PLAYING AROUND

A Link to Gaming Enthusiasts

The Legend of GAAM attracts hundreds as gamers celebrate "Zelda" and other favorite characters with cosplay, art and music

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Symbiote Spider-Man and Wonder Woman are talking in the corner. Zelda and a Stormtrooper are posing for pictures.

Worlds collided as fans enjoyed playing as their favorite characters, straight out of comic books, video games and fantasy July 13 at the Legend of GAAM at The Museum.

The Games, Art and Music event included a art sale benefiting Child's Play, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children in hospitals with toys and games.

The event also included a cosplay contest for those dressed in character, a magic show in the "Lost Woods," a dance contest in Ganon's Dungeon and a DJ playing many memorable tunes from video-game classics as well as live music from On Guard. Nevado Arts put on a martial arts demonstration, while vendors offered prizes.  

A photobooth designed to mirror the world of Zelda greeted you on your way in. Many took pictures posing in their Zelda-inspired costumes and props.  

A gaming room with more 20 TVs and other consoles throughout The Museum invited gamers to plug in. 

The first GAAM event was themed on the "Street Fighter" series and also included a 3D lifesize Mario game outside The Museum. That event drew about 350 people in December.

The Legend of GAAM sold out with more than 600 enthusiasts enjoying "The Legend of Zelda" theme, including the Triforce, rupees, health hearts and a three-leveled Zelda walk-through with the Night Sky, Fairy Cave, Lost Woods, and Ganon's Dungeon.

GAAM founders Ryan Thompson, Derrick Nevado, Logan Zawacki and Edmund Dansart created the events to bring awareness to the gaming industry in Jacksonville and help strengthen it.

Thompson originally made fan art for the 25th anniversary of "Street Fighter" and put it on Tumblr. He received a strong response and realized he wanted to do something even bigger. Then, he met Nevado, Zawacki and Dansart and GAAM was born. 

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