Marc Gonzalez started gaming at age 5, but what started as a hobby is quickly becoming a career. Fast-forward to today: At 18, he’s the deputy assistant for running the Supercon’s gaming department, bringing the latest in the video game industry to thousands of fans. WRAL TechWire’s Chantal Allam sat down with him for a Q&A during one of his breaks to get his take on the gaming scene, why he’s a fan of Fornite and much more. Supercon ends today at the Raleigh Convention Center. 

  • Tell us a little about yourself. When did you start gaming?

Gaming has kind of been a thing in my life since I was around 5 years old. I would always play games with my older brother, or watch him play when he wouldn’t let me. I played simple games, like Pokemon and Game Boy. Whatever my brother thought was PG for me. He was kind of my filter for what was violent and not violent.

  • How did you end up getting involved with Supercon?

Well, my brother got called up to assist someone in this department [at the Florida Supercon in the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center] in 2015. When that guy stopped working, they hired my brother. When I was 15, he was like, “Can you help volunteer for me? You can be my second eyes and ears.” I was like, OK.” We started two other shows – Animate! Miami and Paradise City Comic Con — and we had a trio of conventions down there. And then, when we moved on to Supercon in other states, we kind of let the two other shows go because we’re only one company [Supercon Conventions], and it’s hard to do four shows.

  • How many people work for Supercon Conventions, and how often do you travel with the festival?

I’d say about 30 people work for the convention. This is the second time I’ve travelled out of state for it, and it a couple of months I’ll be travelling again for another Supercon in Louisville, Kentucky.

  • How did you end up as Assistant Director of Video Games?

As I got older, I was able to take on more responsibility and deal with situations when I had to. I gained experience over each convention, and I got better and better. So when my brother got into a different department, he asked me to step up to take a load off his plate. That was in 2017. I was 17 years old.

  • What does the job entail?

We do maintenance on the consoles whenever people mess with them during the show, and we organize and host tournaments throughout the day. We also make phone calls to developer companies – like Alienware and Sony – to see if they can bring a representative to showcase their stuff. I’m also responsible for transporting all the computers and consoles. We have about 40 computers and 50 consoles that is our inventory that we’ve bought up over the years.

WRAL TechWire photo

Supercon’s Director of Video Games Antony Marc Gonzalez. watches play in Fortnite tournament.

  • What do people say when they see an 18-year-old running the show?

Sometimes people don’t really take me seriously. They see a staff member badge and then they see my face, and they’re like, “Ah, you’re just a kid”. But I’m like, “No, I’m in charge of this. Please listen to me.”

  • What’s been your main focus for this year’s festival?

My priority has mostly been making sure we had a Fornite tournament because it’s so popular right now. I need to make sure we have the internet [bandwidth] sustainable enough for that many computers running that many games at the same time. When you have 40 people playing Fornite at the same time, it can take a toll.

  • How many people do you think will walk through here?

This Saturday, we’re sold out and that’s about 40,000 tickets. It’s hard to say how many people will come into the gaming room because we’re around the corner, but we get a decent amount of foot traffic. I’d say we get thousands coming through, especially once the exhibition hall closes at 8pm. People wander upstairs because we’re open until 2am.


  • What’s your take on the Fornite craze?

It’s one of those perfect games, especially being free to play. Kids at any age can download it on their phones, computer or video game consoles. They can play with their friends, and it’s a good game for teamwork and camaraderie. It’s also cartoony and not too realistic. They update it often so people don’t get bored of it.

  • What about the violence in the game? There are kids as young as seven playing it now. Do you think it has an impact?

I’d have to say no. Personally, I never took video games and violence together, especially in my personal life. I’ve never gotten into a fight with anybody over a video game or because of a video game. I’m not going around and being like, “Oh, because of a video game, I punched some guy in the face.”

  • You grew up in Pembroke Pines, close to Parkland, Florida, where there was a massive school shooting in February. Where do you stand on the debate about the influence of video games and gun violence today?

You don’t a play video game and say you want to shoot this gun in real life. People have their hobbies, and sometimes a hobby such as guns can be taken advantage of. I don’t believe that there is a correlation between video games and gun violence.

WRAL TechWire photo

Fornite fever … Gamers flock to compete in Supercon’s all –day Fornite competition.

  • You just graduated from high school. What’s next?

I will be going to Broward Community College in Pembroke Pines, Florida, and then transferring to Florida International University. While I was up here [with Raleigh Supercon] last year, I got offered an internship working in the gaming industry. It’s a career that I would like to pursue. The internship is mentoring me, and I will be able to come up to North Carolina for a week or two to work with them personally.

  • What’s your endgame?

I’d like to mostly develop the games and maybe be the “idea guy”. But really, anybody can be that. Since middle school, I’ve wanted to get into it. Just in case I can’t do it by developing and coding, I took up music and I know how to play five different instruments. Maybe I can compose and make music for the games.

  • The creators of Fornite are now apparently billionaires. Is that a realistic goal?

Sure, people have made more by making a simple phone app game like Flappy Bird. That man made so much money that he didn’t have to work again in his life.

  • Is that your dream?

I don’t think I’d be super proud of a phone game that got me rich. I want to make a game that has a story, characters and music that people can really enjoy and have an experience with. I don’t know if it’s my dream to make billions, but I want to live comfortably and travel when I want to.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the job title for Gonzalez and to remove references to protests about shootings at Parkland, Florida. Supercon says he did not participate in the protests.