RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A long line of people stretched through the Raleigh Convention Center on Saturday waiting to be part the first day of the Playthrough Gaming Convention.
“We’re a two-day gaming extravaganza that focuses on [independent] developers, both video games and board games,” Co-Founder Chris Howell explained.
There are costumes, props and plenty of games. But organizers say the real prize is watching the youngest gamers become players.
“Seeing, I guess, the next generation of kids play and have it be so socially acceptable, and everybody just an absolute joy to be around, it just makes this one of the best experiences I have,” Howell said.
For Janet Glassey, that’s what it’s all about. She brought her four-year-old daughter, Natsumi.
“It makes me feel warm and fuzzy because I love being able to do things as a family, and be able to share our passions, what we like to do and our hobbies, with our kids,” Glassey said.
Grayer Mize learned his gaming skills from his dad.
“I love gaming with him and having fun,” he said.
The father-son duo says the convention is the perfect spot to see what the gaming world has to offer.
“It’s just cool, it’s a bonding experience, we get to bond over gaming,” said Grayer’s dad, Larkin.
But the convention also serves as a research opportunity for small developers who rely on feedback from players to launch successful games.
“We make assumptions like, ‘Alright, players are going to get this reference or be able to pick this up’’ and then you’re like, ‘Oh, they didn’t get that at all,’ and so getting that feedback really early on before release is really valuable,” Christopher Bische said.
He’s a co-developer of a new game being released this year called Rightfully Beary Arms.
As the convention stretches into Sunday, organizers say there’s something for everyone, even non-gamers.
“When they get here they find something that they actually really enjoy, they find different games to play that they’ve never even thought of before,” Howell said.