For five years now, Southern-Fried Gaming Expo (SFGE) has provided the southeast with an amazing event filled with arcade games and pinball, but as the event has grown, so has the list of things you can do while attending. While the arcade cabinets and pinball machines are still a huge draw, SFGE now offers the GeekDad Tabletop Experience (tabletop board games), an RPG area, a dedicated classic console gaming area, cosplay, a wresting event (seriously!), live bands, a film festival, tournaments, discussion panels, vendors, guest speakers, and opportunities to set gaming records.
Attendance in 2017 broke 3000, and this year the event is expecting to shatter that milestone with even more attendees looking for a weekend filled with gaming opportunities. The event is now hosted at the Marriott Renaissance Waverly hotel and convention center in Atlanta, Georgia, right off of the I-75 and within easy walking distance of lots of restaurants, including incredible eating spots at the new Atlanta Braves Battery and Stadium.
But let’s face it—the reason to come to SFGE is for playing games. So let’s take a quick look at what will be available for gamers in addition to pinball and arcade games:
- Huge play area with hundreds of games in our library sponsored by GeekDad.com: The Gaming Library contains over 300 board games that can be checked out with a valid SFGE attendee badge. Check out a game you enjoy or maybe one you’ve never played. If you need additional players, there will be PLAYER(S) NEEDED flags you can place at your table OR you can look for some of the SFGE Tabletop Area volunteers who will be on-hand to teach and demo games you are interested in learning.
- Over 80 play and win games: Once again this year, SFGE will be allowing gamers to check out a special selection of games from the Play-and-Win area. These are games that you can register to win by simply opening up the box and examining the rules and playing. If you like it, take it back and register to win it!
- Additional games given away every hour: In addition to the Play-and-Win games, SFGE has enough extra games donated from generous sponsors and vendors to be giving away a game every hour.
- Unpub event: This year, SFGE has invited a number of game publishers to come and show off their latest games as well as the ones in development. This is a great chance to play some games that haven’t yet seen a larger audience, and your feedback could be extremely helpful to these developers.
- Mad Men star and Cardboard! podcast host Rich Sommer as special guest: Tabletop fanatic and host of the popular Cardboard! podcast, Rich Sommer will be making his first trip to the Southern-Fried Gaming Expo this year. Although his love for gaming is well-documented, you may better recognize Rich from his role as Harry Crane on 92 episodes of the popular AMC drama Mad Men or recurring appearances on Netflix’s Glow, The Regular Show, or Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. Rich will be speaking at two panels that will be immediately followed by meet-and-greet sessions where he will provide free autographs for fans.
- Whatever tournaments we may have: There will be a Splendor boardgame tournament as well as dozens of arcade and pinball and game console tournaments. More tabletop tournaments and video game tournaments are being added right up to the last minute, so be sure to check out the SFGE website for the latest additions.
- Developer panels: Interested in what it takes to bring a game from idea to a box on the shelf? Two different panels will be available this year to listen and ask questions of those who have been there and done that. Come and listen in and grab some secrets and advice for making your own game idea a reality.
- Cosplay: Break out your inner gamer and join in the 2nd annual GAMER COSTUME CONTEST, Saturday during the Southern Friend Gaming Expo. All genres of “games” welcomed (video, pinball, board, etc.)—creativity encouraged! Those interested in entering the GAMER COSTUME CONTEST (all ages) will need to register at the Markster Con booth in the Garden Court!
- Film Festival: For the 2018 show, SFGE continues to partner with its friends at Y’allywood to work and build our own film festival. The Southern-Fried Film Festival is a partnership between the Southern-Fried Gaming Expo and the Y’allywood Film Festival, both founded and operated in Georgia. SFGE will be screening films and hosting Q&A’s with filmmakers throughout the weekend’s events at SFGE, and cash prizes for winners of our feature-length and short film categories will be awarded! Check out this year’s official selections and screening schedule.
- Artemis Starship Simulator: You and up to eight of your friends (or strangers) can take control of the bridge of the Artemis. Set navigation, open hailing frequencies, arm weapons, raise shields, and much more. Each player has their own station with real controls and inputs that affect what you see on the forward screen.
Southern-Fried Gaming Expo has quickly become THE place to be for gaming in the Southeast. It’s a family-friendly event (kids under 7 are free!) and is a great way to share your love of gaming with your family. Play some Asteroids, rack up a personal best high score on Pin*Bot, load a cartridge into an NES like old times, and sit down and play that board game that you’ve always wanted to play but never seem to find the time. It’s three days of gaming overload that will leave you smiling and anxious for next year.
Friday, June 8: 4:00PM – 12:00AM (w/late night rock band & all night tabletop)
Saturday, June 9: 10:00AM – 1:00AM (w/late night rock band & all night tabletop)
Sunday, June 10: 9:00AM – 3:00PM
Friday: $30 adults / $15 kids
Saturday: $30 adults / $15 kids
Sunday: $20 adults / $15 kids
3-Day Adult Weekend Pass: $65 (Age 13 and up)
3-Day Child Weekend Pass: $30
(7 and under are free)