Tokyo Game Show 2017: 10 Tips on How to Survive Your First Foreign Gaming Convention

By Kin Boon on Sep 30, 2017

It’s been almost a week since Tokyo Game Show concluded its annual run, and as we are back at home reminiscing about the fun and chaotic times we experienced at the convention, there are certain things that came to mind in terms of what we could have done to make the trip more pleasant. Some of you might not have the chance to visit a foreign gaming convention, but when that fateful day comes, here are 10 tips that you should take note of.

Be familiar with the public transport system

Image credit: Japan Rail Pass
Image credit: Japan Rail Pass

Just like any other overseas trip, you’ll most likely be stuck with public transport instead of the usual comfort behind the wheels, but it’s imperative for you to time your commute to the convention hall perfectly, or else you risk getting stuck in a long line that could have been avoided with proper planning.

Check out the map and publishers beforehand

Image credit: Daily Express
Image credit: Daily Express

It doesn’t matter if you reach the venue ahead of time, but you instantly get lost in the magnitude of the event with giant booths everywhere. Do a quick research on the layout of the convention and the publishers or developers involved to prevent last minute “surprise motherf**ker!!” moments.

Prioritize the games that you want to try

Image credit: PlayStation Haven
Image credit: PlayStation Haven

Once you are well-acquainted with what’s available on site, create a priority list of the games or events that you consider a must-try, as it’s almost impossible to try every single damn thing, unless you can create shadow clones.

Keep yourself hydrated at all times

Lines, lines, lines and more lines are something you can’t escape from gaming conventions, so do keep yourself energized and drink plenty of water to prevent sudden thoughts of “why the f**k am I doing this?” to surface. It’ll be a waste if you falter right before you reach the holy grail.

Dress comfortably

This reminder might be too simplistic and feels like an insult to your intelligence, but there are cases where the current season is summer, yet it’s like you have been transported to Iceland once you enter the convention hall. The waiting game is already as hard as it is, so make yourself comfortable to prevent unnecessary frustrations.

Make sure you have extra cash for merchandise shopping

Image credit: GameSpot
Image credit: GameSpot

If your willpower is as strong as the Shaolin monks, you can disregard this tip, but if you are a sucker for official merchandise, be prepared for the impending nuke that’ll land on your bank account. Each gaming conventions typically has a set of exclusive items, so either you splurge the cash to get it on the spot, or wallow in your sorrows for missing out on products that are irrelevant to your survival.

Don't be too fixated in your favorite games

Image credit: YouTube
Image credit: YouTube

I’m sure most of us will hunt down Monster Hunter: World as soon as we enter the venue, but hey, triple A titles don't make up the entire event. Give yourself a chance to look for hidden gems, which might just be around the corner if you give a damn and look hard enough.

Trust Google Translate

Not the most reliable service you’ll get, but beggars can’t be choosers and I personally had good experience asking questions by using voice translations on the app. Language barriers will be a thing of the past, unless you prefer sign languages and subsequently more confused looks.

Be mentally prepared for last minute changes

The last-minute plan you crafted on the night before you board the plane might be inch perfect, but life is always full of surprises, so be prepared for sudden changes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you and start throwing tantrums when you found out the queue for a highly anticipated game has ended.

Reserve energy for sightseeing

Image credit: GaijinPot Study
Image credit: GaijinPot Study

As much as we love to game all day long, you can’t do that during conventions so spare some energy from your tank to do some sightseeing. In fact, you might even discover some gaming gems along the way.

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Kin Boon
About the Author
Just your 'average' media newbie. Have interest in gaming (duh), superhero series, and I enjoy getting engage in conversations about footy. With that said, slight biasedness might be present if we are talking about Chelsea FC. Hope to see the world with my own pair of eyes in the future instead of viewing it through Instagram or Snapchat filters.
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