MAGFest 2018: Review

MAGfest was a last minute convention for me. It is a bit far from where I live and I used to attend Katsucon, an anime convention taking place in the same venue. But the atmosphere of Katsucon changed over the years and the main areas of the convention center became very crowded. I haven’t been in this area in a few years and missed seeing the Gaylord Convention Center in person. It is a gorgeous venue and I loved to be able to see it in person. Once my friend had an open spot in their  hotel, I joined in! My last con, AnimeNYC, was so-so, though this convention really stepped things up. MAGfest was definitely worth the trip!

I definitely needed a bit of a breather after the holidays. The holidays came and went a few weeks ago. That time of the year can be a little tough for me because I lost a sibling a few years back.
 I had great memories of spending time with my brother as a child, watching him play older video games,  Majora’s Mask in particular. Before he passed away, he offered to take me to conventions, perhaps even attending with me because he knew how much I enjoy them. He was a great gamer. We even went to our somewhat local arcade every so often in person.  I wanted to relive some of the memories I had with him through music and games.  I typically attend anime cons but many attendees, myself included, love anime, as well and there was plenty of merchandising and fandoms to be found.  But most of all, I was able to relive some of my old memories I had with my sibling, through music and gaming– overall, I very grateful for the opportunity to attend MAGfest.
It was my first time attending a four day event. Most conventions I go to have a day zero on Thursday, usually consisting of settling in to hotels and getting badges.
MAGfest starts on Thursday and lasts until Sunday. Many parts of the convention, including the arcade, were open 24/7.
The arcade was one of my favorite parts of the event. It was massive and there was pretty much almost always something to play. Though I sometimes wake up earlier in the morning and did usually go to the arcade at around 8a.m. or so, and did find that it was a bit more crowded later on in the day. However, I didn’t really have too many issues with finding a game to play!
I haven’t had as much of a chance to play video games because of school and mainly play rhythm games, which generally consist of short rounds. So I went straight over to this area of he arcade, looking for some of my favorites.
I remember going to an arcade in China Town and playing Groove Coaster, an rhythm game  that has very unique game play from other games I’ve seen in the past.,
I saw two Groove Coaster Machines in the arcade. They feature mainly J-Pop, Touhou, anime, as well as Vocaloid songs, which are very catchy! Apparently there is also a mobile game for Groove Coaster, as well, but you have to pay for the more popular songs.
I brought two cosplays at the event: Ruby Rose from RWBY and Lisa Imai from Bang Dream! Although Bang Dream isn’t too popular yet in the states, at least for MAGfest, it was still fun to walk around and find a few other friends! I met a really sweet Hina  cosplayer who did a fantastic version of Lisa I saw online. I also met a photographer who I might work with at future cons, as my original con photographer retired from events.
I’ve been going to conventions for about eight years now and I can see how different conventions, even in the same venue, have a different culture or in other words, a vibe and atmosphere. MAGfest is family friendly according to the con but at the same time, it  is known for being a party convention. However, I am not really much of a party person (with of course, the exception of more mellow tea parties), and the folks I roomed with understood.
I stayed in the hotel right across the street and I actually preferred staying there over the Gaylord, mainly due to the complimentary breakfast as well as the more convenient elevators. (If you ever went to any decent sized con before, it is rather common for elevators at the main con hotel to either have either a long wait, or breaking all together throughout the con  weekend–there weren’t too many issues, if any, at the hotel I was at).
I didn’t interact too much with staff but the one member I interacted with was very kind and lead me to where I needed to be when I misplaced something. I also had help from two attendees with taking a photo of my Lisa cosplay. and had great interactions with others. I also went to a mini concert by the group, Triforce Quartet , and got a great seat!
In terms of my haul, I got a few stickers and a tote bag! I have an original character named Annie, who has a resemblance to a certain mascot who has become a meme.  I fell in love with this tote bag, but am unable to find who the artist was. If I do, I’ll edit this in a jiffy! A cosplay of this mascot may or may not be a thing in the future. 🙂
All in all, it was a great weekend. I’d love to attend this event again next year, though it depends on if my friends will come along.

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