Gamers from across the nation are expected to call Jamestown their home this weekend for GalactiCon 21, and event organizer Tom Filsinger is inviting locals who are interested to stop by and see what all the commotion is about.
The founder of Jamestown-based Filsinger Games, Filsinger has been putting on the GalactiCon event each year since 1990 for fans of Champions of the Galaxy and Legends of Wrestling, which are card games produced and distributed by his company. During the three-day event which kicks off Friday night at the Cherry Lounge and continues through the weekend in the Student Union at Jamestown Community College, the newest editions of the Champions of the Galaxy and Legends of Wrestling card series will be released, among many other activities.
''This year, we are going to be updating our games - we're going to be putting the Champions of the Galaxy game in full color, so our playing cards are going to be a lot more dramatic,'' Filsinger said.
Fans of the role-playing game Champions of the Galaxy will have a lot to talk about this weekend as they meet on the campus of Jamestown Community College for GalatiCon21. Events will include the release of the GWF Legends 2125 edition of the game, where characters including Paganax, above, will make their debut.
Champions of the Galaxy features fictional characters and is set in a futuristic world, while Legends of Wrestling is a licensed game that features real characters from professional wrestling's past - including George ''The Animal'' Steele, Terry Gordy, Hillbilly Jim and Andre The Giant.
Filsinger has recently started a new company called Dark Menace Productions, a creative-concepts company through which he is going to be partnering with other companies to grow his ideas. His hopes are to grow Champions of the Galaxy and its characters into an even larger franchise that includes action figures, video games and potentially even movies, he said.
Confirmed upcoming releases will include a Champions of the Galaxy zombies and vampires story called "Flesh and Blood" written by Kris Osk, a staff writer for Filsinger Games. Champions of the Galaxy will also soon be released as an eBook and a downloadable game, Filsinger said, with the first six-character disc being made available at this weekend's GalactiCon event.
''It'll be an evolving, serial-type story,'' Filsinger said. ''This is the way we always do it - we have so many July releases, and we're going to start it right here in Jamestown at the convention.''
Confirmed attendees for the convention who will have their chances to be the first to get their hands on these new releases will be from all over the country, Filsinger said. He is expecting about 200 visitors from as far away as California, Florida, North Carolina and many other states in between, as well as from Canada.
''We see new faces all the time, but we have a core - a lot of these people have been coming every year and they've developed friendships and community based on this,'' Filsinger said. ''But in addition to that, we're always getting some newcomers who are buying the games for the first time and want to be part of a game community.''
While those who are traveling in for the full convention are paying a $20 fee, which includes a dinner on Saturday night, Filsinger said he is opening the doors for locals who just want to wander through and see what Champions of the Galaxy and Legends of Wrestling is all about.
''We invite people from the community who are curious or interested to come - I let them in free of charge to come in and see it,'' he said. ''They don't know the stuff yet, so I don't like to charge them.''
GalactiCon 21 will begin with the release party at the Cherry Lounge, 326 Cherry St., from 7 to 10 Friday evening. It will continue Saturday from noon to 8 at the JCC Student Union, and it will conclude Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.filsingergames.com.