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.

10653787_822235684525299_7519842359099896175_n

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.

IMG_1070

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!

STEAM wallet code giveaway!

As a “thank you” for all of the support of my fans and readers, I am doing an end of the year giveaway! I will be giving away 2 Steam wallet codes each worth $20 to a YouTube user and to one of my Facebook fans! Entering is super easy; all you have to do is “Like” my Facebook page and/or comment on my YouTube video with what your favorite video game of 2013 was. Thank you all so much for all of the support and I cannot wait to head out to the next round of big fan conventions in Dallas next year!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtmd84jRExo

Reality show “The Quest” needs a hero!

Okay so there is a show called “The Quest” in the works. It basically sounds like the best version of the Amazing Race meets the gameplay of Zelda with a Lord of the Rings background. Think you can be a hero??? You should totally apply to be on it!!

To apply send the following information to thequestcasting@gmail.com:

Name
Age
phone number
email
Current Address
current photo
Your hobby/fascination (ie. larping, RPG, ComiCon, Game of Thrones, etc)
What makes you perfect for a show like this?

QuestFlyer (1)2

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Images credit: Julio Nieto (thanks, dude!)