Tag Archives: game

Conventional – the Con-Goers’ App

A Conventional Train of Thought

They say, all big ideas start small, and the current idea that is swimming in my head is of no exception. My main inspiration comes from the fact that my friends are prepping themselves up to attend a convention in Vancouver.┬áSome attend conventions to mingle with friends, like I did for the past two conventions. Some attend conventions to make new friends, like I did. Ditto regarding what I did in terms of attending panels, talking and buying commissions in the dealer’s den, partaking in the late night dances, etc.

Unfortunately, due to the end of my university career, I had to move back to Hong Kong, which means leaving my friends behind. While mulling over about the convention, I started thinking about how conventions give perks to its attendees. The first thing that comes to my head would be early bird deals and membership package benefits, acquired through payment (obviously). During these few months, I was reading about redeemable coupons that one can purchase at online sites such as Beecrazy or Groupon. I also read about how digital means of entertainment, the points that one earn while gaming, could be converted into points of redemption for coupons. So I thought to myself, why not strike this digital marketing iron while it is hot by aiming at where brands and companies of all shapes and sizes would congregate, i.e. right at the conventions!

Three Cs: Convenient Convention Coupons

First things first, I only did some internships in the fields of online marketing, writing adwords copy, brief Facebook copy promoting corporate blog copy, but I do not have a degree in marketing in general. Hence, please excuse me should I fail to answer the question of “How?” in procedural detail. In addition, I have typed in “convention” in the Google Play search box, and while there are apps detailing specific conventions that are happening up and around the world, there isn’t one that is relatively on the meta level.

In my opinion, nothing beats being “actually there” in a convention. Sure, social media marketing is important in getting people convinced, and psyched up about the latest innovation, etc., however, being actually there to talk with people face to face is more tangible, not to mention, more reliable than even, say, a Skype one-or-one/conference call with others. Using a different example, say banana boating, it is more satisfying and exhilarating to hold onto the very rungs of the titular boat as you get surfed and turfed at one too many knots per hours than to watch a Youtube video of someone’s GoPro first person montage of the same act..

Of course, should this idea really take off, it will bring a lot more exposure to conventions. The attendees will be excited and happy to earn points that they can use and spend at other conventions in the forms of perks and membership discounts, and share the tales online in the social media networking world that is today – a classic win-win solution. Now comes the hard part of describing the “How”.

When you register for a convention, you have several options, ranging from the most basic to the most exclusive. The most basic tends to include a con book or a con brochure, and admission to all panels, events, the dealers den and artist alley for all the days the convention is in session. Additional membership benefits at higher prices may include a lunch social with the convention staff and the convention guest of honour, a convention T-shirt, and perhaps even coupons for discounts at dealer dens. Lucrative options may also include tour deals in the local area where the convention is held, a chance photograph and drawing with the convention crew, just to name a few.

In terms of how to earn these points, I have provided a small, not exhaustive list of the stated ways, not ranked in any order. The points will not be transferable between different individuals and people creating multiple accounts to “farm” for these points will have their acquired points, coupons, and deals voided.

  • the more lucrative the package you have purchased during registration, the greater the amount of points you will earn
  • additionally purchasing tickets for convention events and goodies not included in the basic package but are present in the more splurgy ones count
  • being a volunteer for the convention staff, hosting panels, DJing for the crowd being a dealer in the dealer’s den
  • being the winner in con-held trivia and game events and competitions
  • getting an autograph from the Guest of Honour or the Con Chairman/woman.
  • donating extra to fund the con effort or its sponsored organizations
  • getting your content published in the con book or con brochure
  • and much, much, more.

The points may not have an expiry date, but of course, the redeemed coupons do. In addition to using the points to redeem discounts for one convention or a set of conventions, attend multiple conventions to get larger perks.

