kasumin: (sopheria)
[personal profile] kasumin
So my second semester of graduate school has begun. So far it's okay. I'm going to have a lot of reading this semester, though. Not too excited about that, but that's grad school.

I went to two conventions in the past two weeks: MAGFest and Ohayocon.


MAGFest is the Music and Gaming Festival that's held south of Washington DC every January at the incredibly spacious Gaylord Hotel. It's not like other cons I go to, which are anime cons, as it's only concerned with games. It's also 4 days instead of 3, which is really nice. In recent years it's become my favorite con to go to. It's incredibly chill and the attendees' ages tend to skew more towards low to mid 20's and up. There's a lot of great panels, and there's game rooms with entire sections devoted to board games, arcade games, and console games. MAGFest has also been on a roll in the past few years with Japanese video game composers. They had Hiroki Kikuta in 2011 (Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3), Nobuo Uematsu in 2012 (Final Fantasy), and Yuzo Koshiro this year (Actraiser, Streets of Rage, a ton of other games). I'm really hoping they keep up this streak of awesome guests for next year.

And unlike anime cons where I'm walking every which way through crowds and cosplay props, in MAGFest you don't have as many places to run around to. You'll likely chill in the game room for awhile, go watch a concert, or go to a panel. It's all in a really nice and swank hotel (with escalators!) so it's not so tiring to get around. There's also less cosplay, and most of the cosplay tends to be game-related and less extravagant than the kind of cosplay found at cons (generally). It's a great convention for just hanging out and chilling at.

There's also the dealer's room that has a lot of fanmade game merchandise and stores selling older games for varying prices.

This year was especially awesome because a bunch of my online friends from a gaming community that I'm part of attended. It was thanks to one of them that I even started going to MAGFest at all. And then I and a few other attendees convinced others in the community to attend. Three years later and we got twenty people from the community to attend. Some of the people came from as far as Nova Scotia o__o It was pretty awesome. These are people I've talked to online for years, so it was cool to meet them in person. We all referred to each other by our online handles only XD

One of the people who attended was a good friend of mine from Alabama that I've known online for 12 or so years. That was my first time meeting him in person. It was kind of surreal, and I'm glad I got the chance to meet him. Helped him get Yuzo Koshiro's autograph on more than one item because he's his favorite composer ever.



This was my first Ohayocon. I wasn't really sure of what to expect. I'm so used to DC area cons after living there for four years. I guess I'm kind of a con veteran at this point or something >.>;;

I went with my school's anime club. I heard that last year it had around 13,000 attendees, so it's about the size of Katsucon.

Overall, I wasn't all that impressed. The pre-registration line was about half an hour, but I suppose a lot of cons have that issue. I kept comparing it to Otakon, but that's not really a fair comparison. Katsucon is a far better comparison, but I haven't been to Katsucon since 2010. Besides that, even, the panels were horribly planned. One of the voice actor guests, Kyle Hebert, had a panel about video game voice acting at 1:00 PM on Friday. That's right at the beginning of the con! At winter cons where a lot of people go there after work or class, people don't tend to arrive until Friday evening. I didn't get there until 6:00 or so! It really annoyed me that they scheduled it that way. I did get his autograph, though, so I guess it worked out =P

I spent a lot of the con wandering around, though. None of the panels seemed that great from their descriptions. And I was underwhelmed by a lot of the ones I attended. If it wasn't for hanging out with my friend and fellow Yu-Gi-Oh fan from anime club, I'd have been pretty bored.

The dealer's room, however, wasn't too bad. I found a figure from a Final Fantasy figure set that I'd given up on looking for because it only came with full figure box sets. Then I bought a plush backpack of my favorite starter Pokémon from Black/White. I also got a figure of it. And THEN I splurged and bought a 1/7 scale Yami Yugi figure to go with my Seto Kaiba. Ha ha... to my credit, I stopped buying anything after that.

I ended up catching a different ride back, which I'm glad for. The ride up there was stupidly crowded, and I didn't really enjoy it at all. If I'm still here next year, I may go again. It wasn't terrible, it was just kind of meh. I think living in DC and having access to 4 conventions all within an hour of the city has spoiled me.


Now that I think about it, two conventions in two weeks is not good for my wallet x__x

I'm glad Monday's a holiday. Need to catch up on my readings and get ready for the week.

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Kasumin

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