It’s not every day you can hang out with Pikachu, pit your wits (and your thumbs) against the world’s top gamers and check out the latest blockbuster releases under one roof.
But then there’s nothing ordinary about Middle East Games Con, the gaming bonanza set to take Abu Dhabi by storm across October 25-27.
Whether you’re a hardcore gamer, new to the scene, deeply into cosplay or a fan of Japanese arts and crafts, this three-day festival at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre is the ultimate destination for you.
There’s all kinds of cool things to keep you entertained throughout the fun-filled weekend, including some star appearances from the gaming world’s biggest names.
YouTube sensations Miniminter and Syndicate will be bringing their inimitable styles and passion for gaming to the capital, with fans able to secure meet and greet packages in association with Virgin Mobile.
While you can also hang out with award-winning voice actor Doug Cockle, the voice of The Witcher series’ main monster hunter, or Lucie Pohl - Mercy from Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch.
Last year, some 10,000 people flocked to the action-packed festival and organisers are hoping this year will be bigger and better than ever.
And it’s not hard to see why, with zones dedicated to developers, artists and the whole spectrum of games from the latest consoles to classics in a retro gaming arcade.
There’s an epic line-up of regional game launches too, including Soulcalibur VI, JUMP Force, Dead or Alive 6, One Piece: World Seeker, The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan, Destiny 2: Forsaken and the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
This year, there will be a distinct Japanese flavour to proceedings this year, with authentic Samurai sword fight performances, unique arts and crafts from the 30 artisan exhibitors in the ‘Miyabi’ pavilion and even an Anime cosplay catwalk.
Make sure you also check out the traditional music, calligraphy, beatboxing, dance, theatre and poetry performances taking place over the weekend.
Go global with your League of Legends (LoL) expertise – head to the Red Bull Player One stand for a chance to win a place at the Brazil finals.
Sennheiser are bringing you a Rocket League tournament twice daily at Middle East Games Con, with winners receiving state-of-the-art gaming headsets.
And you can battle it out to be the best with three tournaments taking place at Geeky Lizard's stand: Pokemon, Magic the Gathering & Yu-Gi-Oh.
For those of us who want to learn from the best, the ZOOM Entertainment Stage offers live gaming action from the region’s top gamers, and a host of live gaming-related entertainment.
Exhibitors and sponsors confirmed to attend the show include ZOOM, Virgin Mobile, Mentos, Taaleem, HP Omen, PlayStation, Nintendo, PLG, ASUS Republic of Gamers, Sennheiser, Logitech and DELL Gaming.
Many more announcements and activities will be revealed in the coming days, so make sure you follow the festival’s social media platforms.
Dhs115.50 (single day pass). Dhs315 (three-day pass), Dhs500 (three-day pass plus meet and greet), Dhs800 (three-day pass plus VIP Player Kit and two meet and greets), Dhs1,200 (three-day pass plus VIP Player Kit and five meet and greets). October 25-26 2pm-10, October 27 1pm-9pm. Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. www.me-gamescon.com