The moment I left my home to get on a plane to Anaheim, California, I started to get an incredible burst of excitement. It was so intense and hard to sit still during the 2-hour flight! The shuttle ride from the airport was packed with anxious fans who could hardly wait to grab their goodie bags and badges. Then, I was able to see the huge building with my own eyes. That is when fantasy finally turned into reality for me; I was actually at BlizzCon!!
Even though it was the day prior to the event, just picking up the badges and visiting the store was a blast. Once I neared the convention center, I was surrounded by my fellow gaming nerds, cosplay enthusiast, and people who had journeyed from all over the world. On the day of the event, I was not sure what to expect. When I arrived an hour before the doors opened, there were already over 10,000 people waiting outside the center. As soon as the doors opened, it was like a dam breaking apart and letting the floodgates release a sea of Blizzard nerds to fill the Anaheim Convention Center.
Most people broke off and went into D hall (Main Stage) to get a seat and see the welcoming speech from Blizzard Devs and, of course, the CEO Mr. Mike Morhaime. Others, like myself, walked straight into the middle of halls C & B to be greeted by a full-scale model of Overwatch’s Tracer and WoW’s iconic Illidan. I eventually found a seat D hall for the opening speech.
Every year, the opening ceremony welcomes Blizzard’s dedicated fanatics to their own personal Mecca. This speech had me sitting on the edge of my seat with so much excitement that I could no longer contain myself. I ended up letting out a war cry of “YYYEESSSSSS!!!!!!” starling some people around me. At first, I felt embarrassed for making a scene but looked around and saw people laughing and enjoying the atmosphere right along with me!
There was so much to see that I had no idea where to start first! The events consisted of eSports from four different games, hands on demos for all six of Blizzard’s exciting worlds, and panels”¦tons of panels. At first, I felt overwhelmed. I highly advise building a plan for which panels you want to watch prior to getting to the event (schedule is available early). Between panels, there are many things to do such as seeing the sponsor booths, testing the games, looking at the artwork, or visiting the Darkmoon Faire. This year, the Faire held collector pin trading, toy capsule vending machines, and other neat photo opportunities in which to take part..
Overall, the first day left me with sensory overload inside the convention center. Then, even after being inside the convention center for nearly 12 hours, I realized there was more to do. To my surprise, parties sponsored by websites such as wowhead.com, Newegg, Curse.com, Acer, and PC Gamer were held each night near the convention center. That’s the moment I felt like I was in heaven surrounded by fellow gamers with nothing to do but talk about and enjoy video games. Overwhelmed and exhausted after day one, I could only imagine what to expect from day 2.