Cosplayers assemble for a picture at a previous MomoCon convention.

MomoCon: How to navigate the largest gaming convention in the Southeast

Geek culture fans will unite for a four-day extravaganza of gaming, comics and animation in Atlanta this weekend.

The 13th annual MomoCon is expected to draw 30,000 unique attendees, said MomoCon spokesperson Jessica Merriman. Hopes are high for turnout, because last year’s turnstile attendance (counting every time guests entered the conference hall) reached over 70,000.

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Get ready for the perfectly nerdy weekend by knowing what to expect at this year's MomoCon, taking place Thursday through Sunday, May 25- 28, at Georgia World Congress Center, 285 Andrew Young International Blvd NW.

The gaming convention is NOT geared toward moms.

The popular comic gathering is not named for moms that like to game. MomoCon, cleverly named for the Japanese word for peach "momo" since it's held in the peach state, is the largest gaming convention in the Southeast with its 190,000 square feet of game hall, according to Merriman. The game hall, which is the second largest in the U.S., is filled with numerous ways to play, including board games, console freeplay and LARPing (live action role playing).

"A lot of our event is very interactive, whether that's playing games or interacting with exhibits. We have a Lego building room, and we have an interactive dance stage where you can play Just Dance," she said.

For the first time at MomoCon, one of the world's most popular role playing games, Final Fantasy, will take center stage in an orchestra style concert played by a four-piece live ensemble on 1 p.m. Sunday.

Two cosplayers strike a pose at a previous Momocon.
Photo: Momocon's Facebook/For the AJC

It's fun for everyone.

There's something for anyone at MomoCon from cosplaying as your favorite character to partying the night away. Those 21 and up can go to Club 21, which held a trivia night last year. The 21 and up crowd also has exclusive access to night and EDM events. For anime lovers, there will be screenings of recent U.S. and Japanese anime releases. Comic enthusiasts can take a walk down artist alley to browse and buy visual art. To keep up with everything MomoCon has to offer, download their app to stay in the loop for when panels and events happen during the content packed weekend.

"There's a lot of things to see and do. So [give] yourself a lot of time to walk around the game hall and play games and check things out at the vendor booths and exhibits," Merriman said.

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Plan to spend less than $100 on tickets for the festivities.

For a four-day membership at Momocon, the price is just $70, which is a bang for your buck in comparison to paying for entrance Thursday-Sunday separately. To attend the convention on Thursday only, it's $30. On Friday and Saturday, the entry price is $45 each. During the convention's last day on Sunday, the cost drops to $30. For the Final Fantasy concert on Sunday, tickets are already sold out for front row and main level seating, but balcony level tickets are available at $12 a seat.

MomoCon promises much cosplay.
Photo: Courtesty of MomoCon/For the AJC

Right now, there's a waiting list for nearby hotel rooms.

Contact soon to take your place on the waiting list for a hotel room. The host hotel is the Omni Hotel at CNN Center and will be the main location for some of MomoCon's events. Other options include the convention's secondary hotel Embassy Suites Atlanta that offers complementary breakfast. The Holiday Inn Downtown and Glenn Hotel are also within walking distance of the site and can be reserved through the convention's email.

Book your parking ahead.

Parking is guaranteed once you reserve your spot with Parking Panda, the parking company Momocon is using for the convention. There's overnight one entry and exit parking available starting around $57 for the weekend. Daily parking rates range from $5-$9 depending on the day. There is also non-reserved/red deck self-parking options at the Georgia World Congress Center that's $10 per day.

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