John David Galt - Game Conventions

I offer this list of game conventions, mostly in northern California, as a resource for people new to the area.


Annual, Presidents' Day weekend, at the Marriott in Pleasanton, CA (San Francisco area).  Emphasis on role playing.  Some CCG, board game, and miniatures tournaments.  Most of the role-playing games are scheduled (and thus require separate, but free, registration to play -- it helps if you sign up to run one yourself, but you should do that the previous fall!)  This is the world's longest running game convention, over 30 years old.


Twice a year at the Cal Poly campus, San Luis Obispo, CA.  In the spring they do a one day "minicon" (the next is April 29 2001); the "full" 2 1/2 day convention is in the summer (it was June 23-25 2000).  The spring minicon features an Up Front tournament.


Annual, Memorial Day weekend, at the Oakland Airport Hilton, Oakland, CA (San Francisco area).  This is a merger of two existing conventions, GameCon and ManaFest.  Emphasis on board gaming, CCGs, and miniatures; some role playing.  (The following info pertains to GameCon, I expect it will still be true.)  So many pre-scheduled events that I've sometimes had trouble finding players for open games, so I advise everyone to pre-register.  Features live Awful Green Things From Outer Space.  (GameCon replaced GamesCaucus in 1998; both were held on this same weekend at the same hotel.)


Annual, Labor Day weekend, at the SF Airport Clarion Hotel, Millbrae, CA.  Emphasis on board and card gaming, some CCGs.  (This convention replaced Pacificon in 1997.  Pacificon was in San Mateo and was run by different people with different emphases.)


Irregular (usually twice a year) one day convention, at the Santa Clara Convention Center (Silicon Valley, accessible by light rail).  Emphasis on board gaming and CCGs.  Features live Wiz-War.  Second longest running game convention in the Bay Area after DunDraCon.


Irregular (usually once a year), Anaheim, CA; sponsored by Decision Games/Desert Fox Games.  Historical games only; emphasis on board games.  These folks publish games such as Totaler Krieg! as well as Strategy & Tactics magazine (which is mostly reprints of articles and games from the old SPI magazine of the same name).

If this list isn't complete enough, you might also try:

Game Convention Central

John David Galt's Home Page