Was the Dublin Games Festival 2018 Worth the Visit?

So Christmas is officially over but most of us students still have a few weeks left to relax before the mayhem of college life returns. Now is the perfect time to fit in some gaming. So, let’s have a look back on the Dublin Games Festival 2018, Dublin’s newest gaming event.

The 24th of November saw this new name in the con circuit blast onto the scene with its debut event in the RDS. Their website sold the event as “Ireland’s newest gaming event which brings Esports, Experiences, Expo, Business and Marketplace all under one roof.” This was a huge mission to give and coming on the heels of this year’s awesome Dublin City Comic Con; was it able to stack up? Short answer: yes!

The interesting thing about this con was that it had a lot of familiar things: cosplaying, marketplaces, chain store pop up stores and a “retro game” section. And the RDS is a great venue; so from the staging and format, it was on the right track.

As someone who goes to a lot of cons, I was hoping for a unique hook beyond the above; something to set itself aside from what is already being presented every few months in Dublin. Well, they did in a way that I wasn’t expecting: focusing on Esports and on gamers.

Esports, or online competitive sports, is something that is still not super mainstream. This is becoming something that may be an Olympic sport someday and is a multi-million dollar industry. Streaming was the name of the game here for this event and as a streamer that was something that I’ve not experienced yet at a con.

DGF boasted a huge array of Twitch streamers alongside Irish indie game developers and the legendary creator of Doom John Romero. This is a perfect way to stand out from the “crowd” as it were. Focusing on games, gamers and the big names of the industry was really great to see.

Talking with all the gamers, the guys and girls in the game development business and to the other guests was very different than at a “comic con”; this was games day to shine.

The sellers of game merch and other items ranged from cute to excellent and I personally love this side of conventions. People making and selling items to other nerds it’s the best. Same with cosplaying; this is something that is becoming a cornerstone of cons in Ireland. Again, like DCC, JCON etc. The people who make this their mission did not disappoint. We have an excellent cosplaying scene in Ireland right now. Glad to see that the organisers of Dublin Games Festival didn’t overlook this.

There was an impressive Esports set up with a good selection of competitive games on offer for those in attendance: League of Legends, Fornite, Overwatch, CS: GO, Rocket League and Smash Bros 4. While these are what one would expect in 2018. I would have loved a Quake LAN set up. But that is just me.

DGF 2018 promised that it wouldn’t disappoint, and it didn’t. It was one of the highlights calendar events for me as a journalist and as a gamer. Make it your business to be there in 2019.

If you want to watch me game, please click here