Last weekend, I was finally able to return to the Insomnia Gaming Festival, which I last attended in 2019. Given just how much had happened in the interim, I was curious about whether the festival would be how I remembered it, or whether it would have been forced to take a new form.
My friend Danny has also written about the weekend. We bounced a lot of ideas off each other while we were there, so in many cases we’ve come to similar conclusions, but I’d recommend reading his post as its much funnier than mine!
The first thing I noticed was about Insomnia was that the event seemed smaller this year. We arrived at the entrance hall only a few minutes before the 10:30am start time yet were still near the front of the line. Similarly, while we had previously queued in front of a large stage, this time we were presented with a corridor made of barriers and a single screen that played the same 2-minute intro video for the entire weekend. While the usual staples of playable games, tabletop games, merch stands and exhibitors were all present, there were less of them than in 2019. In fact, Friday was much quieter than I expected.
Initially, some of our group were disappointed by the smaller scale and lack of upcoming games or AAA games, given that at previous shows we had been able to play games like Marvel’s Spider-Man and The Division 2 before they were released. I wasn’t particularly annoyed, as the main reason why I go to Insomnia is to spend time with friends who I only physically see at Insomnia, but I definitely hadn’t found the festival as impressive as I had found it in 2018 or 2019. Fortunately, the Pub Quiz later provided some context that assuaged my worries and changed my view of the weekend.Continue reading “Insomnia 69 Gaming Festival”