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Pre-event & Setup Photos

2 January 2013 | Written by Maxxum, with contributions by Ally

At last year's Opening Ceremony for MAGFest X, it was clear that a substantial amount of work went into the creation and maintenance of the annual Music and Gaming Festival, but I wasn't resolved to document the event until I heard the personal stories of sacrifice, some requiring medical care, that are a regular part of the main body of MAGFest owners and staff.

Inside the house of Scott Schreiber, host for Retrogaming Roundup Inside the house of Scott Schreiber, host for Retrogaming Roundup Inside the house of Scott Schreiber, host for Retrogaming Roundup Michael Green and son unloading an arcade cabinet

MAGFest, which started in 2002, is a culmination of retrogaming nostalgia for anyone who grew-up during the 70's and 80's, and is a window into the early development of the videogame industry for anyone too young to understand the phrase "they just don't make them like they used to" when staring at an Atari 2600 with wood veneer.

It's not only about consoles, the stand-up arcade was a fixture of geek entertainment - a simple design of joystick, a few buttons, and a CRT monitor. I was having a conversation with one of my co-workers about the arcade and its simplicity, particularly the controllers... when did it become necessary to attend flight-school in order to play a game? I took a break from gaming in the early 90's, and when I returned, the console controllers had evolved in a way not unlike Freiza in Dragonball-Z.

Dominic Cerquetti, Grand Vizier for MAGFest XI, taking care of business

At the time, my response was "Dude, I just wanna shoot s**t", and that hasn't changed. The arcade was a simple diversion, that with enough skill could be a 30 minute diversion, with the occasional all night gaming session on weekends. But, most significantly, it was a way to socialize, in person. I stopped for a moment, because I realized that we were having a nostalgiac moment, and I asked "Are we getting old?" My co-worker lowered his head a moment before answering, "Yeah, I guess so."

I had visions of when I was younger, trying to show my older relatives how to use an NES controller to shoot bad-guys, and thinking how it was funny that they didn't understand how or when to hit the buttons on the controller - this is the moment when Viagra commercials of 50-somethings on Harley's start to make sense, and I'm not even 40 yet.

A merchant gets in an early test drive Merchant gaming

The conversation ended, and left to private reflection, I thought to myself, "I don't feel old," and I certainly haven't given-up. Is re-living my past a symbol, or a warning?

During the next four days, I'll be showing you the images of MAGFest XI; the attendees, the games and music, and the tireless efforts of staff and volunteers.

Photos by Maxxum