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 Nintendo I am a multi-console gamer, with that being said I have personally had numerous conversations and debates with other gamers from other platforms. What I hear from gamers from such platforms like the Xbox brand and the Sony brands and the consensus is that you are missing key features that are current in today’s console market. These features are Technologies like in-game chat and cross-game chat, I am Not sure if your system is setup in such a way that you can add something like in game or cross game chat into the Wii U infrastructure but, these are very important in today’s social gaming scene.

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 It behooves me that with such the foresight to create a social gaming network like the miiverse you did not have the insight to add something like in-game chat. In-game chat has been around since the original Xbox, something that has proven to be a valuable additive in the gaming scene. Since then the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 continued on that idea that online social gaming is the next logical evolution of local multiplayer. It is understood that the local multiplayer experience is one of the pillars of gaming even today. In-game chat helps family and friends who are no longer available to physically sit down with friends and play games with in-game chat we can join online with our families and friends to stay connected. The inclusion of cross-game chat helps us play the same multiplayer games that we enjoyed playing while sitting on our families and our friends couches.

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 It is known that PlayStation 3 infrastructure was not set up for the addition to cross game chat though it did have a fairly decent in-game chat system to later with the Playstation 4 add cross-game chat. I know that the Wii U for the new Nintendo network is set up to be updated via the web framework design. I am not sure how this could be applied to this feature though, I hope it is possible that you could add some features like in-game and cross-game chat into the Wii U if not both. There is a couple of my friends on PlayStation 4 that actually got rid of their Wii U’s simply because there was no in-game or cross-game chat.

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 Here are the experiences that draw today’s gamer with in-game and cross-game chat. Today’s gamer loves to play online multiplayer and that is a fact games like first person shooters, sports titles such as NBA, NFL, FIFA and any other genre that local multiplayer could be used. We totally enjoy poking fun with our friends or helping them get through a certain level of a game. The Miiverse does fill in that gap but, this method while highly viable is not a constant stream of interactivity that is sometimes wanted or needed as far as social gaming is concerned. Nintendo, you of all people know how fun it is to sit and have fun with your loved ones in your living room or wherever you have your console. The inclusion of in-game and cross-game chat will help to dramatically raise interest in the Wii U along with helping developers see the light that the struggling platform is much more than something that only Nintendo loyalists flock too. The Nintendo Wii U has provided a safe haven for independent developers and I believe with the addition of current features like in-game and cross-game chat the major AAA developers will give your console a second look. I love the Wii U and at this point from my experiences with my playstation 4 you can actually compete with the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 but, you first have to catch up with the times and add in-game chat/cross-game chat though, you should focus on inputting cross-game chat because thats where it truly matters and much more simpler. Please help promote Real Otaku Gamers initiative on all your favorite social networks along with the #WiiUvenate Thanks and game on!

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The staff here is wonderful

 I was so amazed by what I walked into the main show floor at PAX East I witnessed all developers, hardware manufacturers have their very own nook carved out of the Boston convention center. Before I walked down the long steps and I snapped the 1st picture of my face in utter amazement. I first walked into the Boston Convention Center and stood in line to receive my first media badge. I proceeded to walk towards the big glass doors spotted with a few security guards and some structures promoting PAX. As I walked through the door  I had an Idea of what was to be in store for me but, what took me by surprise the most was the amazement that stemmed from the actuality that I have finally made it! I have made it to one milestone of mine to go to one of the big shows in the gaming world PAX East!

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  I descended the staircase I first noticed Bethesda Softworks booth showcasing large walls of Wolfenstein & The Evil Within images the large titan tron screen had no image up yet, later they were to display two titles ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) and Wolfenstein.The two titles displayed are good as some of you know already of ESO but, the beginning sequence to Wolfenstein was awesome a far cry from the original game of course in the graphics department but, more importantly story. Later, I wandered around snapping selfies of me in from of Turtle Beaches mammoth sized headphones and snapshots Xbox One’s large setup. In Microsoft’s booth they were setting up Kinect Rivals Sports definitely a game I would love to play on the show floor tomorrow. I also snapped a picture of a barely set up of Project Spark another title I must play coming from the wonders over there at Rare Games. As I moseyed around the corner from there I saw roughly 15 monitors half in which had Xbox One’s hooked up, I’m sure the rest will plug into the flat screen tvs. I wandered around avoiding heavy machinery and guys and gals pushing carts around with serious merch and building supplies and I got side swiped by that hinted at behemoth two legged dinosaur monster from the game Evolve and this statue is surely fine crafted and gargantuan!

