QuakeCon 2011 photo diary

Man, I'll tell ya, Texas is fricken' HOT right now. 107 degrees. Hits you like a wall. Anyway, Texas has more interesting things going on besides the weather - nerd gatherings. You can argue that cosplaying is as nerdy as it gets, but there's something especially geeky about shipping your gigantic desktop PC across the country and flying out to participate in a LAN party. Bonus points if your PC is super tricked-out (which accounted for 97% of the PCs I saw there). Believe it or not, this was my first visit to a LAN party, and I have to say it was a beautiful thing: seeing thousands of gamers getting together to play games with each other instilled in me a sense of kinship I didn't expect. These were my people! And they were celebrating games, gaming, and the culture that surrounds it. What could be better?

Above: Have desktop, will travel

Above: Count the girls/women

Above: Everything you need for complete happiness

Above: Waiting in line for something, but I don't know what. Wait! Girls!

Above: I'm pretty sure there is no officially licensed pickup truck actually in the game, so what is this thing's purpose?

Above: The Rage mural behind the truck is cooler than the truck

Above: Welcome to Wellspring! Sorry, we're closed. I never saw this thing open

Above: People playing Tribes: Ascend, complete with snarky announcer laughing at all the embarrassing deaths. I got to play it and I'll have a preview of it later this week

Above:I saw more than one fool get mowed by a vehicle in Tribes

Above: Tribes: Ascend takes some serious concentration

Above: Don't ask why, just ask what: a Humvee with a PC and three-monitor setup attached to the front bumper, running Left 4 Dead 2

Above: These guys are playing while sitting in the back of the same Humvee

Above: See?

Above: Bad guys from Rage

Above: The announcers for the Quake tournament knew the game inside and out (translation: I didn't know what the hell they were saying)

Matthew Keast
My new approach to play all games on Hard mode straight off the bat has proven satisfying. Sure there is some frustration, but I've decided it's the lesser of two evils when weighed against the boredom of easiness that Normal difficulty has become in the era of casual gaming.