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Level One: MAGFest

I suppose it was inevitable that the reclusive, forest dwelling, artist C.P. Sketch would someday venture out into the larger world of gamers. Here in Maine we have a lot of gamers but we don’t congregate in mass numbers. I followed many gamers online and was excited to see them congregate at gaming conventions. The thought of an event so large scale was super exciting. So this year I said, “Let’s go to MAGfest!”

When first considering which gaming convention to attend, MAGfest stood out to me due to its commitment to the arts. The marriage of art and gaming was considerably seductive and spoke directly to me as an artist. Growing up in the Arcade/Atari era, video games fueled my imagination and inspired me to make art based on simple pixels. My goal was to push boundaries of the video games and expand it content, making it even more immersive for me personally. Decades later, I’m still doing the same thing and now interested in meeting others who are doing the same.

MAGFest was the place to do so. A place to discover the tribe I belonged to. It was amazing to see so many people committed to creativity and gaming. Not only that the convention was relentless with its awesomeness! It never stopped! During the four days, fun and events ran 24 hours. I participated in as much as I could ranging from YouTube panels, musical performances, game vendors, meeting game inspired artists and a FREE PLAY Arcade. I really felt at home here.

Attending the YouTube panels was a blast. Lots of laughs and it was great to connect with other fan. Most of all it was really exciting to see the YouTubers beyond a 2D screen. Seeing them in the flesh made is easier to comprehend that these content creators are real people that made the commitment to hard work and embrace what they are truly inspired by, video games. After watching their panels I am now more enthusiastic to work harder in my own field and push my work even further.

When I wasn’t chillin with YouTubers I was checking out all the awesome music MAGFest presented. It all started with a Super Smash Bros. Opera. What a trip. The talented vocalists altered classical compositions to fit with a humorous narrative filled with murder and vengeance. The costumes and props were well crafted and I was amazed at the casts’ level of performance considering the auditions were all done via skype. Later that night I got to relive some of the 80’s during MAGprom, awkward slow dancing was includedJ Throughout the rest of the con I was treated to a powerful assortment of music ranging from metal, instrumental, aucostic, funk, and electric all derived from some of the best game tunes ever written. Keep rocking MAGfest!

Next, we have games, and games and MORE games!!! I picked up a complete boxed Home Alone on NES (the best Home Alone gaming experience EVER!) and three GB Advance games part of the Classic NES Series. The game vendors were really easy to deal with. Super friendly and willing to make fair deals.

Lastly I got to enjoy some really creative artwork and met some really nice artists. I met the legendary pixel painter Squarepainter. His paintings, small and large scale, are inspired from NES and SNES including from Megaman to Streetfighter. He paints with beautiful vibrant colors and has a very strong eye for composition. I spoke with Squarepainter, introducing myself as an artist of the pixel persuasion, and was very supportive and encouraging. He suggested that I should get involved with MAGfest and exhibit my work. What a great guy.

Now I am home again and MAGfest is over. What an amazing experience! I had a blast and cannot wait to return. Maybe next time I will bring my art with me :-)

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