GCX 2022 concluded this past weekend. The event brings fans together in a celebration of all things gaming. Meanwhile, events and donations toward the St. Jude charity are held to aid children in need. I attended the event for the first time this year. Here is my experience with the Gaming Community Expo.
Return to the Tower
GCX (Gaming Community Expo) returned this year after a pandemic hiatus. Originally, it was named “Guardian Con.” The event was originally centered in Destiny. However, the name changed as the convention grew in scope. The venue is one of the things that has stayed consistent.
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Orlando, Florida is home to GCX. Specifically, the Rosen Shingle Creek hotel opens its doors to attendees yearly. Its hotel grounds are beautiful. People will find a breathtaking view at first glance. Inside lies wonderful architecture and amenities.
Chiefly, the convention floor amazed me. The mainstage showroom featured a number of booths, gaming tables, a full stage and seating, and even an escape room. A room named “The Tavern” brought a tabletop experience across the hall from the main stage. Here, people were treated to a mini bar, tabletop games, and even blind drafts for MTG (Magic the Gathering). GCX 2022 brought multiple experiences to the table whether you enjoy shopping at booths, trying new products, or kicking back with fellow gamers. Additionally, the convention panels aimed to please.
GCX 2022 Panels
GCX launched with an opening ceremony hosted by UhMaayyze. Afterward, a heartfelt keynote for St. Jude reminded attendees why the organization is transformative for lives everywhere. Events were then free to unleash the fun.
Panels flowed like a buffet for gamers and geek culture. Panels ranged from Q&A with voice actors, to ones focused on groups like LGBTQ+, and even ones taking people out of this galaxy like the “Star Wars and Scotch” panel.
It was impossible to attend all of the panels. However, I found each one to have a contagious energy and passion from both the panelists and the audience.
Fireteams are Family
“Return to the Adventure” served as the theme for GCX 2022. I find it most appropriate. COVID-19 impeded many lives and organizations and continues to do so today. The first two years proved to be the most offensive as GCX had to cancel its gathering.
Safety is the top priority for the staff so the right call was made to reschedule. This year continued that trend as attendees needed to submit a negative COVID test within seventy-two hours of the event and wear a mask on the mainstage show floor.
Yet, most obliged happily. This year proved to be a reunion for many. GCX is a time for people to come together in celebration, reunite with those befriended miles away, and uplift an entire community. Subsequently, that energy is evident in everyone, whether you are a seasoned staff member, a high-profile guest, or a first-timer like myself. This event is truly something special, and I look forward to returning next year. Lastly, visit their website if you are interested in attending next year. Eyes up guardians.