What do you call four days packed with unbelievable cosplay, unbridled passion, unapologetic excitement and the unmistakable beauty of video game culture?
Being held at the Istanbul Congress Center for the third time this year, Gaming Istanbul started its journey in 2016 with an aim to be Turkey’s answer to Gamescom. Now in its third year, the fledgling expo seems much closer to that goal than even the most optimistic projections predicted back in that day. As Turkey is one of our key markets and video gaming is one of our biggest passions, we as Digital Minds had to go and make a visit.
What we expected was to meet some of our partners, showcase our creators to their fans and get in touch with our gamer side. We wanted the Digital Minds family-at-large to share that space with us as well, and with that in mind we organized a ticket giveaway with our longtime partner LeafLookRS. Since Leaf’s fans are called poteytolar, a Turkish phonetic spelling of the English word potato; it was only fitting for him to ask his fans to send him the funniest potato pictures they can find on the internet. Eight funniest pictures, as Leaf stated, would win a free tickets.
The giveaway, posted on Leaf’s Facebook page, attracted a fair amount of attention to both our social media page and Leaf’s. It was hard to pick the winners among all the brilliantly humorous pictures -the potato Gandhi remains an office favourite- but in the end, there had to be winners so 8 lucky LeafLookRS fans got their tickets via e-mail.
The 4-day event started on Thursday, with a decidedly calm showfloor. That was deceiving. It soon became clear that it was just the calm before storm; and that storm, with all its lights and sounds was simply put: wonderful. From cosplayers showcasing the fruits of their -sometimes months long- labor to fans getting to meet some of their favorite gamecasters: All the colors of Turkey’s wide gaming rainbow was present at the expo. Along with the fans, we also enjoyed talking to the near-mythological figures of the Turkish Twitch scene like Jahrein and Pintipanda. Just like the fans, we were also delighted to test out games like Far Cry 5 and The Crew 2 before their release dates. The whole expo also had a very satisfying indie wing, showing how strong the video game industry really is and how stronger it will become in the country.
By the third day, the monumental Istanbul Congress Center couldn’t hold all the gamers that flocked to the expo to share their favourite hobby. It was loud, exciting, beautiful and most importantly inspiring. At Digital Minds we strongly hold the belief that creativity is the most important facet of life, and we’re glad that we got to see so much of it in our four days at Gaming Istanbul.
Can’t wait for next year!