Jay McKeown is the director of BroCon. A yearly three day cornucopia of board gaming, cosplay, console gaming and all things gaming gaming (yes I said it twice). He’s a Regular at thur night games, is despicably young and has a super power of inhaling rules and being right about them far too often
I caught up with Jay (wasn’t hard) and asked him what makes him happy about gaming and gaming cons
Jay. When did you first start gaming ?
I got into gaming big when the Lord of the Rings movies came out. I started buying the DeAgostini Battles in Earth magazine and that in turn brought me to our LGS for the first time. As I got older Warhammer took over from there, and after several years of that the cheaper options of board games, X-Wing and console gaming took over. Gaming evolution at its finest…sort of.
How did you become involved in Brocon and why do you do it?
In the con’s debut year they wanted to run Warhammer but had nobody knowledgeable in the subject. So I did my thing and invited myself onto the committee and it sort of stuck, and then grew to the point where I am now running the whole show. Running cons it the best and worst thing you can ever do in my opinion, and that’s why I am still here…that and nobody else wants to do it, ha.
What’s your favourite bit ?
Of gaming? Winning…no, really though, it’s that intrigue of seeing where any given game might go. I’m a sucker for the mechanics. Of running a con? The moment it begins and the moment it ends; they each have their charm.
Cosplay is quite a specialist area. What attracted you to it ?
Honestly, it was already there when I showed up. But it is one of the largest parts of the con and shows perfectly just what a con is all about; having a laugh with your friends, everyone else’s opinion be damned. It demonstrates perfectly the sort of comfort zone that nerd events of all kinds have brought about.
What is it that people love about gaming ?
I reckon the escapism of it all. It’s great not to have to worry about real life for a few hours and be at ease.
You attend a lot of conventions What makes a good games convention?
I am going to echo what many of con regulars have figured out as of late, and that’s having plenty to do. The shininess of the whole spectacle will tide you over for maybe an hour or two, but when you are paying €15-30 for a weekend depending on the con, you want to be entertained from start to finish. And that includes trying to appeal to as many different types of people as possible, not just niche groups.
If your house was burning down what would you save?
Blasphemy inbound, but it would have to be the Playstation. It is the most expensive thing to replace.
If you had a grand only to spend on gamying what wouldn’t you buy ?
I can’t really answer that question for marketing reasons; I may need some sponsorship for the con down the line somewhere. I can tell you what I would buy though; War of the Ring and Forbidden Stars. Best games of the year for me.
What’s going to be the next big thing in gaming?
Honestly, not a clue, and the whole thing about gaming is the here and now is good enough until that comes.