So, as I mentioned earlier, I attended MagFest this year. It was a lot of fun, though this year I spent more time volunteering than doing anything else. I’ve been going to MagFest now for about four years, and I have to recommend it if you’re able to make it next year.
In the years that I’ve been going, the festival has grown by leaps and bounds. From what I overheard from the registration desk, we had over 17,000 people sign up this year. That’s almost twice what it was when I first started going. It’s mindboggling to me in a way, and amazing in others. I can totally understand why though, MagFest has brought in some great talent from the video game and music communities (and sometimes both) such as Nobuo Uematsu and the Earthbound Papas, Extra Credits, DJ Cutman, the Protomen, Bit Brigade, Matt Mercer, and Suzy Berhow, just to name a few guests, most of which showed up at this most recent event even (Nobou and the Earthbound Papas was a few years ago). In addition to the celebrities, it’s also a great place to spend a weekend just gaming; from the classics of Atari and Nintendo to Playstation 4 and XBox One modern tournaments, PC tournaments and open LAN, and even a full arcade stretching from the decades of Tron all the way up to more modern cabinets, and even a few Japanese imports such as Japanese Street Fighter two player battle cabinets to Touhou bullet hell games, and then some. Usually, I end up spending a full day just wandering the arcades, getting lost in both nostalgia and witnessing new to me gaming from two different continents. Or, if you’re into board gaming, there’s a huge section, a full wing in fact, just for tabletop RPGs, board games, and CCGs. Basically, if you can play it, there’s people who will play it with you there. Being a huge gaming geek, it’s what sold me to it.
As I noted, I was working through most of the event, but even still, I managed to grab several hundred (almost a thousand) new hits on my 3DS, and that was really fun too. With the way that some of the JRPG titles have their Streetpass systems designed, I can’t help but imagine that they must have though that their games would be about as popular as they seemed there. If you’re like me and have a 3DS with Streetpass turned on, chances are good you’ve run into a title or two that just would not get a hit to save your life. Even at MagFest, that did happen to an extent, but I was happy to have run into even a dozen or so hits from Shin Megami Tensei IV and Theaterythim (way more for the latter, actually). A pleasant step up from the “maybe one or two hits a week” that I normally run into where I am.
All in all, it was a load of fun, and even though I’ve moved hundreds of miles away, I know that I intend to help again next year if I can. Heck, for that matter, if I’m lucky, I’m working on getting a version started in my local area. Maybe one day you’ll hear about the Loon-run MagFest splinter over here. Let’s keep dreaming at least, right?
The site for the festival/convention is www.magfest.org, though it still has the information for the one that just happened (and likely will for a few months to come), but keep an eye on it, and maybe drop me a comment if you are planning to go. Maybe we can meet up and strade a spot pass connection or something. Sound like fun?
The Ranting Loon