SXSW 2016: Gaming Expo (and bonus stuff) Wrap-Up

WHAT UP INTERNET?!

As y’all very well know by now from the deluge of posts flooding this here blog, my Twitter and Instagram, this bro has spent the last week living it up experiencing all SXSW 2016 has to offer. Beginning with Interactive last week-which brought personal favorites like the Mashable House to town-and ending last night for me-as it was the last day of the SXSW Gaming Expo, the Hype Hotel (covering in a bit) and Fader Fort (more on this later), SXSW is something I’ve been attending for years as an Austin local. That being said, it never dawned on to share my personal excursions with all you NerdLife loving bros on the internet, as these events are typically steeped in music.

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I try to shy away from topics I believe are inherently subjective when doing these wrap-ups, hence why I’ve never opted to discuss any of my SXSW shenanigans. While all you Bros may know what I mean when discussing a video game with ‘floaty’ controls, I doubt all of you would share similar sentiments when discussing personal preferences for types of music, or even when discussing different types of eats (in fairness, let’s be frank: everyone loves grilled cheese and hamburgers and to claim otherwise is distinctly unpatriotic!).

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Therefore, while covering these events which are fixated primarily on personal musical pedilections may come across as a bit of a ‘fool’s errand,’ I’ve never claimed to be the most logical Bro around. Besides-if you’ve ever been curious about SXSW and are wondering what everyone’s referring to when discussing the “Hype Hotel” or “Fader Fort” (again, I’ll hit you up with specifics on these two in a bit), this is the place for you. As such, I’ll shy away from covering all the musical acts I scoped and focus on the atmosphere, special events and swag available during SXSW. If you’re familiar with the ConLife, you’ll be right at home during SXSW.

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I wanted to use this post as a bit of a “catch-all” to cover some the sights and sounds I experienced during the past week, while primarily focusing on the Gaming Expo. That being said, due to personal preferences (such as going to the Spotify House to scope some local bands and eat Shake Shack or rushing to see Deftones) I didn’t get to attend any of the panels I wanted to at the Gaming Expo. This is unfortunate, as TellTale Games was showing off their new Batman series for the first time-but just like SDCC, you’ve got to prioritize how you’re going to spend your limited festival time.

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The Gaming Expo was moved into the Austin Convention Center this year, putting it smack dab in the middle of entire SXSW Festival. While it meant the Expo was much more condensed and certainly felt as if there wasn’t as much to see or experience, there was quite a bit to do. The usual suspects (aka vendors) were present such as Alienware, Logitech, Geico Gaming, DXRacing, Twitch, Sanshee-and as usual there was a strong indie gaming presence.

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Knowing full-well I only had a limited amount of time to run the floor, I hit up the biggest booths and nabbed all the swag I could. Doesn’t matter if you’re at SDCC or SXSW-grabbing swag should always be at the top of your to-do list…even if you’re there you know, for actual business type stuff. The only title I got some hands on time with was YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG. If you’re interested, you can scope the official website for the title here. If you’re a fan of old-school, grind ‘em out RPGs with a unique cel-shaded look I’d recommend checking this title out when it drops later this summer. Although I only got about five minutes with it (and nabbed a sweet pin as a result) I’m enticed by the prospect, as the title seemed to retain the best elements of traditional RPGs while eschewing some of the tedious parts. Although without in-depth hands on time, I’ll admit these observations are somewhat limited.

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Truth be told, other than picking up swag and getting some hands on time with YIIK, I didn’t do too much at the Gaming Expo. Still, I did manage to see quite a bit, and since I’m sure you’re tired of reading all these words I keep typing out, let’s head straight to the photos!

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PlayStation took over a bar on Rainey street, but due to capacity limited the crew and I couldn’t get in. Since I wasn’t about to spend any time waiting in line, I just snapped this pic and moved on.

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Pandora set up the Discovery Den on 6th street and had some fantastic performances by an eclectic mix of artists. They were also handing out water bottles and tiny Chick-Fil-A cows, so that’s pretty legit.

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As I mentioned, I attended the Spin Magazine showcase at Stubb’s and although a large number of bands were playing, I was there mostly for Deftones. Due to my winning an Esurance contest on Twitter, I was able to secure a VIP vantage point.

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Although one of the best parts of SXSW is not having to pay for any eats or drinks, I did splurge on grabbing a grilled cheese from one of my favorite food trucks in Austin, Burro. Next time you swing through the ATX, be sure to eat here. Even if you don’t do diary like me, I guarantee you’ll dig it.

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I also made the trek to Waterloo Records who always has a free showcase during SXSW, as one of my favorite artists-Peaches-was performing.

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One of the coolest things about SXSW is food trucks from all over the nation congregate and serve up their goods for the duration of the festival. Nabbing a macchiato from this fancy New Orleans truck was a great treat.

Well Bros, that’s just a general overview of everything your boy did during SXSW. I’ve got some more posts coming up detailing some of the biggest and best events in just a few. Until next time, Bros!

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