MAGFest - Arcade Fun

General and high profile video game topics.
scotland171
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

MAGFest - Arcade Fun

Postby scotland171 » January 6th, 2013, 5:21 pm

Just did a day trip to the four day MAGfest (Music and Games Festival) held at the Gaylord Hotel at the National Harbor in DC. There were lots of things to see and do from tabletop to LAN action, but for just a day trip I spent most of my time at the arcade, with 100 machines set at free play.  I had not played Star Wars in a cockpit since I was in high school, but the Force was strong in the old hands. I still stink at pinball, vectrex games still rock, missile command still gets me panicing, I still cannot land that annoying lunar lander, and if humanity is depending on me in 2084, we all better learn to speak robot.   Something about dark arcades and cabinet controls still have magic, if not more than motion controllers or joypads, than a different sparkly magic all their own.  I focused mainly on the 80s games - the ones that really drove us to spend money on the home 'ports' that we had such high hopes for - but there was lots of action in the many driving, fighting, and dancing games of the 90s, after the arcade glory days had already passed.   

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.

scotland171
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

MAGFest - Arcade Fun

Postby scotland171 » May 12th, 2013, 9:19 am

For those in the Maryland, Virginia, DC area, August 10th, 2013 is the 8th annual Bit Gen Gaming Fest in Baltimore.  I've not been yet, but its associated with Magfest and promises video game art and lots and lots of music, as well as lots of arcade games on freeplay in its association with Magfest.  I'm not a big concert person, but the allure of arcade machines, courtesy of Magfest, is as tempting as the Direct TV genie girl...

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?)   

scotland171
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

MAGFest - Arcade Fun

Postby scotland171 » December 26th, 2013, 10:01 pm

Just a bump that if you live in the Washington DC area and like arcade gaming to check out Magfest next week.

Atarifever1
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

MAGFest - Arcade Fun

Postby Atarifever1 » December 27th, 2013, 1:45 pm

Wish I could go.  I'm a huge fan of the RGR podcast, and Scott from there is big into the arcade part of this and makes it sound incredible.  Living in Newfoundland though it is a sad fact that flying to anywhere costs way too much. [frown] 

Thanks for the information. 

scotland171
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

MAGFest - Arcade Fun

Postby scotland171 » January 5th, 2014, 6:17 pm

Magfest was a hoot, and while it has a lot over 4 days like any con, I go for the arcade games.  Hopefully this will be an annual event at National Harbor.  Funny thing was that the hotel, the Gaylord, was hosting Magfest with is loads of casually dressed gamers, and tie and blazer astronomers and astrophysicists (seriously, that was the other conference going on - geekapalooza). Wonder if any of the stargazers spent some time saving the earth from electronic alien invasions?  Thought I saw one well dressed guy on the Area 51 machine...

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. 

  [taikonotatsujin]   

Den1
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MAGFest - Arcade Fun

Postby Den1 » January 13th, 2014, 3:28 pm

^^That is called Taiko no Tatsujin, in case you're curious, and as you can see from the "9" is one of the more popular rhythm games.

scotland171
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

MAGFest - Arcade Fun

Postby scotland171 » December 30th, 2014, 3:39 pm

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.


Oltobaz1
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MAGFest - Arcade Fun

Postby Oltobaz1 » December 30th, 2014, 5:00 pm

Taiko no Tatsujin!! Best Drum game as far as I'm concerned.

scotland171
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

MAGFest - Arcade Fun

Postby scotland171 » January 25th, 2015, 8:22 pm

Did a day at magfest today, as a parent. Neat to introduce young one to a 'real' arcade without tickets or skeeball. Big hit being Outrun II head to head, although several driving games were fun. We also played awhile at a Space Wars cabinet with a lot of variations, although my younger opponent got too fond of 'H-space'. R-type is a different experience with a gunner, letting you focus on manuevers. Saw a cocktail pinball, which is an interesting idea. Pinball is really popular there, but the number that fail during those couple of days is high enough to remind you why pinball is an expensive taste.

Something new to me was the jubeat machine. Here is a picture of one.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubeat#/image/File:Ubeat_irvine_location_test_machine.jpg

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.


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scotland
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Re: MAGFest - Arcade Fun

Postby scotland » January 2nd, 2016, 3:01 pm

For those of you in the Mid Atlantic of the US, this year's MAGFest is again at the National Harbor in DC, from February 18th to the 21st. Last year it had about 17,000 attendees. I go for the arcade machines, but lots of other video game music events and video game events. Each year I can also reaffirm how bad I am at pinball, and how fragile they are. By Sunday, most of the pinball machines have stopped working, but the video games keep on entertaining.


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