With a rushing crowd of people and music playing over the speakers, GalaxyCon was an unmistakable sight for any who walked by the Raleigh Convention Center from July 25-28. What was once called the Raleigh SuperCon has expanded even further to include a wider variety of pop culture influences, covering everything from sci-fi to anime and video games.
GalaxyCon has grown to such a size that it was no longer able to be held inside the Raleigh Convention Center alone, but also had to book rooms in the neighboring Marriott and Sheraton hotels. In the Marriott was the video game room, where row after row of computers and gaming consoles were set up for people to play and compete. Cara Garrison, a third-year studying poultry science and the president of the League of Legends club, spoke about the video game area of GalaxyCon.
“I knew League of Legends was going to be here, and I wanted to see what fighting games they were bringing, because I am slowly diving nose-deep into the fighting games community, so I wanted to see what they had here,” Garrison said.
Along with the video game room being outside of the Raleigh Convention Center, the tabletop gaming room was also in another hotel. In the tabletop gaming room, which was sponsored by Atomic Gaming, there were a number of tables where people were able to play a wide breadth of tabletop games. Wesley Holland, a 32-year-old who volunteered with GalaxyCon, spoke about what he was doing.
“I am literally teaching people how to play [Magic: The Gathering],” Holland said. “If they come up and say ‘Hey, I want to learn Magic,’ I say, ‘Alright, cool, here’s a starter deck. Let’s play a starter game, and I’ll teach you how to play.’”
Along with Magic: The Gathering, they also had Dungeons & Dragons tables for people who had never played before, as well as many other tabletop games ready to play or buy.
The Raleigh Convention Center is where a lot of the main events of GalaxyCon were taking place. Many different speakers and panels were held in the different ballrooms and areas throughout the building. Jordan Robinson, a 28-year-old who cosplayed as Jester from the Dungeons & Dragons show “Critical Role,” talked about what she was doing.
“Right now, I’m waiting to see Catherine Tate,” Robinson said. “I think she’s here for The Office or something, but I know her from Doctor Who as Doctor Dana, and I love her. I was here last year and her panel was hysterical, so I said that we had to see her.”
Robinson spoke more about GalaxyCon as a whole and what drew her to come to the convention.
“I’m from Greensboro, so it’s pretty close, but it’s more for pop culture instead of anime,” Robinson said. “For me, I’m not a big fan of anime. There’s so much more things to do, and I love that. I always love conventions because everyone is just so nice. We got a note on our car from somebody who was parked next to us and it said ‘Hey, I hope you had a great day. Happy con.’ You don’t get that when you’re at home. When you get a note, it’s usually a mean note.”
GalaxyCon is a convention that hosts many different people with many different interests. Robinson believes that GalaxyCon could be for everyone.
“Just find anything that makes you smile,” Robinson said. “There is something for everybody. Everybody is excited, everybody wants to do something, and if you ask a question, everyone will answer…. Being around a bunch of people that want to include you is a very great experience.”