A few observations - one, gaming is definately a co-ed sport, and two, did I grow? I swear I felt cramped in a few. Also found a few nuggets I never knew existed, like Midway's Space Encounters of 1980 - graphically simple, but has some excellent gameplay mechanics, and some old electro-mechanical touches (flashing red light in a slightly submerged cabinet, and the controller is a yoke you can push in and pull out as well as move side to side). Lots of fun, and I forgot in the arcade those Bezerk robots shoot diagonally! (and you don't have a neck gap for the shots to go through either)
Never been to one of these gaming festivals before, and it reminds me of how much I enjoyed the arcades growing up. Seems like everyone was having a most excellent gaming experience.
As for Magfest itself, the 12th annual event is scheduled for the Gaylord Hotel again at National Harbor in Washington DC (actually on the Maryland side) for January 2-5th 2014 (basically the same time of year as last year). I went last year, and had a lot of arcade fun. I'm not part of the organization, but it seems delightfully non-commercial and full of people who need to bath more, sleep more, but love their games. The arcade machines were a delight, with some I never even remember playing before, and others that were old favories (Wizard of Wor anyone?)
Thanks for the information.
The same group that does Magfest puts on 1 day events with consoles and free-play arcade games on Saturday, March 1st in Baltimore (Game Over Baltimore) and on July 12th in Annapolis, Maryland (Bit Gen9 Gamerfest) - see www.magfest.org for more details.
This year, besides slots on the top 10 for Star Wars Arcade, and my old favorites like Wizard of Wor, RoadBlasters and Bosconian, I had a lot of fun with Sinistar - its so fast and furious, and its great that you can just bounce off asteroids. Have to see what collections I have that include Sinistar. Also fun to play games I am far more used to on consoles like Super Mario Bros with an arcade joystick and not the NES controller, and the revered Space Invaders with three buttons and not the Atari 2600 joystick). Also fun to see how many Asian arcade machines were there, including drum machines. Folks were having a lot of fun with those. Uber-custom controls still set arcade machines apart from other video game devices.
The 4 day MAGfest will be held once again at the National Harbor (in DC, technically in Maryland) at the Gaylord Hotel from January 23-26th. My big draw are the 200 arcade machines, but there's other stuff like consoles, tabletop gaming, live action role playing, LAN gaming, music and something called Artemis that uses several computers to simulate a Starship bridge. Something to investigate if you live in the Mid-Atlantic of the US.
Something new to me was the jubeat machine. Here is a picture of one.
There was also some sort of ouya machine hooked up as an arcade machine, but we gave up on it. Actually had some fun on an Apple IIe. That is the machine I learned the basics on at school. Guy next to me was playing Oregon Trail on a Mac and others also intent on other early microcomputers with tiny often monochrome screens. Fun is fun even in greenscrren phosphor.