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 There was several sections setup for pc play for titles from developers like NC Soft & Carbine Studios WildStar  and games like Infinite crisis which has a large section carved out with custom comfy gamer PC chairs on stage and off… sounds like some great things will happen in that side of the convention center. I have heard some rumbling about Infinite crisis but, when I saw a little bit of the cast which is DC universe characters, if you didn’t know made me flip my wig (just a tad). When I took a deeper look on the outskirts of the show floor where all the large displayed casted its shiny shadows I saw random geekery merchandise from creators like Fangamer whom makes all types of stuff showing reverence to our video game favorites like Animal Crossing New Leaf socks and Legend Of Zelda shirts and the flying P from Super Mario Bros 3. There is plenty from these wonderful folks and hopefully I can catch the ear of one of their booth reps to ask them a few questions for realotakugamer.com. I also saw small booths displaying mobile games, This weekend I will try to over the small indie mobile games that are glue that binds this convention. I saw merchandiser booths for retro games and even retro systems to go along with those classic gems. Oh yeah, The Crew had a grand display too giving us the feel of working in the garage set of fast and the furious RIP Paul Walker.

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Come to find out after I recharged my body phone and wrote part of this article on the 1st floor when I went back inside to check out some more booths for around 20 minutes an “Enforcer” people whom are hired to secure the floors for random things that shouldn’t be happening, spotted me and noticed I had a Media Pass. The nice fellow asked if i had any “other passes like a vendor badge”, I honestly said “no” and he politely asked me to leave. He walked me to the front counter, the information counter and explained to them that the security at the door was not checking badges properly. I was elated that i was able to experience the behind the scenes of PAX East while also giving you, our readers the inside scoop on my Twitter account.

Boy oh boy I have plenty to say about my 1st PAX East but, to the thing is it hasn’t even started yet! This is only the beginning and oh how sweet it is even at the crunch time for the shows main opening. Stay tuned for future reporting from myself Sean “NoirZilla Gamer” Jacobs and Tiffany Marshall on whats going down on the show floor at PAX East 2014 from RealOtakuGamer.com

By Brandon Boatman On 8 Apr, 2014 At 03:07 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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Remember that time you went out for the midnight release of that highly anticipated Wii/Wii U game? Oh you don’t? Well that’s okay because neither do I. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a game and thought man I can’t wait to play this on my Wii U…that I don’t own.

Like most gamers I love Nintendo, or at least I think I do. I bought a 3DS XL last Christmas, does that count? Having been brought up alongside the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo I feel wrong saying anything otherwise.nintendo-nes-box

That’s the problem though. Whenever I think of Nintendo it’s never of their latest console or future plans; it’s purely of Super Mario Bros., Super Metroid or The Legend of Zelda whose gold cartridge captivated me.

So we’re going to try and help our good friends at Nintendo out with some things the staff here at ROG thinks they need to do to #WiiUvenate. My contribution to this effort is ads.

Since the Wii U was released back in November of 2012- yeah it’s been that long- I haven’t seen a single ad. For games or for the console. That’s not to say they don’t have any though. At the end of last year Kotaku actually wrote an article about their ads…and how they ignored the biggest selling point which is their off-TV play.

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That’s kind of a problem. The Wii U’s best feature isn’t showcased. Another problem is how I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head what games for the Wii U are coming out or when.

So Nintendo that’s where I think you should start. Take a page from Sony and run an ad about a single little feature. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see the Playstation 4′s “sharing is caring” commercial.

Simply put, at least use ads so you become relevant again. It’s kind of sad that you’re still developing great games yet gamers can’t tell you their title, aside from Super Mario Kart (arbitrary number here). You may have never been big on advertising games or your console but times change. I want to be 23 and experience this again.

