Nerd Culture

ZapCon 2015: A Field Guide to This Weekend's Event in Mesa

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See also: ZapCon 2014 at Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel in Photos

This year's edition, which has been dubbed "ZapCon 3.0" features a new and bigger location and more pinball and arcade games than ever. According to organizer Wes Cleveland, the event warp-zoned from downtown Phoenix (where it was held during its first two years) over to the Mesa Convention Center for its latest edition to be closer to many of the arcade game and pinball machine collectors who reside in the East Valley.

While the location has changed, ZapCon's M.O. remains the same: providing local joystick Jedi, gamers, and classic arcade fans with a weekend of button-pushing bliss. If you're down to go, we've assembled a rundown of what to expect in the following guide.

Game on.

Time/Place: ZapCon will take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 19, at the Mesa Convention Center, 263 North Center Street. (Contributors and those who pre-register can get in an hour earlier each day.

Price: Entry costs vary depending on your age and how long you'd like to hang at the event. Daily admission for each adult is $25, and a weekend pass is $40. Kids 12 and younger can get in for $15 on either day or $25 for the whole weekend. Children under 3, however, get in for free.

Getting There: Since the Light Rail doesn't reach into downtown Mesa as of yet, driving and carpooling is your best option for getting to ZapCon. The good news is that there are copious amounts of free parking available near the convention center.

If you're coming in by freeway, you'll want to head for Country Club Drive. Those who take the Loop 202 should then head south into Mesa and turn left on Second Street. Conversely, if you're on U.S. 60, then head north and turn right on Second. Either way, you'll hit the convention center eight blocks later. Just don't drive like your playing a real-life version of San Francisco Rush The Rock.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.