The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
Did you hear the news? QuakeCon 2012 kicked off today, and
for the next 96 hours, gamers from around the world will descend on Dallas,
Texas to engage in what is hailed as the largest LAN party in the United States
(and some say the world). Thousands of gamers equipped with powerful, polygon
crunching gaming rigs loaded up with a variant of Quake, the iconic First
Person Shooter (FPS) created by id Software, will frag their way through each
pulse pounding, rocket jumping round as they gib their opponents in the quest
for victory, all while competing for over $30,000 in cash and prizes.
The event specifics can be found at the official QuakeCon
website located here, so I'm not going
to go into great detail telling you about the QuakeCon Pack that's now
available on Steam, the Lost Mission in the DOOM 3 BFG Edition, or the event
schedule for the weekend. If you're really that interested in finding out more
information about it you'd probably be better off reading it straight from the source
so I don't screw it up.
What I am going to talk about is why after 17 years of
annual events, QuakeCon still matters.
With many of our industry events being exclusive to those who are actually
employed within the industry or simply cost prohibitive due to ticket price
(not to mention travel and lodging accommodations) it's refreshing to see that
even after the growth of the event it still remains free and open to the public
(id Software funds most of the event). Sure, you still have to pay to get there
and everything that comes along with that, but once you're there you have the
opportunity to see, hear and participate in a truly spectacular event
highlighted by the fact that it now includes much more than gamers slugging it
out in a free for all melee; from time to time it even includes unique
opportunities like sneak peeks at upcoming releases, access to closed betas,
and the chance to hear keynote speeches by the legendary John Carmack, arguably
the biggest name in the FPS business. Personally, I'd like to sit in on the "The
Game of Making Games" presentation.
by the Dallas Observer states, "Exhibitors
include Minecraft, Bethesda Softworks and iD software. Be sure to stop by the
Bethesda booth for hands-on testing of the steampunk stealth-based game
Dishonored, and the iD booth for testing of Doom 3: BFG Edition. There is also
word going around that John Carmack will also be showing off his new VR setup
that was a hit at this year's E3."
That's pretty cool.
said the first QuakeCon (1996) started with about 30 gamers and by the end of
the weekend the numbers rounded out to about 100 gamers participating in the
event. The winners walked away with t-shirts. Fast forward to last year's event
that witnessed an estimated 8,500 participants, where each of the top 3 teams
in the different divisions walked away with thousands of dollars in prize
money, not to mention all the other cash prizes and goodies that were awarded.
Some of the winning teams were given high end video cards, which can be a few
hundred bucks for each lucky winner. Not a bad haul for doing something you
enjoy, like playing video games. This year's event is expected to be no
different and could reach 10,000 gamers.
Also worth mentioning is the international presence that
often attends the event. Former winners include gamers from Canada, Russia,
Sweden, Italy and others.
While attendance at one particular industry event doesn't
represent the vitality of the PC platform as a whole; and 10,000 gamers is a
very small percentage when compared to the numbers logging on to Xbox Live and
the Playstation network every day, I still think the fact the event continues
to witness continued growth, expansion and participation at an event with a
specific audience is reflective of a stable and healthy platform; PC gaming
isn't dead just yet.
Progress: In 17
years of QuakeCon events, no doubt some progress has been made, and I don't
mean just in the format of the actual event. The advances in hardware have
jumped by leaps and bounds. I can remember playing Doom and Doom II in the mid
90s via modem to modem connection, so in 1996 when Quake was released and the
first QuakeCon event occurred, the network connectivity paled in comparison to
the data rates and capability we see today. It was during the mid 90s when the
biggest, tallest, beigest computers were considered state of the art. Shortly
thereafter is when the industry really witnessed the explosion in custom PCs
and LAN PCs (smaller, easier to transport gaming machines). Since its
inception, QuakeCon has been a Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) event, so this
gives gamers an opportunity to show off their ultimate gaming rig and even
compete in the sanctioned Modders-Inc Case Modding Contest (rules here).
