Last week, Suntec City Convention Center played host to Gamestart 2017, Singapore’s premiere annual gaming event. Gamestart 2017 was larger than ever before, spanning 6,000 square meters. From floor space, to stage segments, to booths, it seemed like everything was given an upgrade. So let’s take a look back at what was an eventful weekend.
More things to do
In previous editions of Gamestart, I felt that the event was geared towards buying merchandise rather than being about the games. This year, that changed with the addition of the tabletop area, and more creators on hand to show off their games and for players to enjoy the games. I felt like I was at a proper game convention, where I could play games and see what the future of gaming had to offer. Rather than being forced to look at a sea of price points, I immersed myself in the different experiences the various developers had to offer and felt more engaged than ever before.
The tabletop section was one particular area that caught my attention. In the modern age, where gaming is usually pigeonholed into on-screen entertainment, it was refreshing to see that the pen and paper games like Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, and a myriad of other board games still have a foothold in Singapore. Not only were popular board games present at Gamestart, but indie designers too had a say, showcasing their creations to attendees. I was pleasantly surprised by both the size of the area dedicated to tabletop gaming and the interest shown by event goers as it proves that the interest in traditional tabletop gaming still exists and is far from dead.
E-Sports is an ever-growing commodity and this year, we saw the inclusion of mobile games in the form of Shadowverse and Vain Glory. Playstation’s SEA Majors or SEAM, saw huge competition from some of the biggest names in the region duke it out. The diversity of games available opened the door to more contestants and a wider array of viewers. The addition of Hado also gave casual players, a chance to play the new Augmented Reality game. Giving them a taste of a new sport mixing traditional sport and technology.
This year’s Doujin market saw a greater variety in terms of content, and artists coming down. This led to more interest in the local doujin scene. Some of the notable inclusions were artworks depicting characters from NieR: Automata, Overwatch, and Persona 5.
No event is complete without the local cosplay scene coming out in full force. On top of the NieR cosplay competition judged by special guests NieR director Yoko Taro, producer Yosuke Saito, and World Cosplay Summit CEO and founder of World Cosplay Summit, Tokumaru Oguri, we saw cosplayers dressed as characters from a range of games from the mobile game Battle Girls Highschool to Overwatch.
Tokumaru Oguri also announced that the finals for the South East Asian leg of the qualifiers for the World Cosplay Summit will be held next month at C3 Anime Festival Asia, C3 AFA Singapore 2017, to be held at 24 – 26 November 2017.
Photos: Gamestart Asia Facebook page