Last week I experienced my first MAGFest (Music and Gaming Festival), and as the only representative of GameCola in attendance, I thought I’d give a rundown of my time there. Unfortunately I was sick most of last week, so I only spent Saturday evening there. Still, here’s the (very) quick and dirty:
6:00 p.m. – I arrive at MAGFest, and instantly get lost among the various rooms, booths, and gaming machines. I spend the next ten minutes wandering the interminable halls of the Alexandria Mark Hilton looking for the registration table.
6:10 p.m. – After picking up my badge, I begin to look for my friends. It is at this point I learn that most of them had left a few hours earlier. Cursing ensues.
6:30 p.m. – Catch The Megas‘s encore performance in the Jam Space. This was a pleasant surprise as I had been really disappointed about missing their show on Thursday. Their brand of Mega Man 2 rock is, as expected, delightful.
7:15 p.m. – I hit the merch tables and am glad I set a spending limit. I buy a Super Mushroom plush toy, a Megas poster, and a fan-made River City Ransom movie (more on that once I get a chance to watch it). I am initially impressed by the amount of old-school games on sale, but this turns to disappointment as I realize the quality of what is being sold (five copies of Shaq Fu? Ha!). There are also some neat shirts, but none up to my standards.
7:45 p.m. – Meet some fellow Pokémon fans, including a battler. We start talking shop and are about to throw down when he gets pulled away to take part in Super Art Fight. Apparently he does a surfing webcomic, and he gives me his card so we can get together later.
8:00 p.m. – I check out the first band of the night, Arm Cannon, in the concert hall, but I’m disappointed that they’re not playing videogame music. I duck out.
8:15 p.m. – I peruse the Gaming Room and watch some guys playing a demo for Street Fighter IV. MAGFest having this demo was supposed to be a big deal, but I just didn’t get it. It looks absolutely the same as it did 12 years ago, and I was not a fan even then.
8:40 p.m. – I decide to give Arm Cannon another shot (get it?) once I hear they’re doing VG rock and go check them out. They’re so good, I use what little money I have left to get a CD.
9:15 p.m. – The next band, Smash Bros., starts playing. I expected awesomeness on par with the game of the same name, but their sound is kind of bland. I again duck out.
9:30 p.m. – I meet up with my webcomic friend from before, and we decide to have a battle. We get Pokémon Battle Revolution going on one of the big screens and Pokémon fans starting coming out of the woodwork. I have some great battles and end with a record of 3 wins – 1 loss.
10:45 p.m. – I catch the final band of the night, Metroid Metal. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s awesome. If you’ve never heard of it before, go to their site and start downloading. It’s all free!
11:30 p.m. – I wander about aimlessly as I wait for the Late Night Trivia Contest, which will be my final event before heading home.
11:50 p.m. – I get to the Trivia Contest early to make sure I get a spot. I’m one of the first to sign up.
12:00 a.m. – The people running the trivia game decide to wait for last year’s winners, the people who run the Captain S website, to show up. I wait patiently as I love trivia, and have been looking forward to this since I arrived. No instructions are given as to where contestants should be or when they should come up.
12:30 a.m. – The Captain S people finally arrive, and the coordinators of the contest have lost control, so they pick a bunch of random people from the audience to compete along with whoever had been sitting in the front row with the Captain S people. I get pissed. When the crowd is asked if they’re ready I yell “FUCK YOU” among the cheers and walk out.
12:35 a.m. – I leave, quite bitter and angry.
12:50 a.m. – Just to add insult to injury, I get lost in the infernal nexus that is Washington D.C. I hate Washington D.C.
And there you have it, my first MAGFest experience. As you may have guessed, I’m still rather sore about that last bit, but everything up until then was pretty good. Heck, I even met some new Pokémon players. Depending on my schedule I’ll try to hit it up next year, but I swear: if I’m muscled out of trivia again, someone will be CUT.