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Airecon NorthWest: Getting ‘Board’ May Be Answer To Social Anxiety  

Yorkshire’s analogue gaming festival, Airecon, expanded to Manchester for the first-time last weekend, with Director Mark Cooke rolling out new policies to reduce social anxiety and ensure inclusivity.  

Support included a G.A.M.E. system for pre-arranging games, quiet gaming rooms, and an on-site counsellor. These were set up particularly for those who are neuro-divergent, ‘on the spectrum’ or socially anxious. But anyone was welcome to use them. 

Barnsley-based Imagination Gaming’s Nigel Scarfe said: “Gaming clearly helps with social anxiety. Because it stimulates and creates conversations…they are focused on the game, and on the people that they are playing with”. 

The three-day ‘celebration of all things tabletop’ was held at Manchester Central Convention Complex.

It will be Yorkshire’s turn to host again on the weekend of March 14th to 17th 2024, at the Harrogate Convention Centre. 

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