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Leveling Up at Pittsburgh Gaming Expo

by Jonathan Ross

Photo via Pittsburgh Gaming Expo's website.

Think the City of Steel has no time to sit down and play? Think again. Pittsburgh Gaming Expo (PGX), kicked off earlier this month after a year-long hiatus.

Held annually at the Monroeville Convention Center, PGX is a perfect place to meet members of the Pittsburgh area’s gaming community. Sponsored and supported by local gaming vendors, collectors, and hobbyists alike, PGX celebrates the culture and community of gamers everywhere.

The most popular gaming vendors include tabletop gaming store Game Masters and nostalgic video games seller Games by Teeohh, both of which are based right here in Pittsburgh. Indie toy store Retrograde Collectables offers repair services for vintage video game consoles, and creative workshop Creation Labs offers 3D printing and laser cutting services for those wanting to turn their ideas into a reality.

Aside from the vendors, PGX features a variety of gaming attractions.

The tabletop room features thirteen play tables and a publicly-accessible cabinet of board games, ranging from simple classics such as chess and Clue to popular deck-builders such as Magic: The Gathering. The iconic fantasy roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons dominates the tables, featuring scheduled play sessions with experienced Dungeon Masters for both novice and veteran players alike.

Game Masters offered a supply of pawns, dice, and board games for the PGX tabletop room. Located in Pittsburgh’s North Hills, the store regularly holds in-house board game nights on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 PM for a fee of $5 per person. Game Masters sponsors PGX annually.

For those interested in tabletop gaming’s electronic cousins, the adjoining arcade room features more than several dozen classic and competitive arcade games from the 1980s onward, all of which are free-to-play for convention guests. The arcade covers everything from 1987’s “Mega Man” and 1997’s “Street Fighter III: Third Strike” to 2005’s “God of War” and 2019’s “Mortal Kombat 11.” The game of pinball is also a popular choice, with more than a dozen classic machines at the ready for guests, including the vastly popular “Medieval Madness.”

PGX’s live entertainment features performances by composer Danimal Cannon, hip-hop/rock group Nxrmal Creatures, and metal bands Cyber Strike, Dethlehem, and Viking Guitar. Dethlehem, in particular, is right at home at events like PGX; the group started as a game of Dungeons & Dragons before evolving into a metal band. You can listen to Dethlehem’s music here.

Pittsburgh Gaming Expo will return to Monroeville Convention Center in 2022. You can visit the event’s official website for more information.

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