raleigh gaming convention

Day one of the Playthrough Gaming Convention in Raleigh (Deana Harley/CBS 17)

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – A long line of people filed through the Raleigh Convention Center on Saturday waiting to be part of the first day of the Playthrough Gaming Convention.

“We’re a two-day gaming extravaganza focused on [independent] Developers, video games and board games,” explained co-founder Chris Howell.

There are costumes, props and lots of games. But organizers say the real prize is watching the youngest players become players.

“I think seeing the next generation of kids play and it’s so socially and everyone is just an absolute joy to be here just makes this one of the best experiences I’ve had,” Howell said .

For Janet Glassey, that’s what it’s all about. She brought her four-year-old daughter Natsumi with her.

“It makes me feel warm and comfortable because I love doing things as a family and sharing our passions, what we enjoy doing and our hobbies with our kids,” Glassey said.

Gray Mize learned his gaming skills from his father.

“I love playing with him and having fun,” he said.

The father-son duo say the convention is the perfect place to see what the gaming world has to offer.

“It’s just cool, it’s a connecting experience, we can connect while playing,” said Gray’s father Larkin.

But the convention also serves as a research opportunity for small developers who rely on player feedback to bring successful games to market.

“We make assumptions like ‘okay, players will get that reference or be able to pick that up’ and then you say ‘oh they didn’t get that at all’ and so getting that feedback very early on before release is really valuable ‘ said Christopher Bische.

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He is co-developer of a new game called Rightfully Beary Arms which will be released this year.

With the convention stretching through Sunday, organizers say there’s something for everyone, even non-gamers.

“When they come here, they find something they really enjoy, they discover different games that they never thought of before,” Howell said.

By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...