29 August 2013

GEARCON showcases Subic Bay as digital entertainment haven

With the participation of some 5,000 video game enthusiasts, a convention for gamers and cosplayers was held last week at the Harbor Point, showcasing this premier Freeport's potential as a haven for digital entertainment.

Dubbed as GEARCON 2013 and organized by GEAR, a local gaming community, the convention was a full gaming, e-sport and consumer electronics expo, which targeted both gamers and non-gamers here and elsewhere.

Marlo Zerrudo, officer in charge of the SBMA Information Technology Department, said that the event demonstrated that Subic Bay Freeport could easily be a venue for international gaming competitions.

He added that the gaming community in Olongapo and other nearby areas is quite a large market for digital entertainment.

“This is the first gaming convention of its kind in the Philippines, and we hope to follow this up with another,” Zerrudo said.

The major feature of the week-long event was a hands-on demonstration of all the current generation consoles (PS3, Xbox, WiiU). Participants, both professed gamers and non-gamers, got the chance to try out for themselves the latest innovation in gaming technology, including three-dimensional and aided and unaided motion-detection gaming.

An exhibit showcasing various consoles from the first (1972-1977) to the eighth generation (2012-current) was also put in place at the event venue.

Also part of the convention were competitions on Defense of the Ancients (DOTA), Tekken Tag Tournament Two, Magic the Gathering, and the Wii and Xbox dance contests.

Over P100,000 worth of prizes were awarded to competition winners and lucky participants who participated in the raffle draw.

According to the organizers, the goal of the event was "to celebrate the advancements in technology that has had a widespread ripple effect in our daily lives.”

“With the advent of high-speed internet connectivity, gaming has evolved from a solitary activity to massive multi-player games played across continents by millions of people. Once the exclusive domain of video-gamers, virtual simulation is now a crucial component in various professions. It has also established itself as a veritable medium for health and fitness,” a statement from GEAR also indicated.

The organizers added that "this gaming convention is dedicated not only to the gamers of today's generation, but also older gamers who used to play on the various Atari, Nintendo and Sega consoles, as well as handhelds during the eighties and nineties." (HEE/MPD-SBMA)