This year I attended Magfest for the first time in Alexandria, Virginia, January 13-16.
I am used to attending academic conferences in psychology. They are hosted in major hotels. They have keynote speakers. They have panels with presentations and discussions.
Magfest had these. But what Magfest had that they didn't was unlimited access to vintage arcade games, the whole range of console gaming from Sega Genesis and the NES to the XBox 360 Kinect and the PS3 with Move Controllers. Magfest also had cosplayers dressed as amazing video game characters. Magfest also had vendors selling real cool video games stuff instead of stuffy textbook on psychology. Unfortunately, Magfest also had a registration line that took over two hours! But did I mention Magfest also had bands and concerts? So that made up for the long line.
What I loved about Magfest was that was for gamers, about gamers, and totally gamer centric. It was about promoting gaming, discussing gaming, analyzing gaming, and, yes, actually gaming, 24-4. I learned a lot about the psychology of gaming and the psychology of gamers. Needless to say, they are passionate about gaming, but also very smart, well-read, social, warm-hearted, peaceable, friendly, and civic-minded! Sort of like the psychologists that I meet at conferences, but a lot more interesting!
Perhaps I will write more about other reflections and discussions that I had with attendees in future blogs.