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11:09 AM on 12.29.2011

MAGFest X: My list of things to do (and some not to do).

Sick of seeing this yet?

In less than a week people will be showing up at my house as part of the Great Midwest MAGFest Caravan of '12. With MAGFest drawing so near it seemed like it's about time I made an agenda. I thought I'd share it, so any first timers can get an idea of what they're in for. Or, if you've previously attended you might just want to compare experiences. Here's my list of to do's (and don'ts) for MAGFest X.

Ms. Pac-Man

Ms. Pac-Man is one of my favorite games of all time. I like SeŮor Pac-Man well enough, but his wife is just too irresistable for me to stay away. Any time I see a Ms. Pac-Man machine that bitch is getting some quarters shoved into her slot. Last year at MAGfest I had a goal of setting the high score on their cabinet.

This was not the high score run, unless we're talking about the amount of scotch in my system.

I managed to sober up a bit on Sunday, shortly before the place closed down, and set the high score on my first quarter. I hope to repeat that shit year.

Not get arrested/thrown out.

I simply look too fabulous to be removed.

Sometimes things that seem like a good idea really aren't. Like elevator parties. Trust me on this one, the MAGFest and hotel staff do not look kindly on those. I was in the process of getting thrown out last year when by some miracle Dtoider dyganth managed to talk the staffer out of it. There was another incident involving Jon St. John, a broken lamp, and a funny smell from the bathroom that caused Mr. MAGFest himself to come up to the room in lieu of security. I'd rather not push my luck again this year.

Drink a fuck load of booze.

This about covers Thursday night.

Look, I drink. Probably way too much. Lately, however, I've been trying to cut back so my liver doesn't fail on me before I turn 40. At MAGFest though, all bets are off. There most likely will be very few moments in which I will be seen without an alcoholic beverage in my hand.

Coffee in my coffee cup? Nah, that's scotch.

Between room parties and boozing discretely on the hotel floor the flow of alcohol into my system will be as reliable and consistent as a hospital saline drip. I handle my booze pretty well, but it you don't (or don't know) you may want to pay careful attention to my next point...

Don't black out.

Yeah. That. On one night last year I lost about 2 hours. When I say lost, I mean that they are fucking gone. The last anyone saw me I was in the arcade sitting at a shmup cabinet, and then I just dissappeared. A couple hours later I showed up back at the room and passed out. No one knows where I had been, and I never remembered. This year I'd like to avoid that. I can get pretty ridiculous when I'm really drunk, and who knows what the fuck kind of trouble I could get myself into.

Listen to more music.

There is music everywhere at MAGFest. Yes, you have concerts and the JamSpace, but music flows all along the hallways and rooms. Last year the only scheduled concert I attended was The Protomen, but I heard plenty of music over the weekend. We played a little but in the room even, with just a guitar, violin, and set of bongos and it was super fun. My highlight though, is walking through the halls to see a duet playing ĒPhantom TrainĒ from Final Fantasy VI on a piano and violin. This year I want to see a lot more acts, with DJ Cutman and Earthbound Papas topping my list.

Hang out with Dtoiders.

Ok, this is the last time I post this picture, I promise. Probably. Maybe.

If you've been to MAGFest or either PAX or any Dtoid gathering, you know exactly what I'm talking about already. These are the times where our community comes out of our little corner of the internet and shines with the blinding light of pure awesome. The majority of my friends are now Dtoiders that I've met at these events. There will be reunions and new friendships founded, and all of them will be SW33T. This is really the best part of any gaming event. I can't wait to meet new people, see old friends, and drink entirely too much with everybody.

Play games.


The arcade is fucking huge. Seriously, you can't really grasp it's enormity until you've seen it. It has just about every game you could want and then some. On top of that, a lot of people bring games with them so the rooms can easily become emulator dens, Street Fighter tournaments, or speed run competitions. Last year I found that I really enjoyed shmups and spent hours playing them. I'd love to broaden my gaming horizons even further this year, and there's no place better to achieve that than MAGFest. There's also X-MEN, Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band, and a great deal of other stuff to do with your friends. I can't wait to get lost in that labyrinth of sprites, polygons, and pixels once again.

Wear a suit.

