Music and Gaming. What more could you want on a chilly February weekend? Well it turns out there was all that and more to the annual MAGfest held at the Gaylord Convention center just outside Washington, DC on February 18-21st. While focusing on video gaming and gaming themed concerts, there was so much more to check out at this event.
A full 4 days of panels, concerts by some of the hottest groups in the genre, and more video games than you are likely to see in one place at one time was just the beginning of what the event had to offer. The game room selections alone would be reason to attend Magfest. There was a full showroom of arcade cabinets including international games, another of indie games, and a third room dedicated to consoles and computer gaming. There were also opportunities to participate in charity events, or if you needed to get off your feet for a bit you could check out their film offerings. Hallway DJs, Jamspaces, amazing cosplay, tabletop gaming, a huge marketplace, and an extensive guest list all made for an incredibly well rounded event with no shortage of things to see and do. Magfest runs 24 hours a day for 4 straight days and with all of these choices you still might not get to everything on their impressive schedule.
A full schedule is important now that they are hosting tens of thousands of video game enthusiasts. When Magfest started in 2002 they had an attendance of 300 which has grown to this year’s projected 20,000 attendees. With this impressive growth Magfest has managed to maintain its focus on the community it has helped to build. The nonprofit Magfest, Inc. and it’s all volunteer staff is “dedicated to furthering the appreciation of games and video game music” In addition to the annual Magfest, Magfest, Inc. holds several other events throughout the year including BitGen Gamer Fest, Magstock, and Indie Arcade which is produced in association with The Smithsonian American Art Museum and American University’s Game Lab.
If you are looking for great gaming events in the DC area all of Magfest, Inc.’s offerings are fantastic but Magfest is where is all comes together for a great weekend of gaming themed activities. You might however need an extra life to keep up with all the fun.