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COVID-19: Con Voyage

StericaSterica YesRegistered User, Moderator mod
edited May 31 in Games and Technology
While 2020 may be over, we still have to deal with the aftermath. While a vaccine for COVID-19 has been developed, we still have limited supply and therefore for the majority if people the virus is still a hazard. This means conventions and other public events are still at risk of being cancelled or postponed in the hopes of wider vaccination.

This thread is for reporting only: please include OFFICIAL sources when reporting a cancellation or postponement. Corrections are also welcome!

If an event is not on here, then dates haven’t been formally announced yet.


The event is not happening. If an online event has been announced, then it will be mentioned in parentheses.

CES (Online Event January 11-14)
PAX South
Magfest (Online Event...but there’s been controversy of employee abuse)
Awesome Games Done Quick (Online Event January 3-10)
SXSW (Online Event March 9-11)
GDC (Online Event announced for July 19-23)
PAX East (PAX Online in July)
Summer Games Done Quick (Online Event in July)
Anime Boston
E3 (online event in June)
BlizzCon (online event in early 2022)


The event has been pushed back OR its announced dates for 2021 are later than what is normal (eg, typically late winter event given summer 2021 dates, for example).

Emerald City Comic Con (announced for December 2-5)
Gen Con (moved to hybrid online/in-person event in September)
SDCC (moved to...Thanksgiving weekend!?)

On Schedule

The event has been announced for 2021 and is occurring as it normally would.

Gamescom (live event reduced in scope for hybrid online event)
PAX West
PAX Unplugged

As always, if you are planning on going to an event, prepare to go but have a backup plan. We’re entering a year of dealing with this, so most travel arrangements should have cancellation policies. Resist the temptation to take a cheaper hotel or air fare at the cost of a poor or absent refund policy.

Be safe! We may enter a hazy period where things aren’t 100% safe but deemed safe enough to run an event. Wash your hands, avoid physical contact, and just be smart. Obviously if you have an opportunity to get the vaccine (and it’s safe for you to do so) then take it! Just remember that a vaccination doesn’t mean you can’t be a carrier. For the sake of people who can’t get the vaccination, continue to practice safe and sanitary conduct. I mean as a convention goer you should already know how much con crud sucks even without the mortality rate.

Sterica on


  • Lucid_SeraphLucid_Seraph TealDeer MarylandRegistered User regular
    edited January 4
    1) @Sterica , you've got the wrong close tag under "Postponed" (put /b instead of /u)

    2) Regarding MAGFest, for more details on the situation: , please read the whole thing. I am acquainted with a number of parties involved on both sides of the issue, and from what I've personally witnessed, everything in that website is true and accurate. I don't think this thread is the place for discussion, but I'm happy to elaborate on my own perspective over PM.

    3) I wouldn't normally bother to talk about WorldCon, the World Science Fiction Convention, in a video game thread or forum, for... hah, a LOT of long story reasons, namely that WorldCon is run by a bunch of old fogey fandom grognards that make GenCon's leadership look hip and woke. HOWEVER, in an attempt to get with the dang times, the Hugo Awards have a category for Best Videogame now. I am desperately hoping that Cyberpunk 2077 is not nominated, nor does it win.

    This year's WorldCon is Discon III, taking place in Washington, DC (the naming scheme is because the con location moves around every year; this is the 3rd time it's been in DC). It's currently scheduled for August 25 -- 29, so here's hoping it can actually take place.

    Lucid_Seraph on
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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited January 11
    The Internet Fridge Expo Consumer Electronics Show is remote this year.

    CNET Link:

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  • BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    edited January 13
    I'm not sure what they did exactly but it sounds like virtual MAGfest is canceled, and people are swearing the convention off and calling for the board to resign over whatever it is that has gone down.

    Ah, found context. Sounds like the board of directors has a harassment and corruption problem and the employees speaking out were retaliated against.

