This September sees the start of something a bit special in the board and card gaming community. Dragondaze is a new, one day Games Convention based in the Southern Wales town of Newport. The brain child of Simon Powell, Ann Macey and Steve Round, Dragondaze will be in aid of their chosen charity, Barnardo’s, and specifically for Barnardo’s Young Carers program.
The event itself promises to be a great one, with a gamut of traders from all aspects of the table top hobby, a raffle with prizes donated by Hasbro, gaming zones to try out old favourites and hot new titles, and even some cosplay from Jack Sparrow through to the Colonial marines of the Aliens universe.
It’s rare to be lucky to see the start of something with the potential that this convention has, and Geek Pride UK was fortunate enough to have first hand information from organiser Simon Powell, who kindly took time out of his busy schedule to give GPUK his personal insights into the reasons, challenges and meaning of Dragondaze to him.
GPUK: What was your inspiration for organising Dragondaze?
SP: My first experience with gaming was at a small convention in a church hall in Newport called Dragondaze, the last one was held in 1991, we (The Committee, Ann Macey, Steve Round, Simon Powell) wanted to bring this experience back to Newport but on a bigger scale.
GPUK: Your chosen charity is Barnado’s, is there a reason for choosing this charity?
SP: I’m disabled and Barnardos helped my family when we really needed it, it’s nice to give something back.
GPUK: What were the challenges you faced organising this event? Anything you didn’t expect?
SP: I don’t think there were any challenges as such, we have been helped along the way by Newport Council and many people have volunteered to help with the day as its all for charity, we had hoped to find a sponsor within one of the companies in Newport to help with some of the costs, but all our emails were ignored. I don’t think I would have liked to have set something like this up before the event of social media, that has made contacting people so much easier.
GPUK: Are there any elements of the convention you are particluarly looking forward to or you’re proud of?
SP: I’m looking forward to seeing the looks on the faces of the young people from Barnardo’s who we have invited to the event. We also have a few surprise celebrities coming to the event. We are very proud of the amount of people who have volunteered to run games for people to play at the event.
GPUK: What are your future plans for more conventions and/or charity events?
SP: If this year is a success we intend to hold Dragondaze as an annual event, we may help a different charity each year, that hasn’t been decided yet, we have done as much as we can to make the day as enjoyable as possible for everyone who attends, whether there is a next year or not depends on people supporting the event and turning up.
So what are you guys waiting for?! Dragondaze promises to have something for everyone, from the casual card-flipper to the hardcore gamer, and all in aid of a fantastic charity. So if you find yourself in Newport on 20th September, pop in and check it out. And if you happen to see me, don’t forget to say hi!