Teenager organised Thetford Gamescon to bring gamers together to celebrate their passion

Thetford Gamescon 2017. From left to right: Scott Granger; Neal Oughton, from Ironheads; Carl Lamber

Thetford Gamescon 2017. From left to right: Scott Granger; Neal Oughton, from Ironheads; Carl Lambert, Joe Cunnell, Thetford Gamescon organiser; stormtroopers from the East Anglian Star Wars Club, and Kevin Gorman. Picture: Shutter Up Photography - Credit: Archant

Gaming enthusiasts from across the region descended on Thetford as the town played host to its first gaming convention.

A stormtrooper enjoying one of the many games on show at theThetford Gamescon 2017. Picture: Shutter

A stormtrooper enjoying one of the many games on show at theThetford Gamescon 2017. Picture: Shutter Up Photography - Credit: Archant

The idea to host the Thetford Gamescon 2017 came from 19-year-old Joe Cunnell who wanted to bring people together to celebrate gaming and 'share their passion'.

The teenager said a steady stream of people attended the event, held at the Carnegie Room, and there was even a visit from some stormtroopers courtesy of the East Anglian Star Wars Club.

Mr Cunnell said: 'There was an [gaming] event in Minnesota in the US last September and I just thought it would be nice to have something close for people to celebrate gaming.

'And then people could meet up and share their passion. People who enjoy football can go to a match or watch it together.

People enjoying a game of Guildball hosted by Battlehammer, delivered by Wyldstorm Games of Great Ya

People enjoying a game of Guildball hosted by Battlehammer, delivered by Wyldstorm Games of Great Yarmouth. Taken at the Thetford Gamescon 2017. Picture: Shutter Up Photography - Credit: Archant


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'A lot of people enjoy gaming and I am quite surprised there are not more events like this.'

The event had a range of different games consoles and games and a driving simulation station.

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There was a demonstration by the live action gaming company Ironheads, who brought along gear for their game, Battle Horns, for people to try out - including a father and son who battled it out.

Wyldstorm Games, based in Great Yarmouth, organised a game of Guildball - a medieval dice game - which was hosted by Battlehammer.

Mr Cunnell created a Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects, to help pay for the event.

He raised £250 and paid the remaining £200 out of his own money.

It is hoped the gamescon can become a regular yearly event or even held every six months.

'I am really pleased with the amount of people who turned up,' said Mr Cunnell.

'The feedback I have had from them has been really good.

'It is just thinking now what to do for next time to build it up more. It has to be more of the same stuff but with new things. I'm looking into including virtual reality and more table top games such as Dungeons & Dragons.

'I think next time it will be easier because I have all of the bits.'

He added: 'It has been tough and I have had my doubts about it but I pulled it off.'

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