I very rarely get to dress up, but the times I do are most often Dtoid related. This year will be no different. Saturday I'm suiting up for Suiterday, regardless of whether or not anyone joins me. I clean up nice dammit, and will take any opportunity to do so. Join me, and let's pretend we're classy for a night.

So that's my list for MAGFest. I think it's pretty good, but do you think there's anything I missed? If you have suggestions for anything I may have missed let me know in the comments, or share your own agendas for the weekend.

Can't wait to see you all soon!   read

9:25 PM on 12.08.2011

MAGFest X! 27 Days and Counting!

You'll see this picture a lot in the next month. If you get sick of it, you're an awful person.

You know what happens in a month? MAGFest, that's what! There's a whole bunch of Dtoiders attending this year, and if you're one of them, we'd like to know! You should consider joining the Google group, or stop into the Forums and look at the thread we have going. Last year was an amazing time, with many Dtoiders meeting each other for the first time, and others having long awaited reunions. Basically though, we party. Whether you like music, games, swag, or dancing, MAGFest has something for you.

This years event is packed with performers, guests, panels(one which includes our own Hamza 'I'm drunk please do this for me' Aziz), and of course the ARCADE. A ballroom packed wall to wall with about every type of video game you can imagine is something you must experience. The entire place is special, and there's a certain thrill to passing the likes of the Protomen, brentalfloss, or Jon St. John in the halls of the hotel and chatting for a bit.

I don't remember most of this, but Jon St. John came to our room later to party, and I called him a douchebag.

So if this sounds like fun, you should come on down to the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland from January 5th through the 8th and see what all this happy madness is about.

Hope to see you there!   read

10:32 PM on 03.30.2010

PAX East: Looking Back, and an Introduction.

Hi, Iím Jon Bloodspray. You may know me from the forums, or you may not. Over there we would expect someone to make a decent intro regardless of their involvement in other areas of the site, so Iíll extend the same courtesy here. The easiest way for me to introduce myself is through a concise bit about PAX East, and my time there. Please lend me your ear (or eye as it may be) and hear (read) my story.

PAX East was my first convention of any sort. I had no idea what to expect, and looking back, never could have. This is not really about PAX, as much as it is the Destructoid community, and the people who attended PAX as a whole. For the first time in my life, I felt at home.

You see, for whatever reason it has always been hard for me to make friends. I donít know why, I could speculate that itís because I grew up in a small town (pop. 1400), reside in the Midwest, am in a historically economically depressed city, whatever. Because REASONS, right? To paraphrase Cliff Bleszinski, I was never cool enough for the cool kids, and never nerdy enough for the nerds. This led to me approaching PAX with a certain amount of anxiety. Would it just turn into another instance of me being awkward because I know too much/not enough about a certain subject? Would the table top gamers shun me because I have no idea what an integrity check is? Would the hardcore collectors look down their noses at me because I sold my 20+ year collection for a girl? I had no real idea what I was walking into. All I had was a list of forum names from people that I had only been in contact with through text. Turns out thatís all you need to get things started.

Running into people from Destructoid was better for me than any concert, event, or swag could possibly could have been. There were handshakes and hugs among people that had never even seen each other prior. There was no awkwardness, and our internet names and real names became interchangeable in short order.

I donít have many friends near me, and the closest one that holds a level of interest in games near mine is about an hour away. I donít have a car, so thatís a bitch. I very rarely have anyone around to talk games with. You forum guys I love so much? I talk to you all more than I do any other person.

What I came away with is that I want to be a more active member of the community, and it starts with this c-blog right here. I never listened to any of the podcasts, read c-blogs, or commented much on the front page. I want to change that, because the entire weekend I felt a vibe of overwhelming goodness from the entire con, and it only amplified when I was with you guys. I can never thank you all enough for being a group where I actually fit in as myself. It made me feel a lot better at a time when everything else is kind of shit. But Iím liviní.
In the end I must say that I made some friends that I hope to stay in touch with for a very long time. Everyone there was good people. I wouldnít change a thing. Canít wait to see you all again, hopefully soon.
Also, this happened.

I wanted to do this for you guys too.
Thanks to IcarusKills and NikMonroe and anyone Iím forgetting from the flickr account for the majority of the photos, and one more time to all the Dtoiders that make me so proud to be a part of it all.   read

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