Retropalooza Levels Up

12043064_702712249862590_7770464466187157134_nRetropalooza filled the Arlington Convention Center with elite gaming fanatics from all over the country. From free-to-play arcades and tabletop games, to industry led panels, there was something for every type of gamer. The convention had a rocket boost of attendance this year, spiking from 1200 attendees last year to 2000 this year.

There was so much I was excited to do and obviously playing games was at the top of the list. I started out my gaming adventure by jumping right onto the arcade and hopped games until my thumbs went numb. Let’s Play Gaming Expo had a bunch of console games set up and it was awesome! I watched some mad Guitar Hero skills and got to play some old school Megaman.

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Mad Max: Fury Road art by Devin Kraft of Cheshire Cat Studios

The vendor and artist venue had an awesome selection of video game dealers and extreme talent. A couple of my favorite artists I found included Shonuff Studios, Cheshire Cat Studios, and Jonathan Miller Art. Visiting with local artists and picking up new pieces for my print collection is one of the highlights for conventions for me. I always try to pick up something new!

Vendor wise there was a great selection of old media and new. I saw a lot of retro games for sale that totally brought me back to the days I would come home from school, plug in my N64, and challenge my sister to blind Pokemon Stadium battles. What’s a blind Pokemon Stadium battle? Well, to challenge our skills to the furthest extent as a true Pokemon Master we would close our eyes and randomly select our Pokemon, eliminating the option to choose any from the last row (since those were the legendary birds). Ah, good memories. Where the new games are concerned there were a lot of limited edition runs of current games and figures available for purchase. It was definitely dangerous territory for my bank account.

Me with MatPat (left) and Gaijin Goomba (right)

Me with MatPat (left) and Gaijin Goomba (right)

I was super stoked to meet the YouTube legend MatPat, who, as part of The Game Theorists, is an expert at overanalyzing video games in the most comedic and entertaining way. However, video games weren’t the only theory I wanted to ask Matt about. I needed to get some insight on his Jurassic World theory! He was quick to tell me that he’s working on his theory of all the types of DNA of which the Indominus Rex is made. We narrowed down the obvious choices of T-Rex, Velociraptor, and cuttlefish, and the rest is all theory.

Before I scampered off I had to get him to sign my 3DS – and he did, complete with a Jurassic Park reference! Additionally, I had the pleasure of meeting YouTube stars Andre Meadow of Black Nerd Comedy and Gaijin Goomba who both signed my 3DS too! Although I’m still trying to figure out what you call a blind dinosaur.

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Overall I had an amazing time roaming the convention and getting a more intimate look at the local gaming community. I hope Retropalooza will continue to grow and build the arcade even larger. The staff is professional, yet passionate, and with the “run by fans for fans” attitude, this convention has nothing but a great and growing future ahead. Retropalooza will be entering Houston in April 2016. See you there!

Quakecon July 17-20

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Ready for another weekend of gaming? Quakecon is this weekend at the Hilton Anatole in Downtown Dallas and is North America’s largest BYOC (bring your own computer) LAN party.

Pre-registration for a guaranteed seat at the BYOC lounge has closed, but you don’t have to bring a computer to have an awesome time. Attending the show and roaming around the main floor is totally free. There are many booths that will be set up so users can experience new titles, and there will even be computers available to rent for the weekend. A lot of the industries top names will be in attendance demoing new technology and titles including Alienware and Bethesda.

Events include Elderscrolls tournaments, portfolio reviews, Battlecry tournaments, and a QR code hunt. Additionally, there are many panels, announcements, game presentations and parties!

Marking the 19th year of the convention, Quakecon hopes to hold the reputation as the “Woodstock of gaming” and provide PC gamers and fans alike a hub to come together and celebrate one of the most exciting industries.

 

 

ScrewAttack Gaming Convention this weekend

Awesome banner!

Awesome banner!

Also known as the largest gaming convention in the southwest, SGC brings in an eclectic crowd of gamers from all across the country.

When: July 11-13

Where: Sheraton in Downtown Dallas

How Much: $30-$50

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Me and cosplayer Enasni Volz as Mad Moxxi and Glitzy Geek Girl in the background as Zelda! From SGC 2013!

