Chances are, you’ve played a video game or two in your day. Maybe you haven’t picked up a controller since Mario made his first (of many, because man she was helpless) attempts to rescue Princess Toadstool. Or maybe you’re a little tired this afternoon because you stayed up too late last night obsessively launching birds at pigs. Me, I picked up an Intellivision controller as soon as I was old enough to grip things, and I’ve been at it ever since.
Which is why I jumped at the opportunity to spend last weekend with 3,000 other people at the Hilton Mark Center in Alexandria for MAGfest 9, an annual four-day celebration of music and gaming.
all photos by Michael Darpino
Late on a Sunday night, there’s a stark contrast between the cold, deserted DC streets and the cave of 8-bit fantasy I’ve emerged from. Anamanaguchi assaulted the packed Backstage at the Black Cat with strobe lights, pixellated animation, and their unique brand of electronic power-pop.
The last time I caught Anamanaguchi (for the 8-bit Alliance Tour last summer), the room wasn’t even at half capacity. However, the band has clearly gotten some buzz lately from their work on the soundtrack for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game. I found the Backstage nearly full when I arrived, which is a rarity for any Sunday night. The young, slightly geeky crowd was ready to rock out to video-game-inspired bleeps and bloops.
‘Geek/Nerd/Dork/Dweeb Venn Diagram’
courtesy of ‘yat86’
We already knew that we’re rich, smart vegetarians, but now we’re officially nerds, too. The DC metropolitan area is the third brainiest city in America (after Denver and Durham), based on our numbers of computer science and math degree recipients, science degree recipients, and grad students. And if you’re really into the numbers and statistics (which we’re guessing you are, since you’re most likely a nerd), you can check out all the data that matches up DC against other cities.