Northern Game Expo returns to Sudbury for 6th year

Sudbury’s Northern Game Expo returns for its sixth year, and organizers are hoping that this year the event attracts its largest crowd of gamers, geeks and nerds.

Organizers are hoping annual 'geek' fest is a reboot for the gaming crowd

Tickets to the one-day Northern Game Expo are $15 and available at Comics North Hidden Level Games. (Facebook- Northern Game Expo)

Sudbury's Northern Game Expo returns Sunday, October 17th for its sixth year, and organizers are hoping that this year the event attracts its largest crowd of gamers, geeks and nerds.

Brad Davidson, who along with Michael Shanks co-founded the event in 2015, said the one-day expo will provide visitors "all their geeky needs for the day."

That includes checking out the latest video games, graphic novels, local comic book shops and vendors, and even an element of cosplay.

"That's what we have always wanted to do, is to bring all of these different types of art together," Davidson said. "And I think we've done a pretty good job doing that. The response from people has been great."

Davidson, who also co-hosts a podcast called The Northern Nerdcast, said geek culture is currently undergoing a cultural "explosion," and has come a long way from its outcast beginnings. 

"When I was in high school, being a nerd wasn't cool. It was almost frowned upon in social cliques," he said.

"But as time has gone on, it's become cool to be a nerd because it's almost like video games are seen as currency," he said. "Like a lot of people will trade, they'll sell. And if you have that item that people are looking for, you're like the cool person in high school."

Davidson says he's also looking at this year's event as a "reboot" of sorts. The pandemic quashed plans for a Game Expo in 2020, and the fifth edition of the event didn't have the attendance organizers hoped for.

He's positive this year will be a chance to build momentum for bigger events in the future.

"Sudbury, I find, is a hidden gem for stuff like this," he said. " For me personally, it's more about the nostalgia feel. A lot of people my age are bringing their kids."

When I was in high school, being a nerd wasn't cool.- Brad Davidson

Part of that experience, he said, is to compare new video games and gaming platforms to their less defined, clunkier ancestors.  

"You can say [to kids] these are the graphics we had in the 90s," he said. "Like, you guys complain about graphics, now look at look at Super Mario."

"So this is about the nostalgia factor, I think where a lot of people want to be able to, even for a day, recapture their youth." 


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