A tentative idea that I have in terms of the “how” is to implement a standard 5 by 5 Bingo Board option. The placement of the “objective” squares will differ from person to person,but will usually consist of text such as the geographic location of the con to the industry/genre of the con. One con may fit in several criterias and the user is at his or her liberty to select the square, but only one square may be filled per con at a time. Furthermore, like standard bingo, a wildcard square will be at the centre. Should the user fill up a line like in standard bingo, a larger, more opulent deal would be awarded, like an automatic lucrative package option for registration, with all the perks included. I could only fathom the magnitude of benefits should the user be a fervent convention attendee, and fill up every square on the board…

Categorization of Conventions

Now a bit of the boring part. Thus being the reason I leave this to the end of the blog post. Conventions can fall into many categories, be it Anime, Trekkie, Video Game Expos, and the like. Resembling a standard coupon code page and interface like the ones I have mentioned above, the user can also select the genre/type of convention, the deals they currently offer, from a drop-down menu on the top of the screen, or search it by the searchbar.

A Silly Little Idea

I can anticipate the plethora amount of bugs this app would have in its beta version, but hey, that is what beta is for. The hard part would be the convince as many convention chairs around the world that this would be a good idea to be invested in. Oh well, all expeditions have to start from somewhere, right?

Just for the Heck of It. Google App Description Copy


Download this useful app to get the latest news, deals, and coupons of conventions and expositions happening around the world. With an extensive list of categories spanning anime, video game expos, Trekkies, and more. The easy-to-use and conventional interface allows you to stay one step ahead in being informed and to acquire that edge in attendance perks.

Earn points at conventions, and redeem them for the upcoming ones! A non-exhaustive list include

  • Registration will net you a certain amount of points. The better the package you have registered for, the more points you will earn.
  • Volunteer at the Con, or be a dealer, a panelist, or a DJ!
  • Contribute content to the Conbook
  • Get an autograph from the Guest of Honour!
  • Participiate in the Con-exclusive events and competitions such as cosplay, trivia, etc.

Earn even bigger perks by attending multiple conventions. Fill in the Bingo Square with the conventions you have attended. Nail a line, and get even bigger perks, such as a greater discount on more opulent registration packages!


Musing: Let’s Watch Let’s Plays of Other Players on Youtube: The Video Game Spectator

Sit back, relax, and watch the game.

What is the best part of video games? For me, it is to be a game spectator. I do have and play my fair share of games such as the Command and Conquer, Need for Speed, Age of Empires, and Pokemon series around. But currently, the real interest of video games is to watch gamers game.

A quick flashback.

The clearest memory that I have of my spectating of games was when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I used to go to the Kowloon Club restaurant on Sundays when I was a kid, and next to the restaurant was this play room and lounge. I still remember the room with its brown and parchment coloured walls, the slightly dim lights, and a whole bunch of older kids crowded around a SNES playing Street Fighter. There was always a Ken or Ryu player if I recall correctly, and most of the time the players were spamming Haduokens. Of course, these game terminology and characters were only known in hindsight many, many years later.

The “Let’s Play” videos of Youtube

With the introduction of Youtube when I was in high school, I started to search for gameplays, first starting off with my favourite franchises and the games I used to play such as Pokemon, before moving on to checking out other games such as the Shenmue series. Sure beats waiting for the game review channel that used to be on air every Saturday morning!

Although relatively uncommon, I do still like to dive into multiplayer matches instead of being a spectator.

During my first university year at UBC, every night in the common residence lounge was, as I informally call it, Super Smash Bros night. The thing is, I did what I always used to do, watch other people play. But soon, I thought I would give it a shot too. Understandably, I always got owned by the extremely pro Kirby, Ness and Samus players, but I soon had fun being Fox. I like to observe relatively more than I game though, because I would say that 30% of my time is gaming, and 70% of the time I was spectating. Of course, some would say that I am not an expert enough gamer, which I admit, but hey, old habits die hard.

I am relatively still a Youtube “Let’s Play” game spectator.

I still continue to check games out nowadays. Currently, I am following a Civilization 5 and an XCOM: Enemy Within. Following gameplays online does have its perks. Firstly, I can check whether the game is attractive enough for me to purchase it from a second-handed opinion. Secondly, I am at my own flexibility in terms of pausing and resuming spectating the gameplay of others. Thirdly, with respect to my provided examples of the games I am currently checking out, I can be inspired and be interested in game genres, such as turn based strategy, more so than through means of reading video game reviews.