If you’re not a huge gamer – no worries! SGC has something for every type of gamer. When I went last year they even had an old-school arcade with games like Galaga and Street Fighter! If you’re more of a modern gamer, there’s plenty of stuff for you too! Some of the awesome fun stuff includes:

  • A massive dealer room with up to 80 vendors.
  • A huge main stage that can accommodate over 1500 attendees comfortably for large panels and concerts that is streamed live to the Internet!
  • Two additional panel rooms which can each accommodate hundreds of attendees!
  • An expansive game room and arcade featuring consoles across all generations and a robust lineup of arcade cabinets!
  • Past guest speakers included YouTube celebrities and industry figureheads, such as; Adam Sessler, The Angry Video Game Nerd, Jim Sterling, and more!
  • An open call for other gaming websites to compete in a “ScrewAttack vs the Internet”!
  • The 8th annual Iron-Man of Gaming Tournament!
  • Live concerts of amazing video game related bands and DJs!
  • Table top gaming

This year SGC will even host a cosplay contest with prizes upwards of $500.

Additional information can be found on the SGC Facebook page.

SGC 2013: Review + Giveaway

I went to the ScrewAttack Gaming Convention on June 22 at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas, TX. For those of you who are long-time AnimeFest goers, this is the hotel where that convention used to be held! Above is my video review and giveaway and below are all the links to the coolest stuff the convention had to offer as well as the rules to enter the giveaway!

GAMES

Zog:

“Set in a post robot-human war, Zog awakens to a robot factory of its, now destroyed, city. In an attempt to regain a connection to the main AI, Zog must make its way through the factory ruins to the brain room, without being shut back down by the human soldiers that now occupy the area.” – Skylar Rudin

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Mist of Stagnation:

“Mist of Stangnation is a first person shooter that incorporates an element of strategy. Currently, the game plays like Call of Duty’s domination; two teams of players fighting for control over three capture points, pretty standard stuff. The twist is that each team has a player-controlled general who can upgrade players. So if my general send me to capture Control Point B, and sees that there are two enemies in that area, the general can buy me a grenade launcher to kill the players. Likewise the general of the opposing team, in an attempt to defend Control Point B, might buy the two players heavy armor or increase the range of their rifles. The currency to purchase these upgrades and power ups comes from how many control points are seized, and with the addition of player respawns costing resources, the general has to incorporate strategy into resource management and also map capture. Generals are also meant for support, but have some light defensive elements. This means that they are fairly vulnerable and should also be protected by players because losing the general takes a big toll on the team.” – Josh Wilkinson

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Brain and Zombie:

“Brain AND Zombie features a fully animated opening, where the heroic Professor Brawn accidently turns himself into a giant brain trying to save the world. Sprawling across 4 worlds (World 5, Robo World, will be out fall 2013) with more on the way, Brawn must uses the power of science in an attempt to stop the influx of the zombie hordes.  Hunt Zombies through the city, avoid the giant saws in the woodmill, slip and slide across the ice cream factory, and then dodge the toxins of the chemical plant.   Each world features their own unique hazards and new Zombies types with their own unique style of game play. The Brain is also customizable using an arsenal of specialized hats some with special powers adding to the fight (all “scientifically” proven). Take the Zombies hordes head on… just sans the head.” -BAZ Press Release

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Rad Raygun:

“It is the year 198X. Big hair is hot, and the war with the Soviets is colder than a refreshing glass of New Coke. RAD RAYGUN must travel the world fighting communist robots, and save the 1980′s by shooting his way through 5 decade spanning levels. Ultra sharp 144p resolution graphics and 4 unique shades of monochrome off-green bring Rad Raygun to life, as only 1980′s mobile technology can.” –http://radraygun.com/

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GEAR

Freaks and Geeks:

A Texas retailer that buys, sells and trades any nerdy merchandise including vintage video games, figurines and gaming consoles. 

Loyal K.N.G. :

Loyal K.N.G. (Knowledge Never Goes) not only has an awesome streetwear clothing line, but also make high quality videos at conventions and other events around Texas.

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Giveaway Prizes & Rules:

Prizes: $20 steam credit (wallet code is actually printed on Game Stop receipt which I will be sending to you), (1) Brain and Zombie shirt in a M, (1) Brain and Zombie shirt in a L

  • Comment on the YouTube video with your favorite video game and why
  • Must be 18-years old or older or have parent permission to enter
  • Contest closes July 10, 2013 at midnight, CST
  • Winners will be announced July 11 in the text description of the YouTube video

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Like my Facebook page for updates on conventions and to share pictures!

Follow me on Twitter: @DallasTXFanGirl

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Next Stop: ScrewAttack Gaming Convention

A 72-hour gaming party? Don’t mind if I do. The ScrewAttack Gaming Convention will kick off June 21 and run through June 23 at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Dallas (where AnimeFest used to be held). At only $25 a day, this convention is affordable and judging by the event details; definitely looks worth the money.

