From the Nintendo DS to the Xbox, there are a myriad of video games for each operating system.
But before people connected over high scores and new levels, they gathered around the table to play board games or use their imagination in role play.
Getting away from digital games and returning to more traditional ones, the Three Rivers Gaming Convention (3CON) brings an entire day of game play to the Grand Wayne Convention Center, 120 W. Jefferson Blvd.
From 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, visitors can come and enjoy board games, miniatures, role playing and trading card games. The day will also include a swap meet where any ticket holder may bring his or her used games to sell, buy and trade.
Director and executive producer of 3CON, Rob Stone, said they are offering scheduled events throughout the day, as well as a game library for guests to play in the open board gaming area. Games can be checked out from the library with proof of a purchased ticket.
Registration and a listing of the scheduled events are available on the 3CON website, www.3congames.com. There are several events under each category and are accompanied by a bar showing the game's space availability.
“Artemis Spaceship: Bridge Simulator” is the only digital game at 3CON and is new this year. A combination of video game and role playing, guests are able to take on the various positions on the spaceship, while simultaneously completing missions generated by the computer software. This game allows for visitors to interact with each other on a personal and digital level.
Also this year, is the chance for one person to win two free passes to GenCon, the original and longest-running gaming convention in North America. This event will be held Aug. 16-19 in Indianapolis. In addition, the first 100 people to purchase tickets will receive dice from both 3CON and a dice with the Riley Hospital for Children logo on it.
3CON has partnered with Riley Hospital in Indianapolis for this event, and proceeds from the day will be donated to the hospital, Stone said. Red Riley buckets will also be available for people who want to make a donation beyond the price of their tickets.
People still can purchase tickets even if they don't attend the convention, he said. He would like to be able to raise as much money as possible, and he also would like to partner with Riley again in the future.
This is the second year for the Three Rivers Gaming Convention. Stone said last year's convention was held at the Fort Wayne Masonic Temple, 216 E. Washington and attracted around 200 visitors. He hopes to see more attend this year's event.
In addition to putting together and hosting 3CON, Stone also owns his own game store. Started as a family business, GameQuest has been in business for three years. The store has over 200 games in its library, and customers can play and test games out. If they choose to purchase a game, then they can buy a new game.
Stone said they also offer a “Game Lab” where gamers can test out prototypes and play through the games, receiving feedback.
Stone, who has been in the gaming industry for 15 years as a game designer, distributor and retailer, emphasizes the many qualities of board games. From social benefits to educational benefits, he said games can create a learning experience without realizing it.
Playing games also creates memories, he said. Stone still remembers his first game, “Dungeons and Dragons,” which he played at 11 years old.
“That's the great thing about games, they immerse you in it,” Stone said.