hackaday's Vince Veneziani hits us up with a special report from this past weekend's Gameriot event in Philly:
Hey there readers. I'm here with the ultimate coverage of the on-going Gameriot tour. I attended the one in my home city of Philadelphia, PA. Gameriot was sponsored by MTV2, MySpace, Xbox, Nesquik, ATI, and a slew of other companies. You should totally keep reading because at the end I have FREE STUFF to give out! They showcased PC games and Xbox games. No PS2, Gamecube, etc. but on the plus side, there was free Nesquik and other junk. Lots of it. I showed up to the TLA at about 7pm, got my ticket from will call and waited in line to get in. While in line, I asked people what they were looking forward to at Gameriot. The response I got however was a bit odd.
Apparently everyone was there to see the bands playing, Ritter and Break Away. I guess no one took a real keen interest in the games being showcased aside from me. Eventually I finally walked inside and was greeted to the world of Gameriot. Apparently, Gameriot is a place where punk kids go to become candy ravers. Because that was what it totally looked like was going on.
I gotta give it to them though. The DJ for the night was DJ Rob Dinero. He was running the gamut of music all night which I'm sure pleased everyone. The best part had to be his 17" Apple Powerbook. It was a sweet piece of music machinery that he had all his MP3s on. This included a slew of mashups including 50 Cent's "In The Club" over the music of Nine Inch Nail's "Closer." It was amazing and he did an excellent job.
So after about 5 minutes of scoping out the place, crowd, and everything else. People started heading up to the MTV2 stage to play Halo 2 in heats so they could compete in the tournament later on. I had made myself a cute little press pass just in case I needed it for exclusive access. Lucky me, I didn't. I went up on stage to play Halo 2, got the crap kicked out of me, and walked off and stood to the side. When the MC for the night (guy in white shirt above) was done speaking, he walked over and introduced himself as "Honkey." Yes, Honkey. Honk was really cool about me covering the event and wanted to help in what seems like every way possible. He was a cool guy with so much enthusiasm and fun inside him, you could see it in his sweat. This is him.
He then told me who I should talk to about what and who was going to be there on that night.
I thanked him and throughout the night, Honkey kept me up to date on stuff which was totally sweet. He even let me talk to the crowd about Joystiq and gaming. It was an awesome time.
I soon found the man I had been looking for all night, Zylos. Zylos is the World Halo Champion and works for the MGL (Major Gaming League).
Zylos was insane at Halo 2. I cannot put into words how good this guy is. He does this for a living and all with good reason. I interviewed him upstairs at the venue and he told me the secret to Halo 2. Check it out.
Joystiq: So Zylos man, you gotta tell me, how do you do it?
Zylos: I don't know man. I guess lots of practice and stuff. The main thing you gotta do is practice and keep playing. Play online and always play with people who are better than you. Otherwise, you'll never improve. It takes awhile, keep at it and you'll be good. Play all the modes available in the game too...not just Slayer.
Joystiq: Awesome man, thanks a ton for the tips. Has anyone ever beat you?
Zylos: Actually yeah. 2 kids in Cincinnati beat me.
Joystiq: Really? What did they get for beating you?
Zylos: They got all kinds of prizes like an MTV2 jacket and stuff. They also got $100 and an MGL contract.
Joystiq: Sounds awesome man. Zylos, thanks a ton for your time and good luck tonight...not that you need it!
Zylos: Haha, thanks a lot man.
After interviewing Zylos, I headed down to the floor to meet the obvious: The chicks working the Nestle Quik booth. I was thirsty. I swear. They didn't seem to care too much about games, they just wanted some cash. Tsk tsk. It was then that I ran into one of the members of the band Break Away. It turned out to be my good old friend Mac from back in the day! We said hello and caught up on with what was going on with each other then I demanded he get a photo with the Quik girls.
