Inaugural C3 GameCon: Come and Play in Corvallis | Local

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The City of Corvallis hosts its first-ever gaming convention. the C3 GameCon is scheduled for February 18th and 19th at the Corvallis Community Center. With any luck, organizers say, it will be the first of many.

A dozen gamemasters will host around 10 games including Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, Age of Fantasy, Monster Hearts and some board games. A new locally made game will also be unveiled, and a middle school math class will unveil a dice game developed by students.

“The goal is to create cross-generational connections, and games are a great way to do that,” said Teri O’Malley, who is moving from recreation coordinator to marketing for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. She said role-playing and other games are seeing a resurgence amid the pandemic that has driven people indoors and online.

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“It’s easy to play Dungeons & Dragons in a virtual environment — it’s easy to reach out and connect with people,” she said. “Experiencing a fantasy that you are in control of is extremely exciting and interesting for people of all ages right now because the world is so uncertain.”

O’Malley emphasized the value of an intergenerational gathering. She said studies show that health and well-being benefit from interactions between people of different ages. Casual, friendly social sharing can open the door to mentoring, friendship, and shared life experiences. O’Malley added that playing games is good for mental health.

“The first session I brought D&D to, two of my players were a father who had played D&D in the ’80s and his 16-year-old son who is now starting it,” said Rue Dickey, marketing coordinator and dungeon master.

Not a gamer? How about cosplay? A costume competition in four categories will take place at GameCon on February 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Dress up as your favorite character or create your own; just keep it tasteful. There will be a photo booth to capture your fantasy look. Persons aged 14 and over are entitled to a prize.

GameCon will also feature a miniature figure painting panel moderated by Patrick Rollens, who has decades of experience. The Paint and Take event is free and takes place on February 18 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Rolles provides guides and instructions for a potentially intimidating aspect of the game – painting minis.






Painting miniature figures is a popular aspect of the gaming world.


Photo courtesy of Patrick Rollens


“The main goal is simply to get people to sit down and try something new in an inclusive, accessible environment,” said Rollens. “There’s an unhealthy focus on perfection and this feeling that if you can’t achieve something you’ve seen on Instagram, you have no business having a brush. Poppy, I say!«

Rollens takes all that off the table and sticks to the basics: a brush and a character with a dose of creativity. He said someone could stop by for 10 minutes or two hours, whatever suits them, and if they leave, they could take their newly painted creation home and display it with pride.

“This has been a creatively rewarding hobby for me over the years and I’m really excited for the opportunity to give back by hosting this panel at C3,” he said.

Rolles also teaches a miniature figure painting class at the Majestic Theater a few times a year as part of his continuing education program. The next one is scheduled for Wednesday February 9th.

Pegasus Games, Kraken Cards and Matt’s Cavalcade of Comics are among the many vendors expected at the event. Kraken will host panels for Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, and Flesh and Blood games.

The Corvallis Community Center, formerly a senior center, hosts a range of events throughout the year, primarily for those aged 14 and over, although some events are suitable for all ages. There are group exercise classes, weekly D&D games, seasonal activities, and unusual programs. The building was remodeled in 2020, but COVID-19 slowed reopening.

Tickets for the C3 GameCon are available online and at the box office. Advance tickets are $10 for one day, $15 for both days. Admission prices are $15 for one day, $25 for both days. COVID-19 precautions are enforced.

Cody Mann covers Benton County and the cities of Corvallis and Philomath. He can be contacted at 541-812-6113 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @News_Mann_.

“The goal is to create cross-generational connections, and games are a great way to do that.” ~Teri O’Malley, Corvallis Community Center

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