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StarCreator

Arcades in the game room

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So I just wanted to find out how people felt about the game room this year - or namely, the complete lack of arcade machines, which have been a staple of convention game rooms for most of this decade. This is the first year I can think of where Otakon has ever been without a DDR (not counting the surprise gamepad DDR tournament on Friday evening).  Were they missed?  What can we do to have the arcades brought back?

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The party that provides the machines, The Save Point in TownMall of Westminster, was not able to come to an agreement with Otakon this year. To make up for it, all of their machines were available to play for free since last Wednesday and will still be free to play until tomorrow.

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Not having arcade games in the game room made Otakon much worse for me this year.  There was SO much empty space in the game room, and nothing that really made up for the lack of games for me.  Considering that arcade games are still a staple at other conventions that aren't Otakon (especially ones that Bemani Invasion goes to), I am probably going to switch to a different convention.  I've stuck with Otakon for several years, and I am a big anime fan, but I'm a bigger fan of arcade gaming so I think it's time to move on, unless Otakon decides to allocate more budget to the game room in the future.  Playing DDR and Pump It Up at cons is the main way I meet and interact with other attendees and I want to have that back.

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I was very disappointed to see there was NO arcade presence - the arcade-style controllers (for Pop'n Music, especially) were a completely unsuitable substitute for the usual machines. I've heard different things about Otakon's opinion on arcade machines - but if smaller cons can afford to have providers like Save Point or Bemani Invasion with no problem, why can't Otakon manage to do it? Luckily my weekend wasn't totally ruined - I skipped Sunday at con and spent the day at Save Point instead, since all of their machines were on free play to make it up to the extremely disappointed community.

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Not having arcade games in the game room made Otakon much worse for me this year.  There was SO much empty space in the game room, and nothing that really made up for the lack of games for me.  Considering that arcade games are still a staple at other conventions that aren't Otakon (especially ones that Bemani Invasion goes to), I am probably going to switch to a different convention.  I've stuck with Otakon for several years, and I am a big anime fan, but I'm a bigger fan of arcade gaming so I think it's time to move on, unless Otakon decides to allocate more budget to the game room in the future.  Playing DDR and Pump It Up at cons is the main way I meet and interact with other attendees and I want to have that back.

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I wouldn't jump away from Otakon immediately.  Just because they couldn't come to an agreement this year, does not mean they won't have the Arcades next year.  Keep that in mind.

 

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I was introduced to bemani arcade games through a panel at Otakon a