Cosplay (Costume Play) model Shantel Knight prepares for the onslaught of gamers at her booth at the GottaCon gaming convention

Cosplay (Costume Play) model Shantel Knight prepares for the onslaught of gamers at her booth at the GottaCon gaming convention

Gamers take over Victoria Conference Centre this weekend

GottaCon, now in sixth year, moves to downtown Victoria for latest marathon gaming event

The sixth annual GottaCon convention takes place this weekend at the Victoria Conference Centre, with hundreds of digital, board game and role play events running into the early hours.

The gaming conference has grown from 600 attendees in 2009 to an anticipated 2,500 gamers this year. The event moved from its previous digs at Pearkes Recreation Centre in Saanich to downtown Victoria to attract a bigger audience for 2014.

“Our fastest-growing sub-sector in the tech industry is gaming,” said Dan Gunn, executive director of the Victoria Advanced Technology Council (VIATeC).

Gunn was at the launch of GottaCon to tout the positive economic impact of the region’s 19 gaming studios.

While GottaCon generated $500,000 in direct spending last year alone, the local gaming industry has grown by 600 per cent since 2008 and created nearly $24 million in local annual spending, Gunn said.

Local gaming studios including TinyMob Games, KANO/APPS, DJArts Games and Gamehouse will be on hand to showcase their latest products all weekend.

GottaCon begins at 5 p.m. tonight and runs until 6 p.m. Sunday, with closures between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. each morning.

See the full event schedule and ticket prices at gottacon.com.

Look for more in Wednesday’s Victoria News.

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