What did you do this weekend? I went to MAGFest. I had heard whisperings of this mythical place called MAGFest that was supposedly better than PAX, because it went an extra day, the panels were more interesting, and it never closes its doors, like one enormous party. I put it in the back of my mind when hearing details about it at PAX East. PAX was so great, and MAGFest was supposedly better? Poppycock, I said.
Some time passed, Midwest NARP 2010 was a thing that happened, and we just didn't want the NARP to end, so we started planning for MAGFest, five months before it happened. What? Planning far in ahead for something? I know, I was taken aback too. But it was worth it, to see my family again.
The months passed slowly, but finally MAGFest was here. I honestly didn't care about the convention itself, at the time. I mean, I was seeing some of my closest friends, who cares about some silly con? Oh, naive Icarus. How silly wast thou, a mere week ago.
In the end, MAGFest ended up being an incredible experience, and the best convention I've ever attended. The people were amazing, yes, but more than that, the convention was just spectacular. 24 hours a day of convention meant that we dictated our own schedules much more than anything else I've been to. The panels were truly interesting, and it didn't have an expo room, so while there wasn't any SWAG or new games to preview, it felt much smaller. More intimate, if you will. Seeing the Protomen in a room with 500-ish people instead of 4,000 at PAX was an experience that will not be forgotten.
So yeah, some guy on the internet just told you that MAGFest was great. What proof do you have that he's not just pulling stuff out of his ass, his wallet being slowly padded by the coordinators of the convention (This isn't a bad idea, if anyone can make that happen)? Oh, if you want proof, just scroll down. I took about 500 pictures of the weekend, and after cutting about 80% of them, here's what's left:
(This part is largely lifted from the forum post I made earlier)
I'm just going in chronological order, so deal with it. After my flight got cancelled three times because of the blizzard in New England, I finally got there and met up with my roommates, Jon Bloodspray, DanlHaas, FDC Ruckus, and Diverse. We headed down to get our badges.
Aside from knowing each other, we were already finding Dtoiders, just in the registration line! First up was Sonic9jct! He obviously wanted his Brofist badge.
During lunch, Diverse ordered a burger, but apparently he doesn't like lettuce on his burgers, so he just ate it separately.
Other noteworthy conversation from that meal:
Diverse: (Pointing to his napkin) Can I use this shit as a napkin?
Us: Yeah, why wouldn't you be able to?
Diverse: I thought it was a lap napkin
Us: Then why isn't it on your lap?
There was a Tetris arcade cab that was painted so people could draw shit on it. I promptly drew a Mr. Destructoid (And fucked up the mouth up, but m'eh). We all signed accordingly. In retrospect, I should have thrown out to the GroupMe (Best idea ever, by the way) to go sign it, because I checked back a couple days later, and it was still just Midwest Room™ minus Diverse.
In the arcade, Danl kicked some ass at Dance Dance Revolution. He was singing along at first to the lamest lame song ever, but whatever makes him happy...
Some more drawings on the Tetris cabinet.
We went back to the room, and Diverse was passed out on the bed, like a Diverse Burrito.
On our way to the Gamer Iron Chef panel, MAGFest was already raging on, as you can tell by the lampshades in disarray.
At the Iron Chef Panel...
I present to you, team D.I.C.K.S. (Destructoid Iron Chef Kickass Superteam) Changston, Cataract, and ...Jared. (Don't remember your handle, sorry bro)
To determine who presents their dishes first, rock paper scissors was used. Changston had a worthy adversary, because there were literally like six or seven ties before a winner was determined.
Let the cooking begin!
One of the most genius ideas team D.I.C.K.S. had was to use Cracklin' Oat Bran and tortilla chips, completely crushed, to make a breading for their chicken. Brilliant. Now, let's be mesmerized by Cataract crushin' dem oats.
Cataract got a french bread boner, this was so much fun.
More cooking and preparation.
The audience watches in amazement.
Last batch of cooking shots.
The main course:
I didn't get a shot of the dessert, because it was finished last minute.
