hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

This is (was) QuakeCon

4:00 PM on 08.10.2011 // Allistair Pinsof

For most media outlets, QuakeCon coverage consists of previews, interviews and panel recaps. Destructoid’s got you covered on that, but my main interest in visiting QuakeCon was in getting down and dirty at the more than 3,000 person LAN party going on far away from the press area.

After a couple nights in the LAN room, one-too-many energy drinks and meeting the ordinary people, I have returned out of a BAWLS-fueled haze to preach the gospel of QuakeCon.

It’s pret-ty pret-ty good!


“Panel talk? Not panel talk!”

I don’t think anyone goes to QuakeCon for the panels, but it’s a nice bonus -- especially, if you are getting your first-look at the Prey 2 and Skyrim E3 demos.

I love John Carmack. The man is like a machine. A rocket-building, id Tech-engine-making machine that communicates with the same precision he uses to create lines of code. However, I don’t think the guy cares about playing games as much as he loves creating games -- fair enough, the same goes for some of the best artists in many fields of entertainment.

But, putting John Carmack by himself on the stage resulted in an opening keynote that left many press and public checking their pulse to make sure they were still alive. As it turns out, kicking off QuakeCon with a 45-minute discussion on texture-buffering didn’t get everyone’s adrenaline going.

The camera close-ups struggled to find audience members who weren't on their cellphones, but eventually people woke up out of their coma to applaud when Doom was mentioned. I think it was more of a Pavlovian-impulse than a genuine reaction: “OMFGAFD DOOM? DOOM 4? TODAY? WHERE WHERE??? Ooooh....Doom 3 engine source code released, zzzzz”

To be fair, industry members who could keep up with Carmack’s speech seemed to have got something valuable out of it. If you think you may be one of those people and weren’t at QuakeCon, you can view the full video here.

The other big keynote, 20 Years of id, was a rollicking, nostalgic trip down id’s history. As an id Software fanatic, who lists Masters of Doom as one of his favorite books, it was an entertaining and revealing look at one of the most influential developers out there. All four of the guys on stage were in their element and hysterical, throughout the panel.

I won’t ruin the panel, in case you want to watch the full thing here.

My favorite part had to be when Todd Hollenshead mentioned he was a Wolfenstein 3D addict. When questioned on what addicted him to the game, he simply responded “Turkey dinners.”

Federation of Dance

The first thing I noticed upon walking into the fancy-shmancy Hilton Anatole was a mega-shit ton of little girls. Not just little girls -- really little girls. So little, you could easily pop three of them in your mouth, providing a birdbath-like home for them to swim in. So little, you could crush all their bones and STILL not have enough to build a modestly-sized bone-house.

These weren’t just really little girls, either. They were uniformed dance groups with pink-black hair, bedazzled berets and uncomfortably skimpy outfits --  it was kind of like that dance group in Donnie Darko but even more creepy.

As you may have imagined, fat dudes with ponytails don’t mix well with pre-teen dance competition stars and their mothers, who are one step away from being as scary as those beauty-pageant moms. As a result, many awkward elevator rides were had during the conference.

I don’t think the hotel understood why these two groups weren’t a good mix until the third day of QuakeCon. All of a sudden, the area surrounding the Federation of Dance show was swarmed by hotel security telling any creeper to keep walking. I dream of a day when middle-aged, beer-gut QuakeCon attendees can live alongside the pre-teen dancers.

No, I mean -- NOT LIKE THAT!!!

This Guy

It’s uncouth to call out other members of the press, but....dude, WTF!?!

Throughout the show, I kept bumping into this guy. What bothered me about him wasn’t that he lounged around on the couches all day with his models (escorts?).  It also didn’t bother me when I rode an elevator with him and he told two pint-size pre-teen cheerleaders, who were obviously creeped-out by him, to “Watch out for pedobear, girls!” OK, so that bothered me a little.

What bothered me was this guy gets in, while some honest, good-hearted QuakeCon fanatics-turned-journos don’t. It’s people like this that give games press a bad name. Blogging about getting trashed at parties, hanging out with paid bimbos on hotel couches, and saying creepy shit to little girls is fine with me as long as you earned that position. But, to be honest, I don’t think anybody has earned that position.

With all that said, WHERE THE HELL WERE MY DTOID ESCORTS!!!!!?


Have you been watching the latest season of Breaking Bad? You know Jesse’s suburban meth-house with the loud music, manic screaming, weirdos, disgusting amount of pizza boxes and, well, meth?

If you replace the meth with energy drinks and loud music with loud videogames, then you are pretty close to what QuakeCon’s BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) room is like after midnight.

Although, I was doing demos and interviews for the first two days of the show, I set aside my Saturday evening to experience the real QuakeCon. To be honest, I was scared out of my gourd at first. These guys are crazy! Like, literally crazy! Groups of people shout profanity (“I’M GONNA F*CK YOUR MOM WITH YOUR PINK DILDO!” was one of the more tame ones I heard) at each other, loudly clap for no reason and run around like carnies. (I don’t trust carnies.)

It was an absolute madhouse, where at any moment I feared I would be shived by a random passer-by like a prison inmate. It was as if the internet grew a mouth and shouted an endless, array of memes and insanities into the air.

