Magfest 2016

So for the past two days I attended Magfest 2016 down at National Harbor, MD in the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel. This was my first time going to Magfest and I was really excited to be on a little adventure, something I could not have done a few years ago. I listened to Welcome to Night Vale, Ninja Sex Party and TWRP on the way down and I was pumped. I knew I would have to keep a head of steam up until at least midnight if I was going to accomplish everything I wanted to do. The National Harbor was as beautiful as I had been led to believe and when I stepped into the Gaylord I was blown away with how huge and beautiful it was.

The fandom factor was in full effect as it looked like the entire hotel had been taken over by fictional characters of every description. The cosplay was one of my favorite parts of attending the con. People put so much effort and skill into good cosplay and it was really cool to see. At times that I was tired or overwhelmed, I saw a character I enjoyed walking around and I smiled. That sort of thing has such a powerful effect. Here’s a short list of great stuff I saw: Mojo Bubbles, The Kingdom Hearts Cast, The Undertale Cast several times over, Carmen Sandiego, Waldo, Classic Harley Quinn, Mario Maker, Artemis and this gaggle of Ricks right here.

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The con had a huge arcade that I went to the first day over and over.  It was loud and heavily populated so it would become overwhelming.  I played Bad Dudes, Fist of the North Star, Galaga 3, Killer Instinct 2, Wild Gunman, Tron, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Street Smart and Metal Slug for the first time.  Arcade games are so much fun even though they all are pretty much super short on story.  The gameplay usually makes up for it and it’s just easy enough to want to continue when you fail.  In this arcade, the games were free so I could try over and over until somebody looked like they wanted the machine.  Ten year old me internally high fived 33 year old me.  I also visited the Museum of Computers and got to play Dragonfire on Intellivision, a game system that was obsolete by my  second birthday.

I had a lot of fun hanging out and people watching and just enjoying the convention for what it was. I never once attended a panel but that was not what I was there for. I loved the energy of the convention. While waiting on a meet up with Barry Kramer, I got to chat briefly with some Game Grumps fans. Then Barry arrived and was promptly swarmed by us, the poor guy. I got his autograph and I was able to tell him how much I liked his work on Table Flip and Game Grumps.

Now it was time for the main event. I had come to the convention with several objectives but the number one mission was always attending the Ninja Sex Party/Tupperware Remix Party concert. So I went into the concert hall and watched the One Ups and they had a great set that was very chill but enjoyable. After that, I stayed put near the stage and chatted with NSP fans for a full hour. When I looked behind me at that point the place was mobbed and I was lucky to be about five people from the stage. I felt so lucky even though I was short and knew I would still have trouble seeing everything.

We flipped off Brian Wecht during the sound check and happily chanted at him as he and TWRP did their thing. TWRP hit the stage and, although I wasn’t as familiar with them, their mini set was absolutely electric. I need to pay more attention to them. Then NSP hit the stage and one of the loudest reactions I have ever heard nearly blew the roof off the place. NSP joined TWRP on stage for “The Decision” and “If We Were Gay” and we all sang along. Then they started in on there upcoming cover album with “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Take On Me”. Finally they jammed out to “The Hit“, the first TWRP song that featured NSP.  At some point in the evening, Danny informed us that 5000 people were in attendance. It was so awesome. I stumbled out of the concert hall like I had achieved victory and limped off and drove to my hotel room.

I relaxed a little the next morning in my hotel room wih some free breakfast, the first real meal I had had in a while. I slide back over to the convention and did some more people watching and exploring as I thought about the day before. I started to wait outside the autograph area for Danny and Brian to show up for autographs. While I was waiting there, the Game Grumps fanart I was carrying attracted some interest. I got into a great discussion with a girl with pink hair and two Grump/NSP fans from Puerto Rico. We reminisced over great moments in Grump history and the concert the night before. After three and a half hours of waiting, they opened and closed the line and I did not get an autograph. It was disappointing but there were thousands of people who were also disappointed so I sucked it up.

I ate a big meal at a sports bar inside the hotel and rested my poor tortured feet and legs for a bit. Then I went and sat in a hallway and did some writing for the blog and played Pocket Mortys for a while. More people watching happened. Finally I rolled on over to the Commander Holly tweetheart meet up and I had a lot of fun. I met Kati Schwartz and let her know that she inspired me because she is a writer and I am a writer too. I met Kati’s friend PattNardz I chatted with some tweethearts and then guess what happened? Ninja Brian himself wandered into the meetup and graciously signed my poster. That was the perfect topper for the weekend and I drove back to Baltimore to crash in my own home.

Here is the Game Grumps poster with the three signatures I was able to get. There’s Barry’s signature, Brian’s signature and Kati’s signature hiding down near the bottom.  Thanks to @OnstaMonster for the art!

y.

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