Quakecon is once a year convention in Dallas, Texas that celebrates the gaming community as well as one of the most iconic multiplayer first person shooters ever made: Quake. 2015 was the 20th anniversary of this time honored tradition of Peace, Love and Rockets (The official motto of Quakecon). This was my third trip to the event, my first being in 2013. As a gaming and computer geek from a small town in South Texas, I don’t really get a chance to meet others like myself that share the same passions. But here at Quakecon you can literally pick almost any person male or female and start talking frags. These are my people. This is where I belong.On top of that, there is literally an overload of PC hardware porn. Enough to make a techno geek like me have to walk around with two boxes of Kleenex (especially the entries in the case mod contest and the vendor area displays).
The Lifeblood of Quakecon!! Photo by Owen “O1kenobi” Long Quakecon Flickr
I returned to Quakecon in 2014, not only as an attendee but also as a casemod contest competitor as well. As a representative of Monsoon Cooling and my own company (Dirty South PC Mods), for the first time I got to see what really goes into making an event of this magnitude the success that it really is. There is an entire army of volunteers that selflessly donate their time so that thousands of gamers can bring their PC to the BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) area to frag each other over the next three days, all fueled by the the two main stays of any gamer’s diet: BAWLS (The offical energy drink of Quakecon) and pizza. Since the event is run by so many volunteers, we at Modders-Inc decided this year that we would donate a fully built custom Gaming PC built and signed by the senior QuakeCon staff and Modders-Inc crew to be given away to one of those lucky volunteers. It was the least we could do to help give back for all their hard work and help.
Now 2015 is the 20th anniversary of Quakecon, so of course we at Modders-Inc thought we would step-up our game this year. So not only did we change the casemod contest title to the US Case Mod Championship (officially). This year we also had three competitors (Marc Molella, James Fislar, and Frank N. Stein) going head to head in a knock down, drag out 24 hour modding contest, that we ended up live streaming over Twitch Mr. Marc Mollela ended up taking first place in the 24 hours of LE Mods Contest as well as First in the US Case Modding Championship in his division. Be sure and watch the recorded live steam on Twitch.tv here: 24 Hour LE Mods Live Feed
I myself had an enlightening experience at this years Quakecon. I went from being a competitor in which I took second place in last year’s case mod contest (prior to being brought on to write for Modders-Inc) to being a judge in this years event. Let me tell you this is no easy task. There were many good entries and as much as I want to talk shop with the creators they only had 5 min to tell us about their mod. Trust me, five minutes may seem like a long time but when you are talking to someone who has spent the last 6-8 months working on their piece of art that five minute time limit quickly creeps up on you. Some of the entries were easy to judge but most of them required a good amount of deliberation between the judges.
In addition to that I was fortunate enough to be invited to work in NVIDIA’s GeForce Garage Event that they were hosting. This is the first chance I got to meet some of the modders, most only get to see on YouTube and other social media. I was so excited to work with Bob Stewart of BS Mods and Lee Harrington of PCjunkiemods. These are two of the individuals I have been following for quite a few years. The fact that I got to not only meet them but work with them is a dream come true.
Well kids, as much as I would love to sit here all day and talk about my experience at Quakecon. Sadly there just isn’t enough time in the day (or known universe for that matter.) I hope I get to see each and everyone of you next year and hopefully a whole lot more new people as the event keeps growing.
Peace Love and Rockets, Nick Blackwell