Gaming as a culture is a small but significant part of the world. In Singapore this is no less the case, but steps needs are being taken to help grow the community here. Campus Game Fest (CGF), organised by Singapore’s Cybersports & Online Gaming Association (SCOGA) and others is exactly that. Taking place over 24 to 26 June at ITE College Central in Ang Mo Kio, it is a chance for gamers in Singapore to meet up and take part in a wide range of events, activities and more.
Organiser and chairman of SCOGA Nicholas Khoo explains what the draw of CGF is. “Gamers are often misunderstood and an event like CGF also allowed us the opportunity to highlight the more positive aspects of this passion.” Khoo explains that this year there has been a drive for donated PC parts to be assembled and then donated to charities. This, he explains, is to show the positive side of the often-maligned hobby.
However, CGF is also all about bringing gamers together. “It allows us to engage our stakeholders for e.g. gamers, communities, and students at very meaningful levels,” Khoo explains. As the event wraps up, here are the highlights of the three day event.
For the Sport of It
SCOGA is first and foremost interested in eSports, which has gone on to draw massive crowds around the world. Over the course of CGF, several gaming tournaments were held, ranging from the big titles such as DOTA, LOL, and CS:GO, as well as tournaments in FIFA and card-game Hearthstone.
The big twist here however with other events is the community-led aspect of these tournaments. Khoo explains that the location of CGF, “Allows us as organizers to experiment and look at growing new communities based on our unique process to call for ideas and proposals from gamers and communities everywhere.
“There are new communities popping out of CGF every year based on ideas we receive from gamers.”
The tournaments, teams and even the games played are organised at the community level, rather than decided by the organisers. This makes CGF the grassroots version of a gaming community.
Another unique element of CGF is their ‘Just Play’ section, which took up a third of the event space. The idea here is that those who want to take part bring their own gaming setups and play whatever they want. They slept in sleeping bags as well, trying to recreate the feel of a LAN party from the days before online multiplayer was endemic.
Ranging from gaming laptops to massive towers, participants played games from League of Legends to Solitaire. It was chaotic, random and a lot of fun.
Of course, any convention would be incomplete without booths. Xbox, Playstation and several PC manufacturers such as MSI covered the floor, showing of a particular game. Likewise Minecraft and Call of Duty were spotted, giving a chance to play their games.
Not just video games were on display however. Card collecting games such as Yu Gi Oh, and tabletop games such as Warhammer 40K were also present. Whilst these booths were considerably smaller, they where by no means empty, and provided ample opportunity for even beginners to try out.
Khoo emphasises however that unlike other gaming expos, the emphasis is on community and not the promotion of games. He believe in, “having them decide on the games they would like to play rather than promoting games to gamers.” This is why big name draws from overseas rub shoulders with more local games such as Endgods.
“Down the road, we expect more locally made games will find their way into local gamers’ hearts and into CGF!” Khoo explains when asked about the presence of local game developers at CGF.
A Space for Gamers
CGF is only in its fourth year, but has attracted a great deal of attention as well as big name sponsors and contributors, from Sony to Samsung, Microsoft to MSI. Gamers take it as a chance to meet new people and test their talents in gaming against local teams. There is also the chance to try out new games and experiences. For the most part however, it is a celebration of gaming culture within Singapore.