The Magic of MAGFest

MAGFest was this past weekend.  I’m assuming you went because why wouldn’t you?  As the preeminent place for gaming music (and gaming in general), it stands as one of Meccas of gaming culture.  Pretty much anybody who is a gamer or is part of the gaming community either has gone to MAGFest or is planning to go to MAGFest.  That it’s an awesome party to boot is just icing on the cake.

This year was an amazing experience.  I got to see friends, I got to reconnect with these guys and that guy, and was able to shake the hands of the movers and shakers of the convention industry, yadda yadda yadda.  That isn’t want I want to talk about today.

Today, what I want to talk about is inspiration.

MAGFest, in addition to having great concerts and amazing talent all around, also has several brands of intellectuals’ tracks and professionals’ tracks.  These are panels where experts – seasoned and aspiring alike – get the chance to talk about and share their craft.  And it is from these that, in many ways, the community moves forward.

The sharing of ideas has been and always remains one of the cornerstones of progress.  By bringing together people with common purpose but differing view points, the community and industry (and perhaps the world?) evolves.  Perhaps a bit grandiose description of sticking a bunch of nerds in a room and having them talking about the video game art form as a means for narrative expansion, but the truth remains that these panels help to refresh our love of this medium.

And it helps to refresh our drive and initiative.

People come to conventions for a lot of reasons: to see friends (or to make them), to see celebrities, the dealers’ room, so on.  But some people – like myself – come largely for the panels.  We come to discuss and witness discussions of the art form for which we love.  And we come away from it inspired.  Inspired to do work, inspired towards betterment and improvement, inspired to up our game, inspired to contribute to the medium and our world.  We come away from it inspired a thousand different ways, but inspired at its core.

It’s for this reason that I recommend people attend conventions, sometimes conventions of any variety.  Celebrities have never done that much for me and in this age of eBay, Etsy, and other online dealers, there isn’t too much that can be found in the dealers’ room that you can’t find elsewhere in the internet.  But the panels are where you concur with and diverge from your fellow fans.  It is where your love and ambition begin to fuse and become something more, become something inspired.

MAGFest 12 is the start of my 2014 convention schedule, and already I can’t wait until the next one and the next one after that, and all the others that will follow.  If you’re a fan of comics or video games or anime or toys, or astrophysics, or knitting, or anything at all, I hope you’ll make a convention or three a part of your life this year.  Because going to a convention is inspiring, no two ways about it.

See you there!

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Author: Robert V Aldrich

Author. Speaker. Cancer Researcher. Martial Artist. Illustrator. Cat dad. Nerd.

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