What Do You Get When You Combine Gamers and Camp?
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What Do You Get When You Combine Gamers and Camp?

Mark Rabo and Jaime Woo share a hearty laugh over the mad ass-whooping they’re going to unleash upon all who dare to oppose them. Photo courtesy of Jaime Woo.

If snacks and unlimited arcade freeplay are relevant to your interests, you might want to read on.
This Saturday (and on Ossington, no less), there will be a one-day gaming event that has set itself apart as a departure from the business-oriented competitive conferences that have taken place in the past couple of months. For just fifteen dollars, you can spend the day hanging out with like-minded gamers and chatting with some cool Toronto-based game developers—oh, and did we mention the unlimited arcade freeplay? I guess we did, but…unlimited arcade freeplay!
Jaime Woo, Gamercamp co-organizer (and former Torontoist contributor), wants Saturday’s micro-conference to bridge the gap between game makers and gamers in the burgeoning Toronto scene. “There has been such an increase in ease of access for both the developer and the gaming public,” he explains. “With the greater computing power, more independent game makers can now give it a go and make polished games ready to market. Then, with more platforms than ever to distribute your game, whether it be Facebook, or the iPhone, or Microsoft Live, the barriers to access have dropped significantly.”
The schedule for this first iteration of Gamercamp begins at 1 p.m. with the requisite snacks and meet-and-greet, followed by what appears to be a pretty sweet lineup of Toronto-based demos and speakers, including Mare Sheppard and Raigan Burns of Metanet Software fame, Michael Todd from Spyeart, and, if that weren’t enough, Nathan Vella of Capybara Games will be rounding out the hat trick of gaming goodness with a keynote address. After a few more demos and a tasty dinner, Gerald Darcy from the Replay Arcade Museum will talk about the importance of history in gaming, and then it’s time for the 1UP party with…wait for it…unlimited arcade freeplay!
As opposed to other conferences’ focus on the business side of gaming, this one-day event will instead provide a casual environment in which gamers can explore the Toronto gaming scene in a way that is almost unheard of—with a focus on the games themselves.
“We’re not too into the business side, but we see a momentum to Toronto’s gaming industry,” says Mark Rabo, Gamercamp co-organizer. “Everyone talks about how Ubisoft and Rockstar are coming to Toronto and, yes, funding and tax credits play a part in it, but it’s also the sheer talent that is here. Those companies wouldn’t come if they didn’t believe a strong talent pool was here to support their businesses.”
“Honestly, it still shocks me that an idea that came to us five months ago, fuelled by our passion, is now coming to fruition with such a cool itinerary,” Jaime enthuses. “I think it would have been a hundred times harder in another city. Toronto is definitely an exciting place to be for gaming right now. We’ve brought this to life at exactly the right time.”
Gamercamp takes place this Saturday, November 21, at the Lower Ossington Theatre. For tickets and more information, visit Gamercamp.ca.