We are starting to get back to some normalcy here. Is this good? Bad? Needed?
This past weekend I attended Razer’s Seattle Store grand opening. 500+ people waited outside, wrapping around the entire shopping complex. Bypassers driving by questioning what was going on and wanting to watch/hear everything the hosts of the event has to say. Once opening, only 28 people were allowed in the store in order to comply with Washington State’s COVID laws.
Upcoming are The Game Awards and PAX Unplugged, held in Los Angeles and Philadelphia respectively. Most recently we also experienced San Diego Comic Con Special Edition as well. These gatherings and events are of course following the state COVID guidelines however some are taking extra steps to provide extra levels of safety for their fan bases who otherwise would not attend.
During the Razer store opening I had several discussions on how nice it was that gamers were finally able to enjoy social interaction once again. The last convention I had attended was PAX East (Boston) ending March 2nd, 2020 just before the countrywide lockdown. It has definitely been missed, but the responsibility of keeping everyone safe was beyond necessary.
As we move into 2022 we continue to see more conventions and events coming back, some requiring the vaccine, some only requiring a negative test result. I believe that this is what is needed for now in order to bring us back to normality, but based on the attendance results it seems as if people are not quite ready yet. I believe the true test will be PAX East as this will be the first gaming convention that requires 100% of their attendees to be vaccinated. I am very curious to see if that is enough of a safety protocol for consumers to attend.
I‘ll leave this off with one last note. Although a great population of gamers live their social lives online, the need for events is really beginning to shine. I constantly see how much people are missing these events, looking for excuses to attend them (or to travel with their friends), and the gaming industries discussion on how to replace the social marketing for their titles that normally comes from these events.
Thanks for reading this! If you’d like, let me know your thoughts on what you feel is safe enough requirements to attend an event again and which one are you looking forward to?
- Keith / Big