I attended my first Kupocon yesterday in London, a Final Fantasy-themed event that brings fans from far and wide to celebrate Square Enix’s beloved series, and it really shines a light on exactly what the gaming community needs to succeed.
From the musical performances by the incredibly talented Arnie Roth and his Distant World’s orchestra to the meticulous planning and time spent by Alex and Alan at Kupocon, the spin-off work created by fans of the series really goes a long way in creating a friendly and receptive community.
So what was it like?
From the second you enter the venue you can see the love that has been put into this project. Art and stalls are already set, showcasing a wealth of different pieces whilst also highlighting dedicated and passionate independent artists.
Voice Actors and stars such as Nicholas Boulton, Quinton Flynn and Alli Hillis are also in attendance. They’re signing items, meeting fans and talking all about the series throughout the day whilst also allowing fans to feel even closer to their favourite characters and performances.
Fans are given a discount if they cosplay, meaning that you’re immediately surrounded by a wealth of different characters that evoke feelings of nostalgia and wonder. It’s exactly what the games have always been to so many fans, it’s a different world you’re able to immerse yourself in.
After a friendly and informal welcome we’re told about our quest logs…
Here’s where it really gets interesting.
Everyone is given a journal full of interesting game trivia and facts upon entry, but it’s also full of quests and trials. You’re encouraged to solve riddles and beat puzzles themed around the iconic titles to earn real-world Gil which can then be traded in for a wealth of different art and prizes.
These quests even include photo challenges, where people are encouraged to ask cosplayers to pose and interact with others in order to create iconic photos that hearken back to the series roots, but in the same breath, participants are reminded to respect the rights and values of those around them. It’s a beautiful way to create a mixing pot where fans from all different walks of life can interact and get to know one another whilst also encouraging respect and understanding within the community.
Events like Kupocon not only highlight the effect of games on the consumer, it also shows the impact devoted and selfless fans can have on the wider gaming community. It’s a labour of love that allows people who are potentially anxious and self-conscious to meet and bond with others with similar interests.It’s a way for fans to show appreciation to voice actors, artists and designers. It’s something that the community sorely needs and I hope that organisers Alex and Alan continue on to create many more similar events in the future.
Details of more upcoming events can be seen on their website at www.kupocon.com so why not head over now and see if you want to go and show your support to some wonderful people whilst also earning a few gil!