August 18, 2013

I was the only one in the media van that day. Weird but flattering.

Olongapo geeks spread the gospel of gaming at GEARCON 2013

Text and Photos by, August 16, 2013 5:34pm

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT ZONE, ZAMBALES — Two tween girls, best of friends by the looks of them, try their hand at the “Just Dance” game for Wii. They’re slow to ignite but soon enough, they get into it with intensity and rhythm. When they’re done, the wide grins on their faces is proof enough of a good time.

While Metro Manila remains the Mecca for Pinoy gamers, all too often Manila-based techies and geeks forget that the internet has levelled both geography and access to unite gaming geeks on all fronts, if not in touch.

Which is why several Olongapo geeks banded together and formed GEAR (aptly enough standing for Gamers Escaping Actual Reality) and organized the first ever GEARCON at Harbor Point Subic, a week-long festival of activities for the region that lasted from August 5-11 in celebration of the mall’s IT Week.

In the region, spreading the gospel of videogaming and geekery has never been pushed this far center of the mainstream.

The feat that is GEARCON

It’s the last day of the Con. There’s a DOTA tournament, Tekken Tag Tournament, a vintage consoles exhibit, talks on the history of videogames, and an actual working Dance Dance Revolution arcade machine. The card gaming geeks have occupied three tables and have all-day “Magic: The Gathering” battles. There’s also the very entertaining Wii “Just Dance” sessions, and of course, the requisite all-mighty cosplay showcase.

That a couple of local boys organized this kind of event for a week with no budget is already a miracle; that they managed to hold it at a mainstream mall (an Ayala Mall, to boot) like Harbor Point Subic, with support from the local reps of UK-based YouTube geek community UserGamesTV, will become the stuff of legend around these parts.

Response has been phenomenal. Gamers have come from as far as Tarlac, Pampanga, and the rest of Olongapo and the greater Zambales zip code, with registration clocking in attendance stats at 1,000 active participants per day.

Geeks. They like cards, yo

Geeks. They like cards, yo

Red the rest of the piece over at GMA News Online’s SciTech Channel.


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