'Game on' for paused Lil-Con Convention

Nov. 10—The Lil-Con Convention is coming to Lockport for the first time. After a hiatus during the Covid pandemic, the Niagara County-based "gaming festival" is scheduled for Nov. 18-19 at Best Western Plus, 515 Transit St.

"We have everything!" Lil-Con organizer Mark Miller said. "Board gaming. Video gaming. Cosplay. We have even educational stuff. Animals will be there. We have panels. We're bringing the Brown Box, the very first video game console ever made."

All tournament play is free with admission to the convention and prizes will be awarded, Miller said.

Lil-Con debuted in 2014, at the Sikora Post American Legion hall in North Tonawanda, and was carried out in Niagara Falls for several years. On its return, Miller said he wanted to bring Lil-Con to Lockport, which has never hosted a "large" gaming convention.

"We're the first ones to do this," he said. "We start at noon (Nov. 18) and it goes for a full 32 hours. We don't sleep, but we can sleep because it's at the hotel."

Aaron Randolph will be one of the vendors at Lil-Con, hawking his first book, Thane, and hosting an on-site game show as he does on his podcast, BFYTW. The game show at Lil-Con will be "toned down" for a younger audience, he said.

Randolph has attended several Lil-Con conventions and says of the experience, "I just love the endless options of things to do and see."

"There's going to be shows for two days straight about all sorts of things," Randolph said. "There's going to be these great big games. Somebody's bringing Blood on the Clocktower, one of my favorite board games of all time. It's going to be super fun."

Miller said more than a dozen up and coming game designers will be in attendance.

"That's what I really like, too, which is new games. You can't play any of these games anywhere else," he said.

Miller has designed games himself, alongside Casual Dragon gaming shop owner Jason Gough, who is assisting with Lil-Con in Lockport.

"We have games that we have made that are going to be there and those that are up and coming, which we want to get checked out and get feedback for and bring those to market," Miller said.

More information can be found at lilconconvention.com.