Fragaplooza…Huh?

Pipestone Flyer

Lit computers glow like fireflies in the darkened indoor soccer field at the LRC as over 270 gamers play against each other at the 15th Annual Fragapalooza event.

 

More like Fragapalooza…Wow! This is an incredible event that was held at the Leduc Recreation Centre over August 9-12. It was the 15th anniversary of Canada's premier gaming event, and over 270 participants flooded through the doors of the LRC to meet, play, and vanquish one another on a virtual playing field.

Gaming aficionados came from as far away as Smiley, SK, Vancouver, BC, and even Spokane Valley, Washington, hauling their specialized computer systems with them. Some people even plan their vacation time around attending Fragapalooza, and once they arrive, wild horses couldn't drag them away! This was in evidence from the air mattresses and piles of blankets that were heaped in the corners of the indoor soccer field where, for this weekend, gaming held sway. Some players didn't even make it to the corners and simply curled up in a blanket underneath their computer station when they needed a refreshing cat nap.

Gamers can play any game they prefer at Fragapalooza but most choose between just a few current, extremely popular games so they can challenge other players at the event, and also enter the tournaments being run there.

As one of the volunteers explained, Fragapalooza is a great place to meet other gamers with the same interests. In what is typically a solitary hobby, "Fragapalooza makes you feel not so alone," she stated.

Along with games running from morning until night, there are also side events that change and take place every day, such as a paper airplane contest, a dodgeball tourney, and wall sit competition, where people line up against a wall, place their back against it, slide down into a sitting position, and the last person able to maintain that position is the winner. A lot of these side events are organized by the participants themselves. In prior years there have been Guitar Hero wars, a head shave event, and wall hanging contests, where gamers would jump up and hang by their hands from a partial wall in the venue until all but one let go and dropped to the floor.  

The official gaming tournaments took place on Sunday afternoon with three different games being played and prizes being offered.

Spectators were welcome to walk through, watch gamers play and view the different tournaments taking place at any time. Players were also cruising around the venue constantly, meeting other gamers, and beginning friendships that will continue online for a long time to come.