South by Southwest has been growing exponentially every year, and 2014 was no exception. From the sheer crowds that came pouring in to the numerous companies that set up shop, the gaming expo has very much expanded into all the corners of the geek world. SXSW’s gaming expo is completely open to the public, so companies have the chance to show off all of their great products and new tech to a very large audience. The gaming expo has grown so much that it isn’t just focused on video games anymore, it has become more focused on the entirety of nerd culture.

The expo is a chance for people to get a small taste of the indie community and the creative side of games. Yes, there are some big game companies there, but the smaller companies like Oculus and Omni really shine in this open, interactive atmosphere.

One of the best things about SXSW is the sense of community that comes with it. It is very easy to approach anyone, even developers, and have a normal conversation with them about hobbies and general nerd culture. It was awesome to be able to sit down next to anyone and strike up a conversation about video games or Game of Thrones or anything else around the convention. It is one of the few places where everyone has something in common.

As with any expo, there is a lot to see and do. From playing Magic: The Gathering to gaming in the giant LAN center to testing out a few indie games, there is something fun and exciting to do around every corner. One of the biggest sections of the expo was the Nintendo and Pennzoil sponsored go kart track. The track and karts were built in the Mario Kart style and featured cool pieces of tech that mimicked the powerups from the Mario Kart games. It was an incredibly fun experience for kids and adults.

SXSW’s gaming expo truly has something for everyone. Tabletop gamers, video gamers, pop culture nerds, and tech geeks can all interact with each other in one place. If you haven’t been able to experience SXSW’s gaming expo, make sure plan a weekend trip to Austin during the expo next year!

Written by @CommandZer01

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Orlando V

Webmaster of GAW, Orlando keeps things running and keeps it from exploding.