Non-stop gaming event set to return to Leduc this summer

by | Jul 17, 2023 | News

4-days of non-stop gaming will return to Leduc Rec Centre this summer. From August 10th to 13th, gamers can attend Fragapalooza, a non-stop gaming event created “by gamers for gamers.” Fragapalooza will see hundreds of attendees bring their own devices to play PC or console game on a Local Area Network (LAN).

The event aims to break through the border of playing games online, with friends or anonymous people. Vice President of Fragapalooza and NAIT staff member, Brandt Cramer, explained that community is a big focus.

“What we’re providing is a safe and secure space where people can come and when they play that person, they can actually stand up and find them in the venue for them and they can actually meet this person, create new relationships and create new connections.”

 “We’ve had people find their marriages and their life partners at Fragapalooza. We’ve had parents bring their kids because they’ve been going so long that there is a grown-up with them and now they’re starting to bring them into the event,” said Cramer. 

They also partner with local charity organizations to further build on the spirit of community. “We partner with the charity Extra Life, which is a video game charity inside the Stollery. So this year, again, we will be partnering with Extra Life. We’ve been helping them run their events in terms of providing expertise and equipment to get their network up and running and have the ability to interface with all their clients,” said Cramer. 

For newcomers and previous attendees, Fragapalooza is a fun environment for video games, tournaments and competitions. “It’s literally in a soccer pitch in Leduc Rec Centre … and it’s rows and rows and rows of tables where we provide power and networking for an individual seat.” 

There are activities in person and virtually, like a 400-person rock, paper, scissors tournament that Cramer explained gets everybody from 8-year-olds to 65-year-olds out of their seat to win a prize. There are also tournaments and prize pools attendees can participate in. 

The name “Fragapalooza” is a play on words. “Fraga is a term you get when you shoot someone to kill them. Palooza is typically associated with a large gathering event. So put the two together, you get Fragapalooza,” says Cramer.

Origins of Fragapalooza 

Fragapalooza started from the desire to build a community, play games, and broaden their social group. “[It] was started in ‘97 by a bunch of friends that were really into games like Quake, and they wanted to see if there would be interest to put a whole bunch of people in a room to play the game on a broader scale than just at people’s houses,” Cramer explained. 

NAIT has also been involved with Fragapalooza since the beginning. “[The event] started in the hangar by NAIT. So just off of Princess Elizabeth Avenue here down the street from NAIT. And yeah, that’s when they had their first event. It was 70 people crammed in a small hangar. “

These days, NAIT’s involvement consists of equipment and resources. “NAIT always provides much-needed equipment and resources we could possibly need to make the events happen and without NAIT we wouldn’t be able to get the event to go as successful as it has. NAIT has been a key sponsor for many years,” said Cramer.

For more information on Fragapalooza or to buy tickets, visit their website or social media. 

Cover photo via Facebook, @Fragapalooza

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