    BahamutZERO on
  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    Whoa that sounds like way more is going on than just COVID. O.o

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  • Lucid_SeraphLucid_Seraph TealDeer MarylandRegistered User regular
    Henroid wrote: »
    Whoa that sounds like way more is going on than just COVID. O.o

    Yeah. It's been a LONG time coming honestly -- a lot of the abuses of power by the MAGFest board go back at least five years, if not longer. COVID just kind of accelerated the timeline by putting EVERYONE in crisis and making it even more clear that they couldn't continue on the way they were going.

    On that note, there is an update! As of today, the ENTIRE MAGFest board of directors has resigned.

    Trust me when I say that this is a good thing. It's still baby steps and they have a LONG way to go before they've earned back any good will, especially among us locals, but it's a start.

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Keeping my fingers crossed for Gen Con to happen, but that of course carries a whole lot of caveats.

    In local cons, Toronto Comic Con (March) is officially cancelled for the year. Hopefully Toronto Fan Expo (basically comic con, but bigger (the entire Metro Toronto Convention Centre as opposed to half of it) and longer (4 days rather than 3), (something something South Park)) is tentatively still on for August.

    A (comparatively) small event I help at, Flying Frog Productions’ “Dice Fest”, which usually takes place near Seattle in October will hopefully happen. Now, this is an event that doesn’t even clear 1,000 attendees, but I’m also hoping that some of the smaller events are able to safely happen alongside the Titans of the industry. The convention ecosystem has pros and cons for both, for sure.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    No official Pokémon events this year, either,

    With the postponement of the 2021 World Championships, TPC’s put the kibosh on everything except:

    - Pokémon League at Home events (online TCG)
    - Pokémon Players Cup (Pokémon Sword/Shield, online TCG, Pokken Tournament DX)
    - Play! Pokémon Team Challenge

    With the continued suspension of the Play! Pokémon event series, all sanctioned Play! Pokémon events including League Challenge, League Cup, Premier Challenge, and Midseason Showdown will remain suspended until further notice. We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of all our competitors at an expanded 2022 Pokémon World Championships in London. All invitations to the 2020 Pokémon World Championships will be honored for the 2022 World Championships.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    In a much more reasonable position this time around Rooster Teeth Expo (RTX) got out ahead of the hotels this time and announced that the in-person event in Austin will be cancelled and an online event will be held instead:

  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    PAX East, scheduled for June, is now cancelled in favor of an online event. The organizers are "cautiously optimistic" that PAX West and Unplugged can happen in September and December respectively.

    San Diego Comic Con has been rescheduled for Thanksgiving weekend, which has annoyed everybody.

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  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    Gen Con was rescheduled to mid-September and will be some nebulous mix of capped attendance in-person, online, and Pop-Up events at local game stores. Tickets and all of the actual important information are still to follow.

  • MegafrostMegafrost Leader of the Decepticons Registered User regular
    SGDQ 2021 will be an online-only event again:

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  • HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited March 30
    I love how GDQ doing things online is received with open arms while anything else is like "ah fuck it."

    Edit - And I mean that genuinely. Most other events are just big companies doing big dick promo things. GDQ is charity and just moves along as necessary.

    Henroid on
  • BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    it probably helps that streaming is the natural environment of speedrun spectating anyway

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  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    it probably helps that streaming is the natural environment of speedrun spectating anyway

    Also it means we don't have to listen to the audience in background ram a meme into the floor eternally

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    BlizzCon has been cancelled, with another online event early next year.

  • cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited July 7
    PAX West has perhaps surprisingly, but also not really, not been cancelled.

    edit: added proper punctuation

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  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    PAX West has perhaps surprisingly but also not really not been cancelled.

    Is this confirmed anywhere? The Twitter and website makes it seem like they're good to go still

  • StericaSterica Yes Registered User, Moderator mod
    Yeah, going to need a source, as all official channels either do not mention it or act as if it’s happening. The twitter even pinned their tweet about badges on sale.