By NoirZillaGamer On 1 Apr, 2014 At 05:23 PM | Categorized As Company Spotlight, Editorials, Featured, News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U | With 2 Comments
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 The Wii U has been the butt of a lot of jokes for sometime now but, to the majority of the install base it is known as an underrated piece of hardware. Some of our ROG staff including myself would like to share our perspectives on this and what Nintendo could possibly do moving forward to gain more traction in other demographics beside the Nintendo loyalists.

 It is commonly known since summer of last year that Nintendo has embraced the small time developers (Independent Studios) in droves. According to Nintendo Enthusiasts there are reportedly 120+ indie games all slotted for the launching on Big N’s Nintendo eShop for the Wii U. In addition to all these indie games being released Nintendo’s Senior Manager of Marketing, Damon Baker also announced during the Game Developers Conference that 50 titles are being developed with the Unity Engine 9 in which were on display at that event, games like Nihilumbra, Teslagrad, Ballpoint Universe: Infinite & Armillo. If you don’t know the Unity Engine is a recently popular software engine gaining steam late last generation for most consoles and now handhelds.

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 What I would like to see coming from Nintendo since they have a strong current and future lineup with independent studios is possibly a better exposure of these Online and Television advertisements. Flexing off their eShop indie title muscles Nintendo could flush in a great amount of indie-centric gamers along with Retro & Casual gamers. The eShop has favorites of mine like EarthBound, Unepic, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams and Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara all titles that proven to shine with me and are apart of my 52 games for the wii u along with resonating with the awesome social experience the Nintendo Miiverse.

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 I should jump on this while its fresh, Nintendo should also promote heavily their as always family friendly gamer social network Miiverse (here’s my personal Miiverse profile follow or friend me) this experience can only be absorbed on the Wii U and within recent months the Nintendo 3DS. Here you can gather true Nintendo gamers thoughts on such subjects like connecting with new friends, displaying all types of artwork using the Wii U gamepad sharing hints, tricks, funny glitches, gripes on issues within certain games but most importantly what game out there is actually a great game. Nintendo Miiverse is set up to be like a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook built from the ground up for Nintendo gamers. This is another Wii U strong suit that should be advertised on all media outlets and no longer be kept close to the chest of Nintendo and only promoted by us Nintendo loyalist. Please help promote Real Otaku Gamers initiative on all your favorite social networks along with the #WiiUvenate Thanks and game on!

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For those that are in the area of Maryland and DC (and Viriginia as well if you’re willing to make the trip).  On the campus of the University of Maryland, there lies a little gem known as the TerpZone.  It’s open for anyone to use, even those that aren’t students.  They welcome any and everyone.

So what does the TerpZone offer?  Well, they offer many things! They offer bowling, billiards, gaming, ping pong, arcade games, game nights (spades, etc.), and a lot more.

Most Fridays, the TerpZone offers video game tournaments for anyone to participate in for FREE! The games range from Call of Duty: Ghosts to Super Smash Bros. Brawl to NBA 2K14.  They have their sign ups for the tournaments at 6pm with it starting at 8pm.

The schedule for the rest of this semester (until early May) is as follows:

Mario Kart Wii : March 28th

FIFA 14 : April 4, April 11, April 18, April 25

Super Smash Bros. Brawl : May 2nd

For more information on the video game tournaments, the contact is Leonard Greene at lg7989@umd.edu. For any general questions about The TerpZone or to find out more, the contact is Kevin Alexander at kalexan4@umd.edu.

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TW vs EA

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Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) won’t threepeat “Worst company in America” this year by Consumerist. They were beat out by Time Warner Cable in the first round.

EA may have won this reader-based competition two years in a row, but did they ever really deserve it? They’re continually put up against companies that actually cheat people in some way, shape, or form and while you may argue that not making a game you wanted available offline or your continued troubles with Origin as having “harmed” you I’d ask you to be honest with yourself for at least one second.

They’ve never really deserved to be called “Worst Company in America” a fact shared by Peter Moore in his letter last year after they won. I loved it. He called out every major wrongdoing by other companies because those things really matter. Next to Ethan Albright’s letter to John Madden, it’s one of the most beautiful rants I’ve ever read.

