Monday, August 9, 2010

Not Enough Energy

The title is said in my very best deep Protoss voice.  If you've been playing SCII like I have (or ever played the original, it's the same guy), you know the one.  I can't help but hear that repeated in my head this morning as I sit here gulping coffee and trying to get back into a normal routine after the craziness of GenCon.  I'll keep the weekend recount short, but I did want to touch on a few things.

First, I'm not a huge table top gamer.  In fact, I'm more of a traditional card player than anything else, but a whole bunch of my friends are big gamers, so a lot of GenCon for me is social.  We did find out that Fuu enjoys the board games more than I do, and I gravitate more towards card games like Dominion.  We also both picked up starter decks for the WoW TCG as well, giving that a try.  It's actually pretty easy to get going if you play WoW.  It really does a good job of mirroring a lot the things we're used to, and is not overly complex, though Fuu and I find ourselves spending a lot of time reading each card and kind of scratching our head before it clicks.  As long as we try to keep in mind that it's supposed to operate kind of how you would expect in WoW, it's easier to conceptualize.

So we tried a few games out, playing pretty casually.  Drank a whole lot of beer.  Hit up a lot of bars (which, while crowded, were also pretty gamer friendly, which is a whole different downtown scene than I'm used to when we go for like, football games and such.  Really a neat contrast, especially if you're a local.  It's like all the nerds ooze out of the woodwork, even the servers and staff at most places).  All in all, it was a fun weekend, but really took it out of me.

We saw the folks from The Guild, which was pretty neat.  Also, Blizzard was well represented as usual.  Apart from the entire football field sized room dedicated to the TCG play, there was some great artwork on display.  The vendor hall was jam packed with everything from authentic chain-mail to gaming minis to steampunk shoulder bags.  However, the highlight for me, by far, was the Video Games Live concert held Saturday night.  VGL is a concert that travels and, while being offered during GenCon was planned, it's not officially a part of the con.  Still, if you ever get a chance to see one of these, they are really neat.

They basically take a popular orchestra (for us, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, who I've actually seen doing the normal orchestra stuff... you know, classical music and the like) and add a couple of their own people to facilitate playing the music from popular video games.  It was extremely entertaining and well presented.  They had the orchestra play the music while two guys played Frogger on the huge backdrop screen.  They had another guy play Jump by Valen on Rock Band live with the Orchestra and a real guitar backing him up.  They had an absolutely amazing flautist that played requests, and an original composition of Legend of Zelda music (complete with interruptions from Navi).  And while they're playing the backdrop shows trailers and clips from the actual games they're taking the music from.  Just an all around cool experience, in my book, and I'm glad we got the chance to go.

I gave you my favorite.  If you went, what was yours?

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