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Opinion

Artistic License: BlizzCon Is Coming

It’s the one gaming convention you don’t have to be there to enjoy


Fans of Blizzard and its games are excited, as tickets for the 2010 BlizzCon go on sale this week.

This year’s event is once again in Anaheim, Calif., and will take place Oct. 22-23. Anyone wishing to purchase the $150 tickets will have two chances: June 2 at 10 p.m. ET and June 5 at 1 p.m. ET. You’ll have to act fast, as they will only be available through the website, and only in limited quantities.

Last year, tickets sold out in record time, so if you want to buy tickets, you’ll need to act fast when the sales start.

BlizzCon is for anyone who enjoys the Warcraft, StarCraft or Diablo franchises. From game panels to tournaments to previews of upcoming new releases and expansions, this convention is jam packed with great info on all three gaming worlds. For those who get to attend in person, it can be a great way to meet others who share a love for these games, and even meet online friends in real life. Hosted again by Jay Mohr, this year’s convention should be another two fun-filled days.

Unlike most conventions, this one can be attended virtually, in one of two ways. If you are a DirecTV subscriber, you can get it as a pay-per-view event, for $40 (for both days). Also available is a multi-channel Internet stream, also for $40 (however, DirecTV customers purchasing the PPV can get the Internet stream for free). While those purchasing the event will not get the swag bag of Blizzard goodies, they will get the special in-game item (which has not been announced yet).

While I would love to attend in person, I have to admit to liking the fact that I can attend from my living room. No worries with standing in line, trying to get good seats, and the like. Having gotten the televised version the last two years, I have enjoyed the little special behind the scenes features, and the interviews with important folks like game designers and other Blizzard employees. If you can’t watch it live, or want to watch parts again, you can record the event.

Another advantage to the Internet stream is that with multiple channels, you can choose the panels and events you wish to watch. This is nice, if you are only interested in certain aspects of the event. With the DirecTV feed, you are limited to the panel they choose to air at that time. If I remember correctly, they also had the panels available for online viewing later for those who had purchased the event, in case you were not able to watch it live or wanted to watch two panels at the same time.

Attending in person does have advantages. Along with the swag bag of goodies, live attendees also get the chance to purchase limited edition merchandise from various licensed vendors. Some of these items will only be available at BlizzCon, while others may be offered to the general public later. Also, there is no substitute for being able to have a guild gathering or meet others with whom you play the game.

For those trying to get tickets on Wednesday or Saturday, I wish you luck. For everyone else, we can still look forward to what should be a great BlizzCon 2010, and if the previous two years are any indication, the event is well worth the $40 for a virtual ticket.

You can go to the official website for more information on the event.

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