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The MCM London Expo 2010

On a day to day basis, being an out and proud geek can be an incredibly solitary experience. In an ideal world, water cooler banter would involve your take on the ending to Y: The Last Man, detailing how a Hulk/Flash encounter would go down, and the inevitable daily debate into which gaming console is worthy of your hard earned cash. However, for whatever reason, life doesn’t seem work that way. Either smile falsely at endless updates to life in Neighbours-land, or expect a blank face for bringing up something undoubtedly cool. Be honest, how often do you find yourself surrounded by mere white collar mortals who just don’t get it?

Luckily, help is at hand. Years ago, realising that underground enthusiasts must number in their millions, the MCM Expo Group stepped up to provide an outlet. This weekend, London played host to its 17th bi-annual MCM Expo event. Centring around all things fantasy and sci-fi, the event has a distinctly Japanese flavour, encompassing anime, manga and a little known Yi-Gi-Oh! card game into the proceedings. Then there’s cosplay - next to these fans, your fan status is reduced to nothing.

MCM London Expo Logo

Of course, games also held a pretty significant share of the floor. With developers such as Nintendo in attendance, the chance to break a gaming world record, and a promise from Activision of a playable demo of their hotly anticipated Transfomers: War for Cybetron, ICGamers set off one dreary looking morning to check out what the ExCel centre had to offer.

At this point, it’s probably fair to admit a failure on the part of the team here at ICGamers. We tried to head straight to the gaming booths, honest we really did. Problem is, it’s just not possible. For an event in possession of a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as video game characters, we unsurprisingly found ourselves on the receiving end of a Shoryuken, a Thundaga, and a far too thorough tea-bagging before we’d even found the entrance. Truly inspirational; some 40000 members of the public are estimated to have attended the event this weekend, and it was difficult to find someone who hadn’t attempted to honour their favourite in someway.

Big Sister at the London Expo - It only took a sleepless month to create.

Once on the show floor, the Gaming Village was our first port of call. We were met with the welcome sight of booths, tournaments and shiny new games to try out - and try them out we did.

With some 20+ games on display at the London Expo, many were games already released. Take Blur and Monster Hunter Tri for example, awesomely fun games to try out, but nothing particularly new on show if you’ve already played them. However nestled in amongst these was some of 2010’s most anticipated titles, games such as Quantum Theory & Sin and Punishment: Successor Of The Skies, and were well worth the wait to try out.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Transformers: War for Cybertron were easily the most prolific future titles on display, let’s be honest their appeal hardly needs explaining. Although the game looks likely to ultimately fall to the Arkham Asylum effect, every gamer we spoke to left the Activision booth feverishly awaiting the roll-out (pun intended) of War for Cybertron on June 22nd. Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the other hand felt like returning home on a cold winter’s day to a warm bowl of soup and a hug – it really is that satisfying. Rest assured, an in-depth hands on is coming soon.

Cosplayer finally get his hands on Transformers

On a quick side note, with several thousand people having spent hours getting to the event itself, the expo staff must truly be commended for maintaining perfect order to ensure every rabid gaming fan had their turn – hats off to you.

Not content with holding a single world record, the MCM Expo team attempted to double their collection this past weekend by hosting the Largest Handheld Game Console Party, and as 11am rolled around on the first day, fans took to the main stage area to hopefully play their part in history. One look at the endless crowd clutching at their Nintendo DS and you’d have bet your life savings on the result, but that didn’t stop the crowds earthquake inducing approval following the adjudicator’s announcement.

Damian Field, Guinness World Records’ Official Adjudicator, commented: “It is a tremendous achievement for the MCM Expo to reach a number of 586, smashing the existing world record of 381. It’s rare for a UK mass participation to reach over 500.”

The results are announced, commence cheer

At this rate, you have to wonder what they’ll achieve next time eh?

After checking out the plethora of remaining memorabilia stalls, booing the heel in a live FWA wrestling match, and wisely being dragged away from the replica weapon stand, ICGamers headed off home content that all was right with the world – that is, except for a distinct lack of a Gunblade for the office wall.

There is something truly magical about these events. No matter how miserable and tired you feel getting up at ridiculous-o’clock to set off, it’s impossible to hide your ear-to-ear-grin and deep sense of pride as Kora and Gitaroo Man chat away together on the underground; they may be call centre technicians by day, but here they are freedom fighters - fighting for the right to seriously geek out once in a while. For future reference ICGamers, a Batman t-shirt will not suffice.

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4 comments on 'The MCM London Expo 2010'

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Mmm, that Big Sister costume looks really cool!

I’d have gone as Captain Price

Diogo went as Phoenix Wright from the Ace Attorney games :).

If I had to choose a videogame character, I would pick Dante

Comment by charlie on 2010-06-01 11:37:40 | Reply

Godzilla, or Cpt MacMillan

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