Lush rainforest, sandy beaches, warm weather, and gaming? Let me grab my sunscreen because I am 100% in!
Mega XP (TBD; Summer 2023)
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
If you’re looking for conventions in Mexico, the first name you’re likely to discover is Mega XP. Despite being only five years old, this convention still boasts a very respectable schedule of events.
Highlights from last year’s festival included an interview with Eric Lang (Marvel United, Cthulhu: Death May Die) and publisher Devir. Of course, what tabletop game convention would be complete without a cosplay contests and gaming? Well fear not, because Mega XP delivers on all of these with last year’s show including a cosplay contest, multiple gaming tournaments, and all the open-play games your heart could desire. No details about this year’s show have been released yet, though organizers have said to expect more information in the Spring.
Roll a Game Expo (TBD; Winter 2023)
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
Mega XP might be gunning for the title of “Mexico’s Best Convention”, but they’re pushing against a headwind thanks to the Roll a Game Expo. This event regularly hosts 5,000 attendees for two very awesome days of gaming.
Considering that the latest convention date was just this past December, nothing concrete has been rolled out for the 2023 event. However, if the 2022 event schedule is anything to go off of, it should be a great show this year. There were of course the requisite tournaments, with Naruto and Dodos Riding Dinos as two of the more interesting examples. There were also a number of learn-to-play events, including Lucha Arena, Magic: The Gathering, and Warhammer. Then there is also the awarding of the coveted Quetzalera award for best board game. Who will be this year’s winner? Attend this year’s convention and be one of the first to find out!
Comic Con Costa Rica (May 5 – May 7)
Location: Barreal, Costa Rica
Price: $27 – $35
Already a popular tourist destination, now there’s another reason to visit Costa Rica: Comic Con Costa Rica! Opening day starts off big with the Ant-Man-inspired “Journey to the Quantum Universe” event followed by a science and magic show. Afterwards, you’ll have three days to check out all things comics, including celebrity artists such as Mostafa Moussa (TMNT) and Arthur Suydam (Marvel Zombies).
While not a dedicated tabletop convention, this show still has a hefty dose of board game DNA. There are miniature and board game play events all day Saturday and Sunday, and a Heroclix tournament on Sunday. Feeling like you need some fresh air? Then head outside for some paintball action, hop on a broom in the Quidditch arena, or buckle up for some life-size Mario Kart action.
Diversão Offline (June 10 – June 11)
Location: Sao Paulo, Brasil
- Full Convention: $22
Brazil is famous for its parties, and its convention scene is no joke either. Take Diversão Offline, for example. The largest game fair in Latin America, Doff Con has hosted such vaunted guests as Nichelle Nichols as well as thousands of attendees.
While the official schedule hasn’t been posted yet for the 2023 event, expect plenty of opportunities to hear from industry professionals, miniature painting events, and games, games, games. Even though the website is still light on details, already that exhibitor list is filling up. Make sure to check them out to pick up discounted and newly-published games. Lastly, there’re the Golden Goblin awards for best RPGs, so start placing your bets.
Alèm do Muro (Various Dates)
Location: Jundiaí, Brasil
Ticket Price: $2, $5, or $10
Alèm do Muro is not a standard convention. Instead, it’s more of a gaming outreach organization designed to expose potential new players to the tabletop world. However, the organization does put on events to this end, though often much smaller in scope than other conventions on the list. They are quite numerous, though, and the website is worth watching to find out when and where the next event will pop up. Especially because events feature a contest known as the Battle of the Clans in which each guest is assigned a clan: Dragons, Mermaids, Griffons, or Fauns. Think the Hogwart’s Houses from Harry Potter. The more games players participate in, the more points they earn for their clan. In other words, you’re playing a game…while you’re playing a game.
Brasil Game Show (October 6 – October 12)
Location: Sao Paulo, Brasil
Ticket Price: TBD
Is the Brasil Game Show a tabletop game convention? Is it a massive video game convention with over 400 exhibitors, 3,000 gaming influencers, and eSport championships? Absolutely. Considering how many of you are also video game fans, I figured you would forgive me for slipping it onto this list.
Also, for all you designers out there, you might want to check out the BGS Jam. Ten teams of three are selected each year and given 72 hours to design and complete their own game. Sure there are cash prizes, but can you put a price on those kinds of bragging rights?
National Meeting of Tabletop Games (TBD; likely September)
Location: Rosario, Argentina
Ticket Price: TBD
I feel like Argentina was in the news recently and it had something to do with a game. I think there was a ball involved? Weird. I’m sure it’ll come to me.
But speaking of games, if you’re ever in this southern-most of South American countries, be sure to check out the National Meeting of Tabletop Games. Compared to the other events on this list, this one seems much more relaxed and informal. But don’t think that means there won’t be much to do. Every aspect of tabletop culture is covered here, including lectures by industry professionals and plenty of open-play and tournament opportunities.
by Zane Messina