Rather than make a informal post covering the Otronicon 2009 event
, this is more or less going to read like LiveJournal post on my day with a crapload of pics and video (I'm not embedding all videos, but links are spread throughout, including some pictures that link to videos). My initial intention was to check out the "Halo Wedding" (a couple who met playing Halo online and now were getting married publically at Otronicon
) and my other reason was to play on "The Ultimate Rock Band Drum Kit."
Both my dreams came true and much more. I had been to Otronicon in the past, being held at the Science Center and not being as big, it really felt more like an exhibit than a video game convention. This year, it felt a bit bigger and slightly more organized.
I had turned up a little earlier than the seating for the wedding, so I quickly checked out the "Evolution of the Mac
" exhibit then went off to see some games. "Simulation Universe
" was on the first floor, lots of racing and flight sims
were available to play, and as I've noticed at almost all gaming events now in days, the US Army was on hand
with their games to let kids of all ages kill.
After making the rounds in the "Simulation Universe" and the "Wii Family Arena
" it was time to hit up the wedding. It seems only the family was being allowed inside first, a guy walked up to me and seen me in my suit asked, "Are you with the family?
" .. I said "No, I'm Mike Murakami, I'm with the press" .. "With what press?
" ... "Binge Gamer!" I exclaimed as though we are some known site, and I guess my tone was enough to convince this guy to yell to some other lady with a tone that suggested he knew who I was.. "Hey, Binge Gamer is here, let him in!
" So then me and my brother walked down the little corridor to the stage room where I was shocked as all hell to see familiar robot head (footage of Destructoid interview going on by some media outlet
.. hey, free interview without having to think of questions, woo).
(Note: Despite the look on my face, I was not farting during that picture)
(Double note: Niero has pimped out jewelry on top of a pimped out suit)
As I sat down, minutes later low and behold Mr Mtv Multiplayer Blog himself, Stephen Totilo appeared. WTF!? I thought. First we have some main Destructoid players here, now Mtv! Otronicon is getting better (or this wedding must have garnered more attention than I thought).
Random: Colette Bennett was there as well, but I did not recognize her at first (I just thought it was a random short cute chick with Niero, but then I imagined a NES controller in her mouth and felt like a tard not going up and saying hi). Doing camera work for DToid was, as my brother in law informed me "that guy who slept on Hulk Hogan's daughters couch on Brooke Knows Best
" .. well, I didn't believe them, but sure enough, the tattoos match.
The wedding itself was really nice. The music beforehand was great
. Master Chief was marrying the couple. The bride and groom had trouble hearing a few vows so there was some repeats, it was funny and cute. I missed out on the question & answer session afterward (I was told that they were going to do something at 5pm-6pm, but it ended up taking place right after the wedding it seems). So I was off to watch people play games
and then play some myself
(Kids playing rated M games OMG
(The 501st Legion represented)
(Star Trek > Star Wars)
There was an exhibit called "Artronica Digital Art Studio
" where I nabbed some photos, but they were not game related (if you want to see them, I'll post them in the comments).
There was an "Xbox Rocks Stage" which was actually just a room with a bunch of 360's hooked up. While my brother waited to play on Halo 3, I noticed something very disturbing, a crowd gathering and shouting while playing Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. Something neat about the 360 room, some of the staff (who were all middle/high school students, I kid you not, they were running stuff), started taking names down and put together mini-tournaments. Just whoever was standing around and wanted to play jotted their name down and the winner had bragging rights. I was cracking some people up during my Halo 3 round (I stopped playing Halo 3 for Call of Duty a long time ago, so I was just messing around talking crap about the game.. it was all in good fun though, no fanboyish hate I swear).
I had entered the MK vs DC mini-tournament, where I was pitted against a kid who was 4 or 5 years old, so I won the first round, then in good faith started letting him hit me around during the second match (there was the crowd cheering him on and stuff).. well, that little bastard, he started doing some move with Scorpion that I couldn't block and he won the second round.. then the third! Bah! Shitty game.
On the same floor as the 360's was a bunch of Playstations hooked up with all the Guitar Hero's. At least five of them with two guitars on each set. All the little kids had a lot of fun, while the real men were downstairs playing Rock Band on a stage (more on that a little further down).
("PC Gaming Dungeon" ..aptly named section, I had the flash on my camera on, but it was really dark in the room where people were enjoying Left 4 Dead and World of Warcraft)
(Note: It was kind of amusing seeing a broken Dig Dug machine in the "Classic Arcade Lounge," as a couple of years ago I specifically remember they had a Dig Dug machine.. and it was broken then as well, maybe it is time to stop bringing this out to the show)
While walking into the Rock Band room I was treated to an amusing sight:
I watched other bands hit the stage
(surprisingly a lot more good than bad... then again, many people playing on Easy/Medium). There was a kid named Logan who was owning everybody
, played on only Hard/Expert and kicked ass plus but on a good show (people were requesting him to play with them, he had to be only 6 or 7 years old)
It was time for me to get my Boston on:
Now, if you notice in the above video, the drum kicks during the first half were basically non existent. Because the damn foot pedal was broke!
I was bitching the whole day on deaf ears, well I took my complaints to the experts at the Rock Band thread on NeoGAF where I was vindicated
by them noticing and confirming it was broken.
There was a huge IMAX+ sized screen (dome) where Halo 3 was being played. First with the bride and groom who were married earlier, and then just regular matches being played with an audience yelling, helping, cheering, making fun of people, etc. It was honestly really fun. In this same room they later had the Halo machinima, which seemed to be just Red vs Blue episodes being played on the huge screen, which was cool, but by this time I was tired and ready to head out.
(Note: Taken at the "Evolution of the Mac" section, where they were playing nonstop all those stupid Mac vs PC ads, bit spammish much)
In the end, Otronicon was not like other conventions I have been to. It was not about selling you anything here, no venders. It didn't seem to be focused on upcoming titles either, so it was not much of a preview type show. This was completely for gamers to have fun with other gamers. I couldn't say this is necessarily an even to drive out of state for, but if you are in Florida, head up (or down) to the middle in Orlando and enjoy a day with a bunch of games (still open till Tuesday, January 20th, or wait until next year where I'm sure it'll be a bit bigger/better).
Thanks to Dan Ginader from the Orlando based Radio Rickshaw podcast for letting me use his video camera during the whole show. Thanks to my "little" brother Anthony Murakami for being a secondary camera man and all around good guy. No thanks to Anthony for kicking my ass in Halo 3 on the big screen in front of everybody, go to hell! For all the video I got, good or bad, check the Binge Gamer YouTube page. read