How to enjoy a gaming tournament as a spectator

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From the November 21, 2013 edition

Gaming conventions can be overwhelming, even for the most experienced gamer. Vice President of OSU’s eSports Initiative and gaming convention referee Amar Karamali has some tips to enjoy the convention without getting pwned like a n00b.

Secure the perimeter

When you walk in, do a lap around the convention and check out the booths before committing to a spot. A lot of booths give away swag, let you test games or products, and have a bunch of cool stuff to check out in general. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the screens and masses of people. Just check it all out and then …

Form alliances

Start talking to people. Hardcore gamers are typically so excited to be in a room with people who share their interests they can’t wait to talk to you. You can meet some really interesting characters.

Come prepared

Bring hand sanitizer! It seems obvious, but if one person gets sick, everyone gets sick. They call it the convention flu. You also want to bring a refillable bottle with you for water, or you’ll get stuck paying convention prices.

Strategize your plan of attack

Check out the schedule before you go and map out what you want to do. There is no way to see everything at the convention, so get the schedule online and roughly plan out your day.

Secure your bounty

Always buy the T-shirt you want the first day. They will run out of your size.