By word of mouth we first heard of MAGFest two Otakons ago. For those that unaware, MAGFest, short for Music and Gaming Festival, is an annual four day gathering of individuals that love the two aforementioned subjects. So imagine a public space where all walks of life can convene for console, pc, tabletop or arcade cabinet gaming all while enjoying the sounds of video game inspired music. With that said, we were anxious to get hands on experience with the amenities offered at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
MAGFest is robust with activities. One could stumble into a video game voice actor’s panel, watch a game culture related short film or video game improv, get their Magic: the Gathering card game on or enjoy quarter-less “infinite continue” arcade cabinet gaming. Lan party attendees, cosplayers and musicians are encouraged to bring their setup, instruments and costumes to the festivities as well. And if the vast amount of activities seemed overwhelming, the guidebook app and staff aided those in need for a stress free experience.
Being this was our first year to MAGFest and to the Gaylord, we soaked things up in a very laid back exploratory fashion. Traveling between each of the three floors, we demoed the latest mobile games from Mindgrub Technologies, got reacquainted with NES and Sega Genesis controllers, caught a glimpse of a panel called Voice-a-Palooza” and of course played plenty of arcade cabinet games. Music wise, we were able to witness DJ Cutman’s signature blend of chiptune and edm. While there were a handful of cosplayers in attendance, MAGFest’s scaled back dealer room didn’t offer a lot of anime wares. More or less, we saw retro games and systems we’ve always wanted as kids, clever video game inspired tees and artwork.
This past weekend, we caught only a tip of the iceberg of what MAGFest has been offering video game and music fans for over a decade. However for the low entrance fee, the ability to play SEGA, NES, SNK and ATARI classics with infinite continues, MAGFest is a must-attend every year going forward. Below are some photos taken by Killahbeez guest photographer, Bryan Johns.