Gaming conventions in Israel were a rare sight to see, largely because none of them were truly official. Up until 2016, there was no such thing as a gaming convention, at least on the scale that you might find in the US or Europe, rather, they were held in much smaller gatherings until a small renaissance in thinking has occurred. With Israel celebrating its 70th year of independence, many thought—I included—thought that it was finally time to discuss and review the approach when it came to the gaming communities in Israel; specifically, the Passover 2018 GameIN event (something I should have written a long time ago, but sadly didn’t have the chance).
GameIN took place during the holiday Passover, 3/28 – 3/29, and was born out of the desire to create a similar gaming convention to PAX or EGX, but for Israel. With the 5th anniversary of the event finally having taken place, it seems Israel is finally becoming a larger part of the gaming community with a convention we can be proud of that previously didn’t exist on such a level. It initially started out as Israel’s answer to a gamer meet-up event, but eventually evolved to promote and expand the gaming world and the field of eSports to the general population.
The event included retro games, consoles, balconies, and huge stages for people to view the current tournament competition that may be happening at any given moment. Of course, it’s not a convention without a few notable Israeli Youtubers which came to review and stream their own shows at the convention to promote the event themselves. Shops were just as prevalent during the convention, seeing stores for Lenovo, Samsung, and MSI’s presence added a sense of legitimacy to the event that previously hadn’t existed. There was even a television show taking place live at the convention called Game Night.Like any gaming convention, lectures regarding the field of games and gaming were prevalent. Talks such as How to Develop Applications and games were held by those in the industry. Among the many of the companies which held talks was AssafMedia, a company born and raised in Israel, featuring their own stage where they presented some of their games and kept the whole event running smoothly.
All in all, it was great to see such an event take place in my backyard. You could say there is a bit of national pride wrapped up in my feeling towards the event as it allows the gaming community to continue to grow and foster more exciting events such as these in the future. Afterall, a gamer is a gamer, no matter where they are from 😉