Maybe that’s why they didn’t win this year. Maybe the internet for once thought about how they’re just a video game publishing company before they voted in this asinine competition. One can only hope that the internet actually put some rational thought into this one, but then again it doesn’t matter. If it did, maybe we wouldn’t see the same faces every year committing atrocities literally affecting the world.

Not Enough Space

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They’re coming. Wave upon wave of next-gen games and do you know what the best part about that is? Actually being able to play whatever game(s) you just came home with and one thing that may prevent you from doing so is not having enough space on your not-so-big 500GB hard drive.

Now I know that seems like a lot of space and on past consoles you’d be completely correct, however, with every game on each console requiring a full download you’ll see that space quickly disappear.

The problem is that the games are bigger. Like a lot bigger. 20GB big and that combined will all of your captures, shares and whosits and whatnots is a lot of space taken up. It doesn’t help either that people forget that a good amount of your hard drive will be taken up with firmware data so you’re not actually getting all 500 gigs. You’re getting 408GB on the PS4 and 362GB on the Xbox One.

Now, with the Xbox one you have two legal options. You can periodically check your remaining space or you can devote an external drive or USB to your games/saves to help out. Managing your data isn’t that big of a task either due to the helpful little graphic that displays your remaining space and percentage of space used and you can easily delete and item or see how much space it uses by pressing the menu button (formerly Start).

If neither of these choices for whatever reason don’t appeal to you and you’d just like to have more space that’s an option too. An illegal option.

Like the PS4 you can upgrade your hard drive to a new bigger Solid State drive, hybrid or just another hard drive, but doing so voids your warranty. For those of you interested, youtuber Brian Williams uploaded a video showing you exactly what you need to do. I’ll also talk more about replacing your drive later.

The kind people at Sony on the other hand give you the same options, but putting in a new drive is actually supported. They even allow you to update your firmware/software on the console. If the graphics don’t help there is also this video by CNET which should get you through it. If you would just like to manually manage your data to avoid the tech side of things it’s easy as well. Just go to “System Storage Management” on your console and it’ll display all the information you need.

Here’s the thing about replacing your hard drives, nobody is just giving you  a brand new shiny HDD or SSD for free. They cost. You can get a 1TB HDD for about $60-$80, but that’s on top of the expensive system you just bought and without any of the gains an SSD would bring and if you’re thinking about going the 1TB SSD route know that you’ll essentially be buying two consoles. They’re very expensive, but do offer faster load times on the consoles. Even if not by a lot the gains are still there.

Here’s the other option. There’s always another option. You could just wait. Developers are still learning the new consoles and the games that truly push their potential won’t be out until later this year or next. So wait just wait. I’m assuming there will at least be another variation of the consoles released with bigger drives so if the space is really bumming you out hold off until you get what you want. No sense in settling.

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The Legend of Zelda series has been heralded as one of the most influential and overall greatest game series of all time. After playing all the games it is understandable that an avid fan would drool at the prospect of the next Legend of Zelda title. Over the past few years we have come to “expect” certain notions of the future games due to the “Zelda Formula.” However, with the advent of of Skyward Sword and A Link Between Worlds the Zelda Fomula has been challenged in multiple ways such as traversing the world, dungeon entering and layout, item acquisition, and changing or even abolishing established linearity. These new additions and changes leaves room for the imagination on what the next title would be. However there are some questions that most Zelda fans want answered, with these being some of the most common…

-Will it be sequel title?
-What Timeline will it take place?
-What will it bring to the Zelda Franchise?

With these questions in mind the future of the Zelda series is both a scary and beautiful thing to think about. Where would you like to go in the next adventure with Link?

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What if this were to happen?

Sequels

Within the Zelda series there has been a number of direct and indirect sequels to established titles that ignore the rule that “each title is its own Legend.” Legend of Zelda had Zelda 2, A Link to the Past had Link’s Awakening, the Oracle games and A Link Between Worlds while Ocarina of Time had Majora’s Mask as a few examples. In recent months many rumors and fans have been debating that the next Zelda in line may be a Twilight Princess sequel or a Majora’s Mask sequel. A driving force behind this is the appeal and the desire for more darker installments within the franchise which is understandable as Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess currently serve as the leaders of edgier adventures.

