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Anime Gaming Con at Vintage Days provides community for the gaming world

Game+consoles+lined+up+at+Anime+Gaming+Con+as+part+of+a+Vintage+Days+activity.+Each+monitor+had+two+controllers+to+play+with+multiple+people+in+games+like+Mario+Kart+and+Super+Smash+Bros.
Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian
Game consoles lined up at Anime Gaming Con as part of a Vintage Days activity. Each monitor had two controllers to play with multiple people in games like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros.

Anime Gaming Con at Fresno State’s Vintage Days is giving people a chance to embrace their inner nerd and engage in a space that’s welcoming to all communities.

Running from April 19-21, Vintage Days attendees were able to take a break from the heat and enjoy all that Anime Gaming Con had to offer in the Resnick Student Union, and the entry was entirely free.

For those who were looking for activities, $10 wristbands were available for purchase for unlimited access to arcade games and VR experiences. The row of arcade games had a selection of fighting games, rhythm games and Initial D: Arcade Stage for those who wanted to channel Takumi Fujiwara from the Initial D series.

Guests were also able to indulge in their competitive spirit by playing Street Fighter 6 or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the consoles that were set up beside small monitors.

Just like the other aspects of Vintage Days, the convention gave small businesses the chance to get their name out there, network with one another and display all their goodies. Original art, anime merchandise and swords were only a few of the offerings for sale.

Ashley Smith, who sells her original stationery items through her business Le Spirit Designs, was one of many small business owners on display. She sells stickers, keychains and various other items based around her growing roster of original characters.

“[The convention] is amazing, and everyone is super friendly,” Smith said. “It’s cool because it’s an audience I wouldn’t normally see at the conventions, because Vintage Days brings a lot of families and people who wouldn’t normally go to something so niche.”

Voice actresses Courtney Lin and Ashely Biski were also in attendance over the weekend, selling memorabilia and interacting with fans.

Biski is best known for her work as Layla from Genshin Impact, Juliet from Netflix’s “The Nutty Boy” and many more. Being a woman of color, she especially takes pride in the character of Juliet, and sees her as a way to give children of color a character that looks like them.

A large goal of Biski’s work is to improve inclusivity in her industry, and thus appreciates the inclusivity of conventions like the one at Vintage Days.

“Everybody watches anime now, and now everybody plays video games,” Biski said. “You can have a person who looks like the coolest guy, full of swagger, and somebody in a fursuit, and they all just come together in the same room.”

Cosplayers like Alex Luna, who practices her craft under the name Techne, also had booths set up to showcase her work and interact with fans. Attendees were treated to the months of work that goes into each cosplay, and the raw expression that comes with them.

“The reason I like doing [cosplay] so much is because I’ve always had a love of sewing and crafts, but I also love pop culture and anime,” Techne said. “The combination of the two helps take away from all of the anxiety that’s in my life.”

Anime Gaming Con truly had something for everyone, and even those who are unfamiliar with convention settings were able to take advantage of the smaller scale introduction that Vintage Days offered.

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