Of course this means you also get to see all sorts of high tech computers, accessories
and peripherals too.
being a free, public access industry event for regular gamers to attend, it
shouldn't be a surprise that a few noteworthy names can be seen running around
the event. Besides the aforementioned John Carmack, other notable attendees include
Blair Herter (G4TV), Ted Price (Insomniac), Todd Howard (Bethesda Game Studios),
Geoff Keighley (GameTrailers TV), Adam Sessler (Industry Veteran), Michael
Pachter (Wedbush Securities), and other folks from Valve and id Software. Some
of the previous contestants in the official competitions have gone on to gain
some degree of stardom - names like Fatal1ty and event co-creator yossman.
Heck, Mr. Carmack met his wife at QuakeCon, so who knows who you will run into.
Anytime regular ole gamers like you and I can go to an event and rub elbows with
the big names in the industry, that's an awesome opportunity.
Prizes: Let's be
honest, gamers don't compete for fortune and fame. We compete because we enjoy
the games we play, and perhaps even more than that, we enjoy when we're good at
something and the recognition that comes with it; when we can toe the line and
vanquish our opponent(s); when we earn the admiration and respect of our peers
cheering us on; when we invoke the rage and ire of those who can't handle
defeat; we enjoy conquering our opponents and we enjoy conquering the game.
Since we're being honest though, there's nothing wrong with
enjoying the above and winning a prize out of the deal. If you told gamers from
the early days of gaming they could actually make money playing video games,
they probably would've laughed at you. I know I would have. But the level of
video game competition around the world continues to rise and we now have what
are considered professional gamers. Well, events like QuakeCon don't just
reward the professionals; it also hooks up event attendees with an awesome
experience, swag and the opportunity to win cool prizes.
By the way, if you're interested in finding out more about
id Software and the significant impact they've had on the video game industry,
I would highly recommend reading Masters
Masters of Doom is the
amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and
John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular
culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they
lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of
their youth to produce the most notoriously successful game franchises in
history-Doom and Quake- until the games they made tore them apart. This is a
story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry-a powerful and
compassionate account of what it's like to be young, driven, and wildly
It's a great book about one of the most prominent game
developers and influential video games in the history of the video game industry.
For those old school gamers familiar with IDKFA, it's definitely a must read.
In closing...QuakeCon. It's truly an event by gamers for
ANNOUNCEMENT: Want to be featured in
Member Herding? Here's your chance. Member Herding #51 is going to use a unique
process that will entitle anybody who is interested in participating the
opportunity to be selected. Obviously this is only available to those who
haven't been previously featured and only one person can be selected.
The herd is 50 members strong and five of them have been
given a single word. Only one of the words is the password that will give you a
shot at being selected (and the members who have words don't know if they have
the winning word or not). Be the first person to message me the correct
password before the deadline of August 09, 2012 2359 (11:59 PM). How bad do you
want to be featured? Well then you better start making contact with the members
of the herd? You can attempt to discover all five words, but you can only
submit one answer and there is only one correct answer. If nobody sends me the
correct word, then I will randomly pick somebody from those who made a guess.
QuakeCon sounds crazy! I'm not too good at keeping up with all the different events that end in con. That selection process sounds pretty interesting, though aren't you worried about the members of the herd getting spammed with questions?
When my kid finally goes away to college or the state pen, whichever comes first, I am totally going to make the con circuit! I have never been to any such events and would really like to check them out. Any sort of industry show really would be fun.
Interesting take on MH this go round, should be fun!
I would love to go to this. And well, pretty much any video game event. But there never seems to be one close to where I am.
QuakeCon has always interested me. So many gamers coming together to play is really fun to watch. As for MH; what a crazy/awsome idea Saint! I can't wait to see how it plays out.
That's really cool that even after becoming such a huge event, it has still managed to stay free and open to the public.
Also, cool idea for the next member herding.
Dang, Need to go through every single one. I haven't been around this community that long. WAIT, have any of them quit GIO??
hmmm.... wonder if it is as big as dreamhack. That's the premier one over in Europe right now (as far as I know) and includes a number of games. I think the one part of the year they actually had the finals for the gaming tournaments in an ice hockey arena, which was absolutely huge over there.
Still would love to be at a lan sometime. Maybe I'll try to get out to an MLG or something sometime.