Like the internet, behind the loud, obnoxious minority, you will find some really cool, kind-hearted people. Just walking around the floor, I met so many interesting people: young Minecraft fanatics, old dudes playing Unreal Tournament 2004 and guys offering to put their BAWLS in my mouth FOR FREE!!!

It’s possible that the loud ones’ antics had the purpose of keeping everyone awake, but after digesting three cans of BAWLS I felt like a meth-addict with an itch and all the shouting was only making the caffeine-overload worse.

I highly recommend going headfirst into the BYOC and talking to as many people as you can, but be prepared for the trolls that rest in the dungeon. Also, be prepared to pee over some guy who passed out next to the urinals. Hey, it happens!

Games People Play

I’ve always imagined QuakeCon to be some sort of utopia where Unreal Tournament, Quake and Quake 3 (NOT Quake Live) LAN parties still exist. Sadly, this was not the case at this year’s QuakeCon.

One of my favorite things to do during the day was walk around the BYOC and check out the games people play. There was a surprising amount of Minecraft gamers, as well as Terraria fanboys and fangirls.
The most baffling thing at QuakeCon are the people who play single-player games. I saw lots of loners playing Dragon Age, Portal 2 and Oblivion throughout the show. I wanted to give them a hug and tell them they have a friend in me, but the pizza grease covering their shirts somewhat repelled me.

You also occasionally find guys looking at a room with 3,000+ people....I just....whatever, man. Whatever.


Given that QuakeCon has a history dating back over a decade, it’s to be expected that you’ll bump into some LAN warriors who now have families. It’s cool to see games, especially hardcore games at a hardcore event, being played by such an eclectic group of people.

QuakeCon has its share of your typical e-sports and WoW dudes, but look in any direction and you’ll see lots of females. I saw young girls playing Bejewelled next to their boyfriends, wives raiding caves while nursing their baby, and even grandmas playing Team Fortress 2.

I didn’t see one game of Farmville open and that made me happy :D

The Best Part of QuakeCon

My favorite thing about QuakeCon had to be this guy who brought out his 52-inch TV, dual-arcade stick and 9,000 MAME roms.

He called it the Classic Game Station and everyone was invited to pick a game and play against their friends. The owner was either really stoned or just acted really stoned, because he literally didn’t care what happened. He was just chilling next to the “cabinet,” playing Super Smash Bros. on a busted 13-inch TV.

I bumped into the Peanut Butter Gamer (whose videos I love) and challenged him to a best-out-of-three game. The first match was played on Time Killers. I ripped off PBG’ arm and beat him to death with it. After that, we switched to the game’s sequel, BloodStorm, and PBG owned my ass.

While playing, this impossibly drunk guy stumbled over and nearly knocked down the TV. Did the owner react? No. Throughout the match, the guy kept leaning on me and screaming “YOU RIPPED THAT GUY'S ARM OFF!!! OH MY GOD!!!” and “DUDE, THIS GAME IS CRAZY” over and over again. After he lost, he calmly said, “This game is whack” and walked-off. 

Sniffz. I miss QuakeCon already.

Photo Gallery: (39 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys

Allistair Pinsof,
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidAllistair

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Crypt of the NecroDancer and Valkyria Chronicles are on sale through Steam, BUY THEM, GO GO GO!
Manchild avatarManchild
Missing you guys. Super busy. Mario Maker is the shit.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
The new Bloggers Wanted prompt will post on Monday!
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
For Occams: [img][/img]
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
I routinely listen to the Dustforce soundtrack every week. Incredible sounds. [youtube][/youtube]
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Steam rejected the DP refund. Meh, It's been a long time between when I bought and played it, don't care anymore, heh. Decided to play more MGS4 on PS3 and start replaying Rayman Origins on PC. Fun games that actually work.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Being an asshole, watching this Star Citizen debacle unfold and seeing Cloud Imperium's meltdown about the whole ordeal is incredibly entertaining. Even if the allegations ARE false, CI's official statement comes off as wonderfully bitter and petty.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Alright. Playing off of the Avatar question, why did you choose your username?
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I tried playing Deadly Premonition on Steam from my backlog today and it's a GODAWFUL pc port. I bought it forever ago but I requested a refund. If anything I don't want it in my library....
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
If you ever dipped a cookie in your coffee, I promise you're doing it right.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Why did you pick your avatar? What about you does it represent?
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Wanna eat some meat ? [youtube][/youtube]
KyWii avatarKyWii
Why is it that Sundays always feel so lazy? I always tell myself I'm going to get things done and then...well....
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
So, I plan on using my GameStop Power-Up Rewards points (yes) to buy all the eventual P4DAN DLC. Even though the practices are very suspect. I am so not made of stone. Moreso blubber and Dr. Pepper.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Having a puppy and trying to play legend of grimrock 2 somewhere the puppy normally doesn't get to hang out is a futile effort.
gajknight avatargajknight
Shafts of light emanated from Robo Panda Z's eyes, illuminating the intricately engraved obelisks looming impossibly above him. A whispered voice spoke from the obelisk. Do you pay too much for your Internet? Comcast. Like you have a choice.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I miss Kill la Kill - I think mostly because it was so damn entertaining to have a bunch of people drawling, "Nuuuuuuuuudiiiiiiiist Beeeeeeeeeeeaaaach" at each other.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I took a homeopathic shower this morning. I used extra water.
Shinta avatarShinta
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -