Press Release: Dragon Con Grows Its Gaming Space by 60 Percent

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Programming and Gameplay Moves from Hilton Atlanta to Westin Peachtree Plaza and AmericasMart

Designers and Voice Actors for Best Known, Top Selling and Fan Favorite Video and Table Top Games Take Part in Dragon Con’s 30th Anniversary Celebration

Acknowledging the growing interest in gaming of all types, Dragon Con, already one of the largest gaming conventions in the nation, has expanded its gaming space by more than 60 percent for its 30th Anniversary convention.

Ian Frazier, lead designer for the acclaimed Mass Effect franchise, Mark Jacobs, lead designer for the Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer franchises and his current project Camelot Unchained, and voice actor Mark Meer, best known for his role as Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect trilogy, lead a slate of top game designers, voice actors, and industry experts who will lead panels and meet with fans throughout the Labor Day convention.

Video game pioneer and American astronaut Richard “Lord British” Garriott, who created the Ultima and Tabla Rasa games, will also be on hand to talk about his latest project, Shroud of the Avatar.

“The strength of gaming has been a pillar at Dragon Con since our first convention in 1987. Just as the convention continues to grow, our ability to offer programming and gameplay does too,” convention co-chair Dave Cody said. “We are able to offer our fans more games, more gameplay, and more and better opportunities to talk with voice actors, game designers, and other guests from the worlds of table top and video gaming.”

Some 75,000 people are expected to attend Dragon Con 2016, filling downtown Atlanta over the four-day Labor Day weekend, September 2 to September 5, with events and activities across AmericasMart Buildings One and Two and five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta.

In order to accommodate the growth and popularity of gaming, Dragon Con’s gaming programming will move from the Hilton Atlanta, where it had approximately 86,000 square feet, to the Westin Peachtree Plaza and the adjacent AmericasMart Building One, where it will take up a combined 140,000 square feet.  Panels, contests, and parties will be held in the Westin while free gaming, paid tournaments, and similar events will be held in AmericasMart.  As always gaming will be open to all Dragon Con members 24/7 for the convention.

New programming this year includes Kids Gaming Adventure, a series of 45-minute sessions designed to introduce 6 to 12 year-olds to board games, collectible card games, roleplaying, miniatures, and LAN-based video games.  An accompanying parent is required at all times.

The video gaming track is also expanding its popular gender and LGBT-related programming to include discussions on racial and disability issues in gaming. These panels will be led by developers and other industry experts about current trends, issues, and obstacles to creating video games.

“Our goal is to be a leading voice in making video games communities safe and inclusive for all,” said Kevin Stallard, director for the Video Gaming programming track.

Other events include a dedicated installation of Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator, which will be free to play for those with a Dragon Con membership. ASBS is your chance to operate as a bridge crewman during evil alien incursions and other exciting scenarios.

And the National Security Decision Making Game (NSDMG) led by Mark McDonagh, a retired Navy Captain and co-designer of the game, returns to Dragon Con 2016 for their 26th year. The National Security Decision Making Game presents players with a range of real world issues that they must decide how to solve, with each play assuming the role of a different political leader or deliberative body.  Capt. McDonagh and his group of experts will also be presenting lectures and seminars on current global events.

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than about 3,000 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on Artemis Starship Bridge Simulator, please visit artemis.eochu.com

For more information about the National Security Decision Making Game, please visit NSDM – The National Decision Making Game on Facebook.

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