Alaska has a vast gaming community, but for a long time, organizing it was rather difficult. However, the folks behind Senshi-Con, the massively popular annual anime and geek convention in Anchorage, have made the task a bit easier with the 2015 incarnation of the Alaska Gaming Convention to be held in UAA’s Student Union.
And contrary to what some may think, it’s not just limited to video games.
“It’s a place for anyone who loves any kind of games,” said event organizer Braxton Bundick. “Old, new, game consoles, trading cards, role-playing … pretty much anything. That’s pretty much what it’s all about.”
Bundick believes the Student Union is a perfect space for the convention, having different areas for multiples types of games. There are some games that will be played in the Den, and some types that will be played in the main cafeteria, and so on.
Senshi-Con started at West Anchorage High School in 2005 and moved to UAA a year after. Senshi-Con moved from the Student Union to the larger Egan Center in 2013, and like Senshi, the staff at AGC have dreams for growing bigger.
“I remember hearing that Senshi-Con started at West High and moved to UAA,” said Loren Faatoafe, who, along with others, is organizing a “Super Smash Bros.” tournament for the convention. “Now, Senshi-Con is coming up to its tenth anniversary held at the Egan Center. I believe if there is more demand of AGC, we will get a bigger venue next year.”
Bundick, on the other hand, sees the choice to hold the convention at the Student Union as a chance for game enthusiasts at the university to bond. For example, he stated that classmates who don’t know each other outside of class may be able to find a common interest in gaming through the event.
“There may be those who have the same interest, and they just don’t know about it,” Bundick said.
Even those who can’t really get into a competitive spirit can find some interest in the convention.
“I’ve never gone before,” said Darryl Skadsem, a biological science student at UAA.
Skadsem doesn’t see himself as much of a competitive or skilled game player, but he has an interest in the convention.
“I think I would be more interested in the panels than the tournaments,” Skadsem said.
The Senshi-Con staff is working as hard as they can to make the event as accessible to Alaska’s gaming community as possible, with dreams of a larger scope in years down the line. For now, though, it could be a valuable hub for those who enjoy the hobby.
The Alaska Gaming Convention will occur in UAA’s Student Union, from February 28 at noon to the next morning at 1 A.M. The entry fee is $15, cash only, and while some tournaments will be free, others will charge a $5 or $10 entry fee.