There was some steep competition in the "presentation" category (Which shouldn't have mattered, because everyone made snack food aside from D.I.C.K.S.
Mr. Magfest seemed excited to try some of the team's dishes.
Most of the dishes seemed to be judged by how much Hiroki Kikuta grimaced when the food was in his mouth. Most didn't do well. (Look in the background of the first picture here for Mr. Magfest's eating prowess)
Even though we feel that the competition was rigged, D.I.C.K.S. still came in second, and Duke Nukem himself, Mr. Jon St. John took a picture with our family's chefs.
Why aren't these disclaimers on every bible?
That night, we proceeded to party, as Destructoid knows quite well. Midwest Room™ was the place to be on Thursday night. We probably had close to 25 people in there, at the peak.
The next morning, they put us in the board room for breakfast, as we were obviously the important executive-types. Cataract and Bleach Boy had a disagreement.
Cataract decided to offer a selection of imported teas. Bleach Boy accepted, and we moved on.
FDC Ruckus had a panda hat that pretty much became Diverse's by the end of the weekend. It even picked up his bad habits!
The Brentalfloss set was pretty great.
He only high-fived one person the whole show, and you know who it was? A fucking Dtoider, of course.
The very same Dtoider that got to keep the Mad Libs version of his Mega Man song.
Jon Bloodspray met the man with Balls of Steel, and confirmed a certain amazing thing to happen later that day.
Someone drew a kickass Calvin & Hobbes thingamabob that was on the wall of the vendor room.
They started the show by using the backlit projector to have the helmet and arm cannon put on shown via silhouette. Quite epic.
Hey look, Bushofghosts was at MAGFest, and she was playing Dance Central!
That night, we didn't have as many people in our room, but we had a GREAT time regardless.
To start it off (Well, at least what I took pictures of... This was at like 2am), Jon Bloodspray and Changston were jamming on guitar and violin respectively (And yours truly on the bongos). I've got a few videos of this that I'll be posting later.
I wish I had pictures of the rest of the night. We've actually got an audio recording of the whole night, so I have to play with it to pick out the worthwhile parts, but in a nutshell, we partied with Jon St. John so hard that Mr. Magfest himself had to come talk to us. More details on this to come later. Stay tuned.
The next morning, Zen Albatross did a great panel on the history of chiptunes.
We had our group picture taken after the panel.
After that, Zen Albatross rocked our fucking ears off with an amazing set.
It was Suiterday, so what else is there to be done other than suit up? We were fucking sexy.
We rocked some Fat Bottomed Girls in the arcade room.
Sharp as fuck.
I wish this was in focus, but it's too great to not capture. We didn't feel fully comfortable around each other, so hands had to have at least an inch or two of clearance...
After I got FUCKED up the first night, Diverse had Friday night, it was Danl's turn. He took the torch and ran with it. We started with Pringles and Kings.
Danl got so drunk that he got physical with FDC Ruckus. Look at the mark he left on her arm from hitting her so hard!
Props to Cataract on the best Kings rule I've ever heard: Any time you take a drink, you need to put your hand on someone else's shoulder, and look lovingly into their eyes while taking your drink. There was another courtesy of Danl that involved wearing the Yuengling box on your head.
I think Bleach Boy and Diverse had a moment.
Look at those eyes.
Apparently I have a thing for first-person brofist pictures.
Jon Bloodspray and JT Icefire.
This picture is complete, unfiltered, 100% Diverse.
Not to be forgotten, the Become shirt that Jon Bloodspray got at PAX East last year has become a signature board (Because he doesn't quite fit into XXL shirts).
I ended up hanging out at the hotel by myself for 12 hours because I was retarded and booked a Monday night flight. I ended up talking to Mr. Magfest for a while, and expressed how much I enjoyed the convention, and how I'm already looking forward to returning next year. Quite the fitting end to a wonderful weekend, though I miss everyone already... Oh well, it's less than two months until PAX East when we'll do it all over again, right?