MAGFest 2012

The convention season started off great for me this year. MAGFest, my first convention of 2012, was nothing short of awesome. I have never been to MAGFest before, and I’m kicking myself for not going sooner. Everything from registration, to layout, to even the guests was perfect. According to Nick Marinelli, the PR guy for MAGFest, attendance was 6100 this year, which doubled from last year. Attendance doubled due to the larger space at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel, and because their guest of honor was Nobu Uematsu. Word of mouth, an aggressive street team, and just being at other conventions promoting, also helped this convention grow so much. MAGFest will be at the Gaylord for two more years, with next years event already being worked on. Nick see’s the convention to grow steadily because “… MAGFest will always be a giant gaming party that rocks hard.” Frankly I couldn’t put it better myself. This was a great convention. It was a giant party where everyone got along. The real bonus was the color coded wrist bands you got at registration which indicated your age. Since I was over 21, I had a green wrist band. At last years Katsucon, there was an incident where a male in his 30s was charged with sexually molesting a 13-year-old female. Perhaps wrist bands aren’t the answer we all need, but it would help with (possibly) preventing issues like this.

The main events hall for MAGFest was the perfect size. It was broken up into two “rooms”. The first room was split between artists/dealers and tabletop gaming, while the other room was one big arcade. There was also a big room for concerts, an area for Nintendo DS players, and a few more rooms for panels. The hotel has ample room for this convention, and I’m sure it will only grow bigger here. The only downside is the surrounding area of National Harbor. Simply put, it’s an expensive area. While many con goers can afford the area, there were many underage con goers who simply can’t. For example, myself, Pat, and a friend of ours ate at a local restaurant across the street from the hotel. Between the three of us we spent over $100. That is pretty steep for lunch, but we also acknowledge the fact that we are in D.C and therefore it will be more expensive. The cheapest places we saw were a Subway (or some sub shop) and a CVS. If you’re like me, you’re not a fan of lines. And places that are reasonably priced will run out of food. Maybe it didn’t happen this year, but you never know. All that aside National Harbor is simply beautiful. If you’re lucky to have a car on hand you can just drive ten minutes into Virginia and eat there (which is what we did for dinner).

MAGFest is a great convention. If you haven’t been, I urge you to visit next year for a day. 2013 dates are January 3-6.

I ran into Nobu Uematsu 4 times. While slightly buzzed I asked for a picture. He was kind of impressed I spoke Japanese. I'm kind of impressed I kept my Unicorn hat on.

Uematsu no doubts that Pat and I are crazy stalkers.

The above photos were by Pat. The below ones were taken with my camera.

Little kids are always better cosplayers.

 

-Lauren

 

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