Activities include:

  • Game tournaments like: Halo 4, Dance Central, Injustice, Street Fighter, Marvel VS Capcom and more
  • Panels including: Brentalfloss, Gaming on Youtube, Official ScrewAttack panel and more
  • Autograph sessions with the gorgeous Lisa Foiles, always quirky Nathan Barnatt, X-Play star Adam Sessler and more
  • Dealer’s room with over 80 vendors
  • Mario Party after dark
  • Table-top gaming
  • Saturday midnight dance party hosted by DJ Cutman
  • Cosplay contest

Quick Facts:

When: Friday June 21 – Sunday June 23

Where: Hyatt Regency Dallas
300 Reunion Boulevard,
Dallas, Texas, USA 75207

$$: $25 a day, $50 for weekend

The full schedule and additional details can be found here.

Cosplayer gets dream opportunity

Putting together an awesome cosplay pays off when people recognize all the work you put into it. But for one woman, that recognition went beyond what anyone would typically expect.

Cosplayer Anna Moleva, most popularly known as “Ormeli”, got the offer of a lifetime from Irrational Games to become the character she portrayed. Her spot on cosplay of Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite landed her the opportunity to take her image beyond the convention floors.

“We were so amazed by her dedication and her resemblance to Elizabeth that we decided to ask her if she’d like to be involved in helping bring Elizabeth to life in our box, our key art and our upcoming television ad,” game designer Ken Levine wrote.

Seriously, what’s cooler than getting to say you’re on a video games’ box?!  This is extremely motivating. It’s so exciting to see that a company is actually breaking barriers and supporting fans who have supported them. I can only imagine that this is going to open so many new gateways for cosplayers and establish a stronger, more respected community.

MLG not just for the 1337

This past weekend I ventured to the Major League Gaming championship held at the Dallas Convention Center. The convention was host to some of the biggest international competitors in the gaming industry including team Azubu Blaze and Zerg player, Leenock.

Okay, I should warn you that I’m not the most avid gamer to exist on the planet.

I’ve played my fair share of Super Smash Bros., Pokemon games, and stumbled through RPG’s and FPS’s via friends and demos at various GameStop’s.

Imagine walking into a room that is 98% males. It’s dimly lit, smells kind of strange, and large screens are flashing from every direction. Hello sensory overload.

The first thing I noticed was the lack of females. Of course I was expecting there to be a big difference in terms of attendance with guys and gals but not to the extent that it was.

The majority of the females that attended were there to either host a booth or to support a boyfriend.

The rarest sighting was a female who was actually there to do some heavy competing, Scarlett from Team Acer.

Girls who were dressed up in heels or nicer clothing were being teased for dressing up too much. In fact, my friend I was with was accused of not playing video games just because she was wearing heels (I’m pretty sure she knows video games better than most guys I know).

Apparently if you’re a girl and you’re going to a video gaming competition a t-shirt and jeans is your best wardrobe option if you want to be taken seriously. I’ve heard the term “girl gamer” tossed around the interwebs and in passing at the convention. For some reason it just hits my ear wrong. If you’re a boy and you play games are you called a “boy gamer”? No. If you’re a girl and you play video games, cool. If you’re a boy and you play video games, cool. Let’s knock off the gender title and just refer to the people who play games as gamers. Makes much more sense to me. The term “girl gamer” has negative stereotypes attached to it as a blogger on Destructoid points out. She says that she “hates those females that try to use their sexuality and slutty pictures of themselves to make a name for themselves in the gaming industry rather than letting their knowledge speak for itself.”

I understand that females are a minority in the gaming world and I think the concept of females playing video games and kicking butt at them is still in the stages of being more widely accepted. However, I really don’t think it’s necessary to have a separate title for a female who enjoys playing video games.

Maybe I’m setting a bad example for my gender, but I honestly really tried to get excited about the competitions.

I stood for a while and watched some of a Mortal Kombat Championship which was pretty intense. As a key-masher I’m kind of lost when it comes to the art of mastering the buttons, so watching a competition on a big screen where people actually know what they’re doing is really cool to see. Especially since I could understand who was winning and who was about to be demolished.

There were a lot of other competitions I stood and watch but there’s no way I could even try to remember every game I saw. It was fun seeing some capture the flag game play of Halo 4 before it’s release date, but that’s probably the only game I can 100% accurately remember.

MLG was definitely a fun experience and I’d definitely like to go again if the pro circuit makes its way back to Dallas. The only thing I would change is next time I’ll try to read up on the competitions a bit more so I know why I’m cheering!

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Images credit: Julio Nieto (thanks, dude!)