  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    edited July 7
    I believe what @cooljammer00 was writing was:
    PAX West has (perhaps surprisingly (but also not really)) not been cancelled.[/quote]
    Just in a very confusing way. I didn't add or remove any words, just sections some of them off as I read it.

    YoungFrey on
  • cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    Sorry, yes. Probably could have phrased that better.

    They are selling tickets to PAX West.

    They perhaps should not be, but oh well.


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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Gencon is going ahead and is 2 weeks after PAX West in a state with a much lower vaccination rate (yes, I know, Indianapolis itself is higher, but the Indiana overall is full of people bringing the average down).

    Which isn't to say that PAX will be safe because of it, or that Gencon is acting irresponsibly (it has been speculated that they may not have much of a choice if they want their organization/event to survive, missing one year was already likely quite rough on them), just that whether we feel ready for it or not, these events take a lot of time to set up and organize, and that prep work includes selling tickets and sorting out hotels and whatnot months ahead of time.

    I'm also somewhat skeptical, but hope that 8-10 weeks out from now such a thing can happen without being a complete clusterfuck. Ideally because Americans in particular can get nudged, prodded, or otherwise incentivized to get their shots.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • KetarKetar Come on upstairs we're having a partyRegistered User regular
    It looked like Gencon attendance was going to be the lowest it's been in probably decades at this point at least. I don't have any actual numbers to base that on, but my rolled over pass from last year still hadn't been rolled over to 2022 when housing went live, and when I checked the portal for shits and giggles every single downtown hotel was available hours after housing went live. At the point at which I checked there normally wouldn't be even a single room available downtown, let alone many at every hotel.

  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    Along the same lines, PAX West tickets for all days are still available. Usually at least a couple of days sell out within 24 hours.

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  • urahonkyurahonky Dayton, OHRegistered User regular
    Yeah after being vaccinated I can do a whole lot of things... But going to conventions isn't one of them. I get a nasty bug every time I go to these.

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited July 9
    If I'm recalling correctly, they had been capping attendance at 50% of their previous permitted numbers.

    As of the Latest Gencon Health and Safety Blog, that has been increased to 60%, based on somewhere around 90% of survey respondents stating they were vaccinated (87%) or intended to be by the convention (5%).

    Now, people can say lots on a survey, but apparently one will need to show actual documentation to get a wristband indicating one is vaccinated. Do I think that some random volunteer or security guy/gal will spot fake documentation with unerring accuracy? No, but hopefully it weeds out some of the obvious 'sir, this is a Wendy's menu with I NO NEED MSK written on it in crayon'.

    The last few years they've also taken over Lucas Oil Field Stadium as a satellite venue, which held True Dungeon (not attending this year) and a big series of games tables on the field (which is a shame, it's such a cavernous space).

    For PAX, given how big an issue scalpers have been in the past, I wonder if some of the availability isn't entirely reduced demand, so much as a bunch of scalpers recognizing that they might be buying a product with limited potential to move it even at cost? I believe PAX has taken steps to reduce the impact of scalpers, but I remain wary of assuming it has been entirely successful, and it seems like that could be a part of it. I'm sure demand is down to some degree, but not having a bunch of bots buying up passes might help as well, if the scalpers think they might get stuck holding the bag for passes they can't sell or if the event is cancelled (having piles of money wrapped up in badges to be rolled over next year being less than ideal for people who want to sell at a massive profit).

    Forar on
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  • PMAversPMAvers Registered User regular
    And as expected, SHUX takes the high road and pushes the event back again for another digital event.

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  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited July 27
    PAX West is now requiring proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test to attend.

    If you haven’t heard, cases are on the rise and the US CDC is reportedly about to recommend everyone wear masks again in some cases, so be careful.

    Edit: The recommendation is that you should wear a mask if you live with an immunocompromised person or a child 12 and under.

    cloudeagle on
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