloved original N64 version will be available for public shamings. On the handheld side of things, there will be a competition area set up for “Pokemon Omega Ruby/Sapphire” for 3DS.
I know what you’re thinking: why would, as “Classy” Freddie Blassie would call them, some “pencil neck geeks” dress up as pop culture icons like “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan to fake fight? It’s slightly different than that. A wrestling ring will be set up, but it will be con-goers dressed up as their favorite characters spanning all of pop culture instead of specific wrestlers. The official site already confirms appearances from the likes of Deadpool, Mario and Mega Man, so who knows who else will show up?
So many panels
As with all good conventions, there’s an abundance of different panels for fans to soak up knowledge they might not have had before. Today, for example, there will be a retrospective of the Doom series at 4:30 p.m. From relatively light panels on video games of the 1990s and chiptune to surprisingly heavy topics like censorship in the form of localized video games and how gaming has changed viewpoints around the world.
Concerts by nerds, for nerds
Chiptune isn’t the only genre to be represented this year. An amazing seventeen musical performers, spanning from metal to pop to DJs spinning your 8-bit favorites, will be on hand. The most famous of which, MC Lars, will be performing twice and heading off his own panel. Be on the lookout for local metal nerds Dethlehem, who will be performing Saturday at 7 p.m.
TooManyGames kicks off at 2 p.m. today at the Greater Philadelphia Convention Center in Oaks, and will close out at 5 p.m. Sunday. Basic three-day tickets are $40, while Saturday only is $30 and Sunday only is $20. For more information, check the TooManyGames site here.
Also, follow us on Twitter at @FlyMagazine as we’ll be on hand all weekend delivering you that sweet, sweet coverage.