Monday, October 26, 2009

Melancholy and the Infinite Bitness

My Playstation died just before I went yesterday to Miami's first video game convention, Infinite Bits. It really put a damper on what should have been a fun time. Can you imagine your grandma dying and then having to go to a grandma convention? That's what it was like, except imagine for $150 Sony can fix your grandma.


Infinite Bits had super special guests like video game heroes Billy Mitchell and Walter Day, plus the Nostalgia Critic and geek comedian Aaron Pabon. Or at least they did before I got there. Since I went the last day I missed seeing all those great guys except for the comedian. So that sucked but I later found out from reading one guy's blog that Billy Mitchell was charging $3 to take a picture with him! Holy crap I am not paying Billy Mitchell anything unless there is barbecue sauce involved.


There was still fun to be had because I got to check out the interactive videogame museum. It was a large area of tables with all of the major home video consoles dating back to the mid 70s from Pong all the way to the Playstation 3. It was amazing and I got pictures of most of them for my Infinite Bits photo set at Flickr Macrocrania. Now they didn't have everything-I didn't see a Famicom Disk System or TurboGrafx CD for example-but they did have a ton of quirky goofy systems like the Vectrex, Sega 32X, Apple PipPin and Epoch CassetteVision. What was funny to me was how they secured the games in the systems with plastic bands to prevent theft. That may be a concern for some of the newer games, but really, who's going to try to rip off Bonk's Adventure for the TurboGrafx-16?


A big highlight of the show for me was getting to see geek comedian Aaron Pabon. I'd never seen him before but he's built up quite a reputation. What's so unique about him is he's carved out a niche as the world's first geek comic by doing stand up at pop culture conventions. I'm not really his target audience because I'm not knowledgeable about the latest Pokemons and Final Fantasys and Guitar Band games. On the opposite end of the spectrum was this one guy sitting next to me who was howling at everything Aaron said. But when the Aaron Pabon comedy train pulled into toy robots land with one joke he told about the life sized Gundam they made in Japan I was laughing along with everyone else. Sadly that was his only robot joke and my final fantasy was that I could understand what the hell he was talking about.


All in all I had a fun time during my one day there. I got to watch some insane video game commercials from the 80s that I hadn't seen since they first aired. (I think my mind was trying to repress the horrifically incredible commercial for Atari Joust because I don't remember that one.) I saw one dealer there with a ton of unop0ened, pristine condition robot related video games for many different consoles like Mystery of Convoy, Super Robot Wars Taisen, and lots of Macross and Gundam games I'd never seen before. I should have got a picture of his table. There was one dealer with reissue Transformers and the 20th/30th anniversary Transformers/Microman set for $40. I almost blew my Playstation resurrection money with those guys, but I held on. Although Infinite Bits was a bit bittersweet because of my personal PS3 circumstances and bad timing caused me to miss the guests I would go if they did another one next year. I still find video games infinitely interesting.

If you want to see other people having fun at Infinite Bits I suggest this video done by Those Gaming Guys and GamertagRadios' Flickr set.

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