TempleCon Convention 2016: A Look Back

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Rhode Island TempleCon Logo
Rhode Island TempleCon Logo

With the growth of geek culture, the popularity of conventions has grown and expanded. Large conventions like ComicCon in San Diego and Pax West and East have become gigantic but local and more intimate conventions are also flourishing. This is where the TempleCon convention Rhode Island comes into play.

TempleCon began in Warwick Rhode Island in 2006 as mainly a table top war game convention. With constant expansion over the last 10 years, the 2016 edition is a full-fledged all-encompassing pop-culture gathering.

Retroism is the theme of TempleCon 2016
Retro-Futurism is the theme of TempleCon 2016, photo by Ricardo Rebelo

This was my first year attending this event and I was impressed with its organization. The event was laid out very well at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick, Rhode Island. There were rooms for standard table top games, Wargames, a retro video arcade as well as a retro home video console arcade room. I was even able to play a Vectrex system for the first time.

A classic Vectrex Home Video Game Console
A classic Vectrex Home Video Game Console, photo by Ricardo Rebelo

The Retro console room not only had classic games but a mock 1980s living room which allowed my son to experience Atari the same way I did.

My Son Nicky in the Retro 80s Living Room
My Son Nicky in the Retro 80s Living Room, photo by Ricardo Rebelo

We moved from the living room to the arcade as the retro arcade room had some of the greatest game cabinets of all time including Ms. Pac-Man.

Fun in the Retro Arcade
Fun in the Retro Arcade, photo by Ricardo Rebelo

After an overdose of electronic games, it was time to return to the classic table top. My Son and I looked over the hundreds of board games available for loan and play and decided to try out Munchkin. We have never played the game before but, luckily, a representative from Steve Jackson games was kind enough to sit down and play a few rounds with us. He told me that the most applicable version for my 5-year-old was Munchkin Treasure Hunt. He was right my son totally enjoyed it. Exploring new games is probably the most valuable thing at these conventions. You get to play without spending large sums of money up front.

Next on our plate was a trip to the table top wargaming area. Though I am not a Warhammer player, I have an unlimited amount of respect for what wargamers do. To me, the artistry and work that goes into the game is absolutely astounding. To be honest, I have not delved into Wargaming because I am totally intimidated by it.

A Look at an Amazing Model
A Look at an Amazing Model, photo by Ricardo Rebelo

I was also amazed by the number and quality of vendors at the show. Some of the Hand made steampunk clothing and their designs were incredible. The convention also had a great deal of live music and events to keep you entertained.

What I truly loved about TempleCon 2016 was the smaller more intimate feeling it had. I go to many of the huge conventions like ComicCon and Pax and though I enjoy them, they have become very claustrophobic and not very user-friendly. This is why these smaller, local conventions have become a favorite. I hope to attend TempleCon  next year and for years to come.

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