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Would you return to the Twilight?

Timeline

With the official Zelda timeline out of the bag, gamers and historians eagerly await where to drop a new title in the lineage. With the release of A Link Between Worlds, the downfall timeline now has 7 titles in its ranks and many fans believe that is enough for now. With this in mind, they have pointed either toward the unified timeline or to continue the path of the child timeline as the adult has little room to grow after the events of Spirit Tracks.

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Hmmm where to go?

Innovations

Most Zelda games bring innovation to the Zelda franchise and the gaming world in one way or another. Nintendo has kept a good trail with Skyward Sword and A Link Between Worlds to try and keep things fresh and bring new concepts to the table. I’ll put my money on that they can do it 3 times in a row. In recent talks during interviews and editorials, series producer and director Eiji Aonuma stated that he is ready to keep challenging the Zelda formula and to keep things fresh. His work on the series has shown that he is a worthy successor to series creator Shigeru Miyamoto and since he is returning to direct the mysterious Legend of Zelda for Wii U we can expect great things from Mr. Aonuma.

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The Zelda series is in good hands.

With E3 knocking at our doorstep and the promise of the new Zelda for Wii U confirmed, it will truly be a good event for gamers and Zelda fans everywhere. Until then the creative juices within the minds of legions of fans seem to only get more potent with each passing second. The future of the Legend of Zelda is looking bright.

By NightingaleSilva On 14 Mar, 2014 At 11:49 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Tales of Real Otaku | With 0 Comments
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I remember my very first gaming console: A Sega Master System. I was about 8 years of age when I had received it. That right there was my gateway into the realm of gaming. My favorite games to play were ‘Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?’ and ‘Alex Kidd In Shinobi World’. From there, I got my very first NES and SNES. I was done for after that. Those two systems started what would become a life-long obsession for me. I got those two Nintendo systems when I was about 9 or 10…I’m almost 27 now, and I’m still obsessed with Nintendo, and it’s an obsession that I am proud of and will never quit obsessing over.

Mario Bros. was my first game, then there was The Legend of Zelda. That game is what created the gamer within me. The Legend of Zelda sparked a fire in me so fierce, I could hardly contain it. Still to this day I play the original Legend of Zelda for the NES and all of the ones that came after it. It was the story behind the game, the fantastical world of Hyrule, that drew me in deeper and deeper as the series carried on. Hands down, I can say that The Legend of Zelda is my all-time favorite game series.

As a little girl, you’d expect me to be playing with dolls and ponies. Instead, I was busy adventuring, saving the land of Hyrule, and defeating Mother Brain in Super Metroid. Gaming has molded me to be who I am today. Today, I have found passion in a career that is based around a world I love so dearly: Video Games. I am a gaming journalist for several websites, and as time goes by, I can only hope to branch out further into the world of gaming journalism. I am ambitious, and know that I will reach my goals one day!

So who am I you ask? Well, the name is Felisha, but I go by Nightingale . I am an avid gamer, cosplayer, anime enthusiast, artist, writer, blogger, sculptor, mother, and a wife. I have many responsibilities and many titles. But what is it that defines me as a gamer, anime enthusiast, and so forth? As I’ve mentioned previously in the beginning of this short novel, you see why I consider myself a gamer. I never out-grew gaming, and it never out-grew me.

Life-long Gamer Addict: 

Today, I own a Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, 3DS XL, and PSP Go. Not to mention the multitudes of emulators and roms on my smartphone. I will always be partial to Nintendo because that is what I grew up with and loved, but I love my many other consoles as well, and game on each and every one of them in my free time.

Part of my gamer set-up!

Part of my gamer set-up!

As a child, video games helped me escape a world I didn’t really care for at times, and helped me sink into a world where I felt I belonged, and where I was most happy. They hold a special place in my heart and always will till the very end.

