Gallery: MAGFest offers up four wild nights of gaming-themed parties and passion - Kogonuso


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Jan 9, 2017

Gallery: MAGFest offers up four wild nights of gaming-themed parties and passion

Kyle Orland

A number of us watching this huge Snorlax walk the halls wondered how he got into elevators or through doors.
Of all the gaming conventions I go to every year, MAGFest (the Music and Gaming festival) might be my favorite. Now in its 15th year, MAGFest knows how to draw a crowd of tens of thousands of nerdy party people for a wild weekend. For nearly four whole days, the Gaylord National Hotel in the Washington-area National Harbor resort becomes a 24-hour celebration of gaming, music, gaming music, and the somewhat nerdy culture surrounding all of it. While E3, GDC, PAX, and the like all have their charms (and their business uses), MAGFest has a passionate energy and socially focused atmosphere that other gaming conventions struggle to match.
The Japanese import-packed freeplay arcade is definitely the biggest draw for me, but board games, newer indie titles, and console classics are waiting to be played at literally all hours of the day and especially the night. And that's not even counting the countless concerts—both on official stages and from unofficial jam bands in the hall—an extensive merchandise area and panels where gamers offer everything from earnest industry advice to hot takes on gaming history. This being a festival, naturally there are excellent cosplayers wandering the hall throughout.
To commemorate our most recent trip, here's a quick look at the most memorable bits of this year's MAGFest show, including an interesting computer history exhibit tucked away in one corner of the resort.

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