There’s something special about attending the 20th anniversary of id Software’s famed event known as “QuakeCon”. Last year I was invited to QuakeCon along with several of our former members and it was there that I realized we were becoming part of a large tradition that had been going on for 19 years at the time, and this year – 20 years. As our second visit we decided that we would get our impressions out the closing night; tonight. Starting Thursday morning we went through the normal check-in where we signed for our press badges, thanked the staff, shook their hand, and headed on in towards the exhibition hall where we would stand in line for roughly twenty minutes among the crowd of thousands of gamers who were bringing their computers for the B.Y.O.C. attendance while others relished in the idea of simply seeing what is coming up. While many people were just as curious as we were about what was hiding behind the black silky screen, we quickly turned our attention away only to visit the vendor section. Here we were able to visit booths such as Modders Inc. whom had some of the most beautiful modded computers we’d seen, including one completely modded out in order to fit the Fallout feel. Among these were various other creations.
After a while David and I decided it was time to walk away, look at what’s there and head over to the Bethesda Store booth where we found ourselves quickly shelling out cash for some of the most unique items we’d ever seen; some of them exclusive to QuakeCon 2015 such as the 20th anniversary hoodie, Skyrim themed journal, wallet, and even my Vault-Tech messenger bag, but even a few other small things here and there that would go upon our office shelves. Something that was quite familiar last year and allowed us to once more turn our head as we glanced upon the floors before us. As the first day began to pass we walked around finding where vendors were and what they were up to. We got to once more meet up with friendly faces from the past such as Shannon Robb from Thermaltake Technology Inc. USA, Clay Causin of Nvidia, the guys from Tiger Direct, Altex, and many other companies. As the weekend began to go full swing there was something in the air that makes QuakeCon one of the most unique events that we’ve attended, which is that everyone there is accepted whether you are a new age gamer, classic gamer, or all of the above as gamers discussed how they started gaming in general. Some of them having stated it was because of DOOM, others Quake, some because of games such as Hexen, Heretic, Quake Arena, Daikatana, Super Mario Bros. or simply because they wanted to attend a rather large LAN party that would allow their games to be pushed to the max through AT&T’s gigabit powered internet, which truly proved a lagless experience.
As we walked the floor there was something unique about this place as our eye fell upon unique cosplays, computer mods, and even computers being built as attendees began to line up at the Modders Inc. booth. Here we would get to see some of the most astounding computers come to life and fans rejoice the moment they heard the entire unit boot completely up into existence. When walking past these booths there was a lingering hunger for having such a type of computer, but at this time the finances aren’t there, which lead me to admiring the handcrafted work these men, women, and children brought to fruition. While walking along the booths I found myself once more visiting the Nvidia booth where Clay Causin, the team he was with, and the fans were all surrounding the booth in order for attendees to learn about the new hardware, but also the ability to learn what potential their hardware has with these new pieces. Stepping away from their booth after a short while I decided to tail back to where I found the Alienware tour truck, which was loaded with Alienware Steam Machine Alpha ‘Consoles’. There I found myself taking on Mortal Kombat X on Ultra-High in 1080p without a hiccup, and even finding myself enjoying the setup they had. With how smooth the interface and controllers ran, the experience was pleasing, enjoyable, and allowed me to walk away with a pleasing experience after speaking with the Alienware team members.
After walking between booth to booth, I noticed something refreshing in the air; unity. Something this event has brought through with gamers from all walks of life, origins, and even different preference on game types as well as platforms. Admittedly finding myself as a console gamer, I was amazed by the sincerness that many of the gamers had when learning I prefered console platforms, but found myself flabbergasted by how welcoming they were to my preference. Discussing many of the games we played with them was an amazing feat, but there was something even more awesome, more creative, and even leaking beneath the surface. As the event went on through the weekend I decided to take part in the charity events they had going on outside of the DFW Nerd Night. Instead I found myself donating blood to the American Red Cross where I was awarded a unique water pouch themed around DOOM and colored blood red. From there I found myself donating to the Dallas Pets Alive charity in order to help them fund their cause. Afterwards? It was time to head back to the hotel and relax from the weekend I’ve encountered that included panels for Fallout (4/Anthology/Shelter), Retro to Real Time, and even the panel for DOOM where we witnessed Hugo Martin, Brad Bramlett, Marty Stratton, and Robert Duffy discuss DOOM and what it took to make it once more feel authentic for what it was known for. This is something we’ve become excited about over time while watching over this game for the past few years.
As the weekend came to an end after a good amount of time spent with DOOM, Bombshell, and Oculus Rift, there was something to be said about the experience I went through, which was one of the best parts of the overall convention outside of seeing friends, making new friends such as Alex Kurikh, Frederik Schreiber, Becky Taylor, fellow gamers, and a community come together as a whole in order to celebrate a 20 year legacy that id Software helped create/A 20 year legacy us here at B.A.T.G.R. are proud to be apart of. We look forward to the next 20 years of QuakeCon and can’t wait to look back on this day as both gamers and journalists.
We also want to give a special thank you to the folks of Corsair, Media Design School, Thermaltake Technologies Inc., MSI, FSP Group USA, Altex, Modders-Inc., 3D Realms, Tiger-Direct, In Win, Alienware, Teckknow, Bethesda Zenimax, and id Software for taking the time to talk with us and answer our questions!
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.