BlizzCon: The Experience of a Lifetime
11/13/2015 by Charlie Pickens
Recently I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to attend BlizzCon for my first time ever and I’m here to tell you that it did not disappoint! For those of you who don’t know, BlizzCon is a giant convention put on by Blizzard entertainment. Blizzard is the company that created the popular Warcraft franchise along with many other games: Starcraft, Diablo, Heroes of the Storm, and coming soon Overwatch. There is a huge culture of fans and to celebrate that fandom this convention was created. Blizzcon is also used as platform to get fans psyched up for upcoming content with exclusive announcements from developers on a giant stage.
I work for a fansite called Blizzpro which was co-founded by my two employers JR and Heather. I also do a weekly podcast/webshow called the Heroes Power Hour at twitch.tv/blizzpro on Tuesday nights (10 EST). I’m the shot caller for my team of five, so it’s my job to stay very informed on the strategies and news of Heroes of the Storm. So I was at BlizzCon to work as media which gave me special access to interviews and line jumping privileges when it came to testing out new game content. My excitement was at a fever pitch the whole convention because this was a dream come true for me. I got to play stuff in games that hasn’t even come out yet along with the opportunity to do a recorded interview with the developers of my favorite game – Heroes of the Storm. For me, this was the experience of a life time.
BlizzCon is the mother of all cons if you’re into Blizzard gaming and I would recommend this experience to anyone. Watching the fans charge into the arena for the opening ceremony and hearing the crowd roar for each announcement is something that cannot be explained but only experienced. The computers lined up everywhere with games and their new unreleased content loaded up was a treat for any fan. It didn’t stop there though because BlizzCon also featured panels where developers went into detail about upcoming content, the premier of the trailer for the Warcraft movie, artist alleys, a cosplay contest, the championship matches of the major gaming tournaments that pro players worked hard all year to get to, and oh yeah, a concert by Linkin Park!
The biggest draw for me though was getting to surround myself with people who all share the same passion with me. I never felt like I belonged somewhere as much as I did at BlizzCon. I sat down at a table in the media room with a bunch of guys speaking German while eating our lunches. Normally I would have sat in silence but instead I decided to give it a shot and ask what game they played the most. I ended having a fun, long conversation with people I’ve never met before, who lived in a different country, all because of Blizzard games! The most exciting part for sure though was getting to meet face to face with the people I had gamed with all year. I’ve done a webshow for a while now but until last weekend I’ve never met any of my co-hosts. I’ve also played games with many other people that I got a chance to meet and this was all because of BlizzCon.
Also if you picture an image of a bunch of sweaty boring nerds all sitting around geeking out about games, that image couldn’t be further from the truth. While that sector definitely exists, gaming has come a long way since the stereotype created in the late eighties and early nineties. The Hilton After Party that took place on the first floor was packed with drinking, a DJ playing loud bass-infused music, people dancing, attractive people cosplaying as their favorite characters, and just an overall party atmosphere. BlizzCon was one of the biggest parties I’ve ever been a part of and it went on deep into the night.
This was easily one of the greatest events I’ve ever been to and would tell anyone it’s worth the experience. Not only did I have a great time but I also formed bonds of friendship that will carry back into my gaming world. I honestly can’t think of a single negative thing to say except maybe the lines were a bit long but I got to jump them due to my media privileges. So if you’re interested in gaming and you want to go to the coolest convention ever, I’d say go to Blizzcon. 😀
If you would like to see any of the stuff I mentioned you can go to Blizzpro.com and check out all of our content. You can also check out our BlizzPro YouTube page to see all of the videos I was featured in and previous webshows. The link to our twitch channel is twitch.tv/blizzpro and we do shows Sunday through Thursday (10:00 EST) covering various Blizzard games. You can also follow us on twitter (@Blizzpro) or me (@BalrogfanBP). If you have interest in any of these games and would like to contact me personally hit up my twitter and I can help you get started or game alongside you in my favorite place in the world: The Blizzard Universe.