Anime Enthusiast: 

I didn’t get into anime until much later on in life. I remember my first introduction to it being Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. Later that moved on into Cowboy Bebop, Wolf’s Rain, Witch Hunter Robin, Fullmetal Alchemist, and so many others. Still to this day I watch anime…some of my favorites are Attack On Titan, Soul Eater, Hare+Guu, Elfen Lied, Spice & Wolf, Fruits Basket, Ouran High School Host Club, and Rosario+Vampire. I even read manga too! As it is just the comic version of all my favorite animes!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Current Anime/Manga Obsession: Attack On Titan

Current Anime/Manga Obsession: Attack On Titan

 Cosplayer In The Making: 

I have a long ways to go when it comes to cosplaying, with only a few under my sleeve. I think the most elaborate one I did was one of Midna, from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in her human form. I made everything by hand…I even hand painted all of the intricate designs on her cloak, her sleeves and on her skirt. It took me at least 3 months to complete it all. Someday, I’ll revamp it, making it better and more professional. My last cosplay was Saya Takagi from the anime High School of the Dead, the only thing I hand made from her costume was the pleated skirt…First project on a sewing machine, and I just had to go and make a pleated school girl skirt…

My human-form Midna Cosplay

My human-form Midna Cosplay

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My Saya Takagi Cosplay

Everyday Nightingale: 

Most days you will find me in my comfy pajamas, typing away on my computer while video game sound tracks play in the background, with my 3DS XL at my side. And while doing all of this, I also tend to my baby girl who is almost 2 years old while I’m missing her 5 year old sister who is away at kindergarten. Amidst all of that chaos, I add more fuel to the fire by working some days for my apartment complex, and babysitting three others kids about 4-5 days a week. Luckily, through it all, I have an equally geeky gamer of a husband to keep me somewhat sane through everything I do. I am a busy woman, and that at times gets in the way of my ‘otaku-ness’, but I’m still a super geeky otaku gamer at the end of each and every day!

Everyday Otaku, Nightingale

Everyday Otaku, Nightingale

Whoever said you can’t do what you love for living was dead wrong! I do what I love everyday and make somewhat of a living off of it! I can only hope to continue using my Otaku Gamer wit to get me far in life, and make an awesome living for my two beautiful girls and my loving fellow-otaku of a husband. Peace, love, & Video Games! Nightingale, out!

By Sofie Sohan On 28 Feb, 2014 At 05:13 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Editorials, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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The winter this year in New York has been particularly harsh on everyone, both mentally and physically. The Vikings even thought Ragnarok, the Viking Apocalypse was scheduled for this weekend.

{cue Led Zeppelin – Immigrant song here}

So it was no surprise to me, that when I looked at my significant other last week during dinner and casually asked “So… what do you want to do this weekend?” that they sighed, returning with nothing but a non-committal shrug. Then, through a series of strange events, we found ourselves with our car packed to the hilt (it’s normal to need eight tiaras for a weekend…right?), on the road to New Jersey for Jeff Mach’s Wicked Faire, which turned out to be the perfect cure for the winter blues.

I SPIT FIRE AT YOU, WINTER

What exactly IS Wicked Faire? The more accurate question is what ISN’T Wicked Faire? It is part convention, part renaissance festival, part music festival, but 100% stress-free fun, as I quickly found out. The following is taken from the About section of the Wicked Faire website, and I would absolutely agree that this is an accurate assessment:

“The Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire is a miniature explosion of entertainment and activity, wrapped up in a fresh-baked Renaissance Faire exterior, filled to the brim with big tasty chunks of well-seasoned festival, spiced with a bit of convention, then dipped in a sauce of non-convention, and served at a terribly low price during one fantastic frenetic weekend every year. There are so many madly diverse fun things going on at any one time that, in general, if you come looking to find a good time, you are damn likely to find one.”

