Taking over Carlton’s Richard Herrod Centre a week before Christmas, the brand new Nottingham Video Games Expo gives gamers the chance to enjoy some talks, grab some merch and share some stories this December. We chat to organiser James Jarvis all about it…
For those who don’t know, what is the Nottingham Video Games Expo?
Simply put, the Expo is two days of action-packed gaming. Co-creator Alex Hunt and I have been to lots of conventions and expos in our time, and we wanted to wrap them all together into one event, so there are loads of activities to do. There are games to play, market stalls to check out, guests on stage talking about the history of the gaming industry - something for everyone to enjoy.
What are some highlights of the weekend?
Well, if you like games like GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Donkey Kong, all those classics from back in the day, we've actually got the composers live on stage. Growing up, those games had my favourite soundtracks, so hearing what it was like to make the music for titles on the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 will be really exciting. I'm also looking forward to picking up a bargain from some of our amazing vendors just before Christmas!
What inspired you to set up the event?
The main purpose was to bring Nottingham gamers together in one place, because there isn't really anything video game-related left in the city. All the gaming lounges have closed and other communal spaces have gone, so our aim was to bring them back. We also wanted to put developers on stage to talk about their experience with creating games in the East Midlands and dive into what the scene is like, and combine that with excellent traders and sellers that are based within Nottingham and the surrounding areas, and that's how the event was created.
With video gaming, you’re often stuck in your house playing online, so we wanted to create something that could really bring everyone together
Why is it important for gamers to have communal spaces like this?
Since video gaming is virtual, you can meet people online and be in contact for years, but never see them in person. This event is the perfect opportunity to meet your friends properly and share stories and memories. With video gaming, you’re often stuck in your house playing online, as we all were during COVID, so we wanted to create something that could really bring everyone together.
And do you have to be a diehard gaming fan to enjoy the Expo?
No, it's for everyone. Of course, it’s mainly about video games, but there will also be all sorts of different crafts and groups. So if you just wanted to pick up some keyrings for your collection, or bag some Pokemon cards, or even chill out in the pub and watch the World Cup, you can do that. There are loads of different areas at the venue covering loads of different stuff, so it’s definitely not just for the diehards.
The Nottingham Video Games Expo is taking place at the Richard Herrod Centre in Carlton on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 December
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