After chugging what seemed like 4 bottles of Quik so I didn't have to pay for $3.00 bottles of water, I moved on to the Gameriot employees. There was quite a few of them and they were all really cool and nice. It takes a ton of work to throw even something as simple as Gameriot together. I mean there was lighting, about 40 plasma TVs, over 25 computers, it was madness! Matt was in charge of everything going on at Gameriot. He told me about how this time around it's getting a lot more attention than last year's, which I'm glad to hear. So special thanks to Matt, Pete, John, and everyone else for showing me how Gameriot is done and for showing Joystiq some love.
Honkey and I hosting the show....insane style.
Me and one of the Gameriot employees. Not sure what the gang sign is all about.
Pete does all the lighting and electric work for Gameriot...oh, and Forza Motorsport too.
Matt is the head honcho of the whole operation at Gameriot.
So after meeting with the staff, I was dying of thirst again. Luckily, I was able to score some free water from the employees. The entire time I was there, tons of non-stop Halo 2 action was going on up on the MTV2 stage. It was just madness. Some of the players who were up there seemed like they could even take on Zylos!
We're talkin about tons of Plasma TVs up on this neon green stage. It was great.
Of course there were a few unreleased games on the floor, mostly for Xbox. They had Jade Empire and the new Conker: Live & Reloaded game most notably. Conker was kind of hard to control but had it's fair share of humor, as expected. It was a fun game but I'm optimistic if it will sell well. It just didn't seem like they wanted to push it at all.
Rated M for a few good reasons.
After checking out most of the Xbox games and playing a little more Halo 2, people started getting fierce on the 25-computer LAN setup. They had Counterstrike: Source and Battlefield 2 tournaments going on and a lot of gamers loved it. Counterstrike sure has come a long way since it was a dinky beta for Half-Life. You had the usual lineup of players from the occasional player to the hardcore, clan-leading, dualie-weilding freak. Lots of foul language was running amuck but that's ok, it's not like there were children around*
*Indicates I'm lying.
Check out some of the Battlefield and Counterstrike action below!
Of course someone won, went on the the next heat, etc etc. You know how these things go. There was also a Ms. Pac-Man tourny going on for the person with the highest score. The prize however was a makeup kit from some company. The current winner was a 6 year old boy and I just didn't have the heart to tell him that he's too young for Rocky Horror. It's sad...and by sad I mean hilarious.
Then, as people were getting ready for Forza Motorsport, Honkey came on and told everyone that Ritter was playing. Ritter came out with the bassist telling jokes every 5 minutes, but they rocked. We're talkin hardcore. After Ritter was done playing, I scored a 45 minute long video-interview with them that pretty much consisted of a bunch of goofing around in their "VIP Room." You'll catch them on the video I threw together.
Ritter knew how to rock out. Seriously. Awesome guys too.
After interviewing them, my friend's band Break Away took the stage. We all rushed down backstage to watch rather than get caught up in the emotion of the audience. Break Away was also really good and full of punk rock harmonies that the crowd loved to sing every word to.
Break Away owning (or pwning) the audience with rock.
After congratulating everyone in Break Away on a great performance, I walked out to the main floor. I noticed that about 75% of the crowd had left. Apparently Gameriot isn't just about games. It's about a lifestyle, culture, music, gaming, and a ton of other things all fused into one event. I soon left and didn't have a chance to interview the winner of Forza Motorsport because he left right after he won. Oh well! It was pretty cool and for $5, I really can't complain. I suggest you check it out if it's coming to a city near you, the official website is Gameriot.com.
Now for the good stuff
Video of Gameriot
I threw together a really badly encoded video using Final Cut Pro. It's about 4 minutes long and shows all the madness going on at Gameriot.
You can download it here in MPEG-4 format. I figured LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk is playing at my house went well with the environment. Enjoy.
Free prizes for you readers
Honkey was totally awesome and hooked me up with tons of stuff to give away to you guys. I have 2 Xbox black visors, a Nestle Quik sweatband for your wrist, an MTV2 bag full of CDs, Info, and other junk, and a few 2-week memberships to Gamefly.com.
All you gotta do is post in the comments and let us know what your favorite game of all time is! Be sure to use a real e-mail address because we'll need it to contact you so we can send you your free swag. Game on!