Last weekend, the San Diego Convention Center played host to the 5th Annual TwitchCon. For those not familiar with Twitch, it’s an online streaming platform that started out as a way for video game players to let others watch them play games live. Since then it’s expanded into various different areas for streamers including artists, cosplayers (some of which you can see below), cooking, singing (via Twitch Sings), and more.
TwitchCon took over about a third of the convention center (Halls A-D) and for those who have attended San Diego Comic-Con, you would find this convention was slicker and a lot more glitzy, as one would expect from the money that multi-million dollar video game companies command. The entire convention center was filled with booths populated with large video screens, lots of game demos, video game hardware companies, energy drink booths, and the like.
For those who are more into the artist aspect of a convention, the Sails Pavilion area was where you could find a few rows of artists hawking their wares including prints, original art/sketches, and handcrafted items. To be honest, this area was one of my favorite parts of the show, picking up a sketch of Wolverine from Lee Kohse (who joined us on the Talkin’ Con: A Cup O’ Tea with An Englishman In San Diego from the show)
The programming catered to a lot of different aspects of streaming, including panels covering topics such as the basics to start streaming, streaming with disabilities, how to build a streaming PC, etc etc. You get the idea.
For a bit of variety, there was also an arcade section with various arcade cabinets and pinball machines available for play, as well as a room dedicated to table top gaming for those so inclined.
As to its core audience, TwitchCon played host to a lot of meet-and-greets with various well-known streamers, and a few live gaming competitions including Fortnite, League of Legends, a Catan National Championship Qualifier tournament, and more.
During the opening ceremony of the show a lot of announcements were made including the dates and locations for TwitchCon 2020 (TwitchCon Amsterdam: May 2-3, 2020 and TwitchCon San Diego: September 25-27, 2020). Twitch Studio was also announced, it will make it easier for creators to get started with streaming with a guided setup, templates to help with customization, as well as a built-in activity feed, chat, and alerts to help creators connect with their viewers.
They also announced changes to the creator dashboard, the channel page, a new channel points system, a new mod view system, and more all of which you can read via their blog.
All-in-all, I had a great time at TwitchCon and can’t wait to go back next year when it returns to San Diego.