(Read more here: Wicked Faire: About )

Wicked Faire is an extravagant, fascinating, enthralling, all-you-can-experience buffet of entertainment, shows, interactions and fun. It is devoted to creating a weekend of acceptance, and creating a space where any non-normative person can express themselves; be it through geek, steampunk, kink, sexuality, renaissance, cosplay, burlesque et cetera. You can be as dressed up or as dressed down as you like – I wore cocktail dresses all weekend while a friend I was with wore jeans and a geeky T-shirt and we both still garnered an equal amount of positive attention. There were a variety of things to do, people to see and musicians to watch. There was a secondary festival going on at the same time, Voltaire’s Necrocomiccon, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any time to check that event out (though I really wanted to!)

We had gotten to New Jersey on Friday at about 10 PM, after a few GPS mishaps and a quick Taco Bell break. We checked in at the Doubletree Somerset, and received room keys, which apparently also came with free chocolate chip cookies. Free cookies are always a great start to a convention.

FREE COOKIES

After a quick costume change and some light social interaction, we went party hopping within the hotel, which was fun in and of itself. I woke up at 11 AM on Saturday and decided to check out the dealers rooms. The vendors themselves were incredibly varied, from leather armour to teas, steampunk hats, knives, gourmet dipping sauces, and hair flowers. I spent a good three hours inside the rooms (that’s a long time when you’re hungover), talking to all of the vendors. We all laughed about my state of hangover, and one of them even gave me aspirin. All of the goods being sold were of high quality with an emphasis on homemade, and the fact that the vendors actually took the time to talk to me in depth about their products despite only buying a few small things, shows that they care about their consumer base.

I have provided links to a few of the vendors I personally talked to over the weekend with a glimpse of some of my favorite products of theirs:

- Gorgeous handcrafted wire elf and dragon ears jewellery with precious stones: Belethil, Jewelry by Alanya Divine

I love this so much. What’s great about these is you can wear them to LARPs, or as standalone jewellery.

- Handcrafted steampunk and leather hats, goggles and other accessories: The Blonde Swan

I love red, I love lace, and I love hats… so naturally I love this.

- Hand blended artisan teas that are inspired by music, works of literature and fantasy art. Gluten free and vegan friendly! Dryad Tea:

TEA DELICIOUS TEA

- Infused oils, dips, kitchen wares and cookbooks with a pagan touch: Cucina Aurora 

I cannot stress how delicious this infused oil was enough.

- Handcrafted hair flowers, sticks and fascinators: Pyraara

I love the combo of hair flower + feather.

Saturday afternoon I caught a cello performance by The Wandering Cellist. I had played cello all throughout secondary school, and the technical skill displayed was astounding. It should also be noted that Mike covered “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica on cello. I REALLY wish I had caught it on video, but I felt my cell phone recording wouldn’t do it justice. You can find more cello music here: The Wandering Cellist 

Saturday evening we caught Busts & Trunks Burlesque show. They are a division of the Ocelot on a Leash Theater Company, and are from Philadelphia. The Busts and Trunks division caters specifically to geek culture, and the show they had put on Saturday night was entirely Doctor Who themed. They were incredibly awesome and varied in their performances, and my favorite performance was an Amy & Rory burlesque number to Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” closely followed by a second favorite of a Captain Jack Harkness boylesque number.

Busts & Trucks Burlesque

Our Sunday was a bit more relaxed. Though we wanted to do more, we only went to a couple of other things, an awesome pastie-making workshop by the girls of Busts & Trunks, and another burlesque show, this time by The White Elephant Burlesque Society, who hail from New Jersey. I’m pretty sure I lost my voice from cheering so hard between the two shows. This show was a bit less nerd oriented, but still just as entertaining, with a variety in content; there was ballet, traditional Hawaiian dancing, chair and fan dancing were all used in their acts. One member of their troupe, Holly Ween, ate cookies like Cookie Monster while dancing to Lady Gaga. It was incredible.

Delicious, delicious cookies…

The weekend setlist for WEBS can be found here

All in all, I would have to say as a first time attendee, that Wicked Faire was a LOT of fun for everyone, regardless of what subculture you’re into, and I would definitely go back! I’ve also made tentative plans to attend Steampunk’s World Faire, which runs Friday, May 16th – Sunday, May 18th, 2014 in Piscataway, NJ and is also run by Jeff Mach events. You, dear reader, should come along too.

Until next time, this is Sofie Sohan signing out! 

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