Jack Cogger
13th June 2023

This is a blog on last year's Gaming Festival, exploring what was on offer and what to look forward to this year.

It is nearly that time of year when gamers from across Medway and beyond gather at The Historic Dockyard in Chatham to celebrate their favourite game, from video games to tabletop games there is plenty to see and do at this gaming extravaganza.

I was lucky enough to attend the Medway Gaming Festival last year, which didn’t disappoint. I’ve always considered myself a gamer from an early age, starting out with my brother's PS1 and having nearly every console imaginable since, so when the Medway Gaming Festival comes around each July I can't help but get excited about what's in store. 

This feature piece is a recollection of what the Gaming Festival had last year and hopefully will build some anticipation for this year's celebrations, considering there is less than a month to go it really is right around the corner!

Arriving on that hot July day last year was quite the spectacle, walking into the main arena and seeing the combination of warships like HMS Cavalier with hundreds of people in cosplay outfits from some of my most beloved gaming and film franchises left quite the first impression.

I had never been to a gaming festival before (and I call myself a gamer!) so I was quite unsure what to expect.

Image of Boba Fett and Admiral

Boba Fett and an Admiral

However, seeing iconic characters from franchises like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Warcraft certainly created a surreal and special feeling about the event. Seeing people dressed up as the infamous Boba Fett, Gondor Guards and the legendary Lich King I felt in my element. I must admit it was a very hot day and these people were extremely dedicated to their craft and outfits, so it was a real joy to see.

There were several different arenas which housed different types of games so there was a lot to see, and even more to take part in. I started with the main Rapture Gaming Hall where the tournaments of the day took place from Fortnite to League of Legends there really was a genre of video game for everybody. I explored the different stands and stalls from different gaming companies and even took part in an Army reaction test machine, my score was less than impressive but it was still a lot of fun testing my skills.

Moving into the side hall I was stunned by the number of consoles they had there from PlayStation 4s all the way back to consoles I had only heard about like the Sega Mega Drive. It really was quite fascinating seeing the evolution of gaming over the years and just how popular it is with people of all ages and backgrounds. After playing on some of the various consoles on offer I decided to have a deeper look into the Cosplay Village, and saw just how much effort and dedication went into creating these beautiful outfits. Seeing various weapons from swords to pistols and how intricate the details they put on these pieces, I was also allowed to hold one of these pieces and they were surprisingly light given their size and appearance.

Image of person dressed up as The Lich King

The Lich King cosplay costume

After grabbing a bite to eat from the cafe I wandered into another hall which was the main arena for tabletop games. I recognised some of the games taking place like Warhammer which pits fantasy or sci-fi armies against each other, to ones which looked very much like WW2 scenarios which was fitting considering the arena was right next to HMS Cavalier which actually served during WW2. It was a reminder that this Gaming Festival is definitely unique in its location as it is surrounded by historic ships from across our history. After looking at the tabletop games and the stalls around them I decided to head back out into the sunny weather. It was a nice touch that there was a band playing while I enjoyed a drink in the forecourt. Behind that was the Robot arena where you see Robots being controlled around what looked like an obstacle course. It really did have everything on offer. After spending the afternoon exploring the different areas and even seeing a version of the iconic Ghostbusters car I decided to head over to the shopping area in the main arena. 


There was plenty on offer in the shopping area, I even picked up a Hellfire t-shirt which I had been wanting for quite some time, as I am a massive Stranger Things fan. On that point, I found out that this year's Gaming Festival will even have a unique Dungeons and Dragons area which is what Stranger Things is both inspired and influenced by so I am definitely going to check that out. There is so much to do and explore at the Gaming Festival that a blog really doesn’t do it justice as you simply couldn’t fit it all in. My best advice would be to come on by this year and experience it for yourself, it really is a brilliant experience.

Image of the Ghostbusters car

The version of the Ghostbusters car