This weekend I experienced my very first BlizzCon in all its shiny, semi-newsy, Cosplay-rrific glory. As a veteran of such celebrated annual gatherings like GenCon and Comic-Con, I was prepared for the crowds, impressive costumes, etc. I was not prepared for how awesome the "WoW" and "StarCraft" live tournaments are, nor how many love connections have been made via BlizzCon - more on that later.
After battling only mild weekend Disneyland traffic, I hit the floor of the Anaheim convention center to chat up BlizzCon attendees to find out what they're most excited about. Naturally, Diablo 3's Demon Hunter class announcement was the talk of the Con, and while I'm sure there were some complaints somewhere, everyone I spoke with was psyched to play her. There were still plenty of grumblings about the still-unannounced release date though.
Next up was the start of the "WoW" and "StarCraft" live tourneys, which might be my favorite part of the entire Con. I had no idea that watching other people play the games would be so much fun or how excited and reactive the crowds are during play. Plus the announcers! Actual, play-by-play announcers analyzing the teams' every move and strategy? Amazing. If you have yet to see a live tournament, you are in for a treat. They're just as entertaining as other live sporting events.
Last but not least, if the live tourneys, game demos and panels aren't your thing, there are romantic connections to be made! I randomly encountered a bunch of happy couples who met via BlizzCon or "WoW," even a pair who had just gotten engaged at the convention! It is also worth mentioning that the Blizzard fans and players are not nearly as nerdy as they're made out to be. Everyone is genuinely nice, outgoing, normal. It's a wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic community, I was totally charmed by the experience - enough to get me to start playing "WoW" even. I can't wait to come back next year.