Saturday marked one of the biggest ‘geek’ meets I have had the pleasure of attending so far (with people arriving later, not everyone is even in this photo above) approximately 250 people turned up over the course of the meet. As it was not quite warm enough, but fortunately dry from the heavy downpour earlier that morning, the decision was made that instead of the usual cosplay picnics this meet would incorporate a heavy gaming theme. On attendee’s arrival, AnimeLeague presented each individual with a free conbadge, an A4 sheet with the plan for the day and a raffle ticket for the chance to win a free weekend ticket to London Anime Gaming Con.
Meeting outside Waterloo station, cosplayers and anime fans alike took a few photos in front of the London Eye, then travelled to Namco Funscape to play arcade games or just have a few pre-drinks in the bar playing some cards against humanity!
Next stop was Shepherds Bush for Mayamada’s Gamepad event. Mayamada are an independent, self-published manga and apparel organisation known for their series Samurai Chef, about cooking, where dishes are judged with his samurai sword! It begins as a simple competition, and becomes something else entirely when the chefs add a special ingredient to each dish that turns judging into a real battle. What follows is an escalating contest between the Samurai Chef and each new dish, eventually bringing the attention of more threatening opponents in this action-comedy epic!
Mayamada have recently acquired store space in the shopping centre in Shepherds Bush, opposite Westfields. To celebrate the launch, free cupcakes were on offer and you could purchase frozen yogurt. A cosplay contest was also held to win tickets to London Anime Gaming Con, congrats to the Vegeta, Demorafairy Cosplay and Hello Kitty (James) who were in the top three!
For our final destination we travelled to The Heart of Gaming (HOG) in North Acton. Unlike Namco funscape where you have to keep inserting money to keep playing, HOG is a one off fee for unlimited gaming, selling both day and monthly passes. For those who live far, or just want an allnighter there is the option to stay the night for an additional fee. Especially for the meet, in conjunction with AnimeLeague, they had a special offer of £10 entry, or £8 for those in cosplay. From DDR machines to Smash Bros HOG has a wide selection of games to play and from the last time I had been there (about a year ago) their variety of consoles had developed. I especially loved the small touches, the cosy, chilled out vibe HOG had and how take away pizza can be delivered.
AnimeLeague have more meets planned not just for London so check here to see if they have one in your area!