I’ve been missing cons a lot here. So much so that last weekend, I went to the Taipei Game Show, which is a mixed industry-to-industry and industry-to-players trade show that happens every year at the Taipei World Trade Center. It was both very huge and very commercialized. It was also mostly about electronic gaming. Giant sculptures or electronic displays shouting about the latest FPS or whatever; long lines to wait to meet famous Twitch streamers; dancers and huge crowds and inflatable hammer giveaways for correctly naming which mobile app has the best characters; all that stuff.
There was a small section for tabletop games — which meant almost entirely boardgames and cardgames. I think I saw a boxed set of D&D for sale, but that was the extent of that. There was a separate space for Magic that seemed to be doing well. Most of the space was dealers and things to buy; there were tables for actual gaming, but it appeared to be entirely demos, with no open gaming, nor any scheduled games. Way too commercialized for my tastes. But then, it was a trade show, not a convention.
Maybe in spite of myself, I bought some cool stuff, including a couple one-sheet wargames set in historical Taiwan; a fantasy story-based card game; a couple issues of a local boardgame design magazine; and an expansion for The Wonderful Island. These were all at very small booths staffed by local, rather indie-seeming designers and publishers. I talked to some of the designers a bit more, which was nice, and I got a few questions about The Wonderful Island answered. It was an enjoyable time, though I’m still hankering for a real gaming con, and more face-to-face gaming here.