Arizona Game Fair: 5 questions with new con director Andrew Long

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Andrew Long
Andrew Long

Arizona Game Fair is the newest player in the Valley con circuit. A two-day gala of open tabletop gaming, this new event takes place Jan. 21-22 in the Rendezvous Center at the Mesa Convention Center. With over 6,000 square feet of open tabletop gaming, it offers vendors, game industry guests and a huge library of board and card games.

Nerdvana is a proud media sponsor of Arizona Game Fair, and asked creator/director Andrew Long to tell us about the event.

What can people expect to see at Arizona Game Fair?

Andrew Long: The event will seem familiar to game convention goers. We tried to borrow the best from other conventions. We will have a large library and lots of open tables like BGG Con. We will also have a smaller RPG room with local GMs running a varity of games. We will have a concession stand selling food.

We’re bringing in several special guests including local game designers like Seth Jaffee (Eminent Domain), David Short (Ground Floor, Automobiles), Michael Eskue (Council of Verona) and others. We are also bringing a featured guest. This year it is Amanda and Edward from the Heavy Cardboard Podcast.

What makes AGF different?

Long: January is the biggest difference. We really wanted to try something different with the gaming schedule. Most events are in the worst time of the year for Arizona. Nobody wants to come here in August. We wanted to create something that would be able to attract the industry to Arizona. At least, that’s our hope. We’d also like to differentiate ourselves by bringing in more featured and special guests. We were able to bring in one this year. Our hope is to grow that.

Why now?

Long: I’ve been told it’s the Golden Age of Boardgames… (laughs). Actually, it just feels like a good time. I keep seeing more and more tabletop gaming going on in the Valley. And it was a good time for me to support something like this. So, the stars have just aligned.

Is there room for another gaming event in the Valley?

Long: We think so. RinCon is booming. MaricopaCon continues to get funded. Phoenix Comicon always has a great crowd. I think we’ve try to slot into an part of the calendar that will allow us to grow and still support all the other great game events.

What’s your favorite game?

Long: My favorite game is usually the one I’ve been playing the most at the time. Right now that game would be Terraforming Mars. I’ve actually played the game with some space scientist from ASU. That was good fun. Previous favorite games have been Mombasa, Kraftwagen and Cacao.

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