Gallery: The amazing costumes, weird controllers, and gaming rarities of MAGFest 2020

Gallery: The amazing costumes, weird controllers, and gaming rarities of MAGFest 2020 thumbnail

Music and gaming and festivals —

Come for the cosplay, stay for the rubber fish gaming controller.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again: MAGFest (The Music and Gaming Festival) is the best gaming convention I go to all year. The gathering of thousands of video gamers, tabletop gamers, cosplayers, chiptune music fans, and all other manner of nerds creates an electric atmosphere that lasts through four whole days, both day and night.

Other fan-focused conventions like PAX can capture some of that feeling, but the presence of major game publishers at those shows ends up creating a more corporate feeling. Over 18 years, MAGFest has maintained its atmosphere as a grassroots gathering of all manner of fans, giving them a chance to share in their common interests in a safe and controlled space. It’s the perfect way to start a new year.

Here are some of the most interesting images I encountered during this year’s show.

  • After the apocalypse, these bottle caps are gonna be worth a fortune!

  • A common sight at MAGFest.

  • Chocobos love ukulele music. It’s a confirmed fact.

  • There can only be one Solid Snake and one Big Boss.

  • Jim Carrey, is that you?

  • Does it count as cosplay if you’re dressing up as Mii versions of yourself?

  • Keep on keeping on, Sam Porter Bridges.

  • We giant black spheres got to stick together if we’re gonna kill Mario!

  • Self-explanatory cosplay.

  • Why is this racing game so serious?

  • Buzz? Hey Buzz, can you explain this crazy space game to me?

  • If you missed your chance to print pictures straight from of Pokemon Snap at Blockbuster locations decades ago, you can do so at MAGFest!

  • You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know that the Atari 2600 had an official light gun. Sentinel is the only released 2600 game to work with the controller, though a number of Atari 7800 games supported it.

  • The MAGFest indie arcade is the kind of place where you can find people pantomiming showering to control a video game.

  • The MAGFest indie arcade is the kind of place where you can find people punching rubber fish to control a fighting game.

  • This mesmerizing mirrored shape is displaying an intricate game of territory control.

  • The problem with most arcade games is that they don’t have enough buttons. In this game, every button does something completely random, and you have to find the right one to win.

  • Blowing in a harmonica-like NES cartridge to control an NES game? Sure, why not?

  • It’s hard to tell from here, but the frets and strings on this guitar have been replaced with mouse and trackball controls. There are also a bunch of keyboards to step on, distortion-pedal style.

  • I am utterly unable to explain the existence of this Danny Devito shrine in the hotel hallway, except to say that Devito seems to be growing into a meme among “the youngs.”

  • This well-worn X-Men cabinet has become a monument to Charles Margolis, the late originator of the “Colossus cry” that still echoes throughout each MAGFest frequently.

  • DanceRush Stardom was a highlight of the Japan-heavy arcade section, inducing your intrepid editor to do some ersatz moonwalking.

  • The light up displays below players’ feet had no gameplay purpose, but it definitely attracted a crowd.

  • Once a living room appliance, now a passable DJ table!

  • Yes, that is an original 1955 Magnavox TV being used as a laptop display in the MAGFest museum. Hey, a monitor’s a monitor.

  • You need two tube TVs to effectively recreate the Nintendo DS development environment.

  • Facebook/Oculus is going to buy Nintendo, confirmed.

  • All the best TVs are spherical.

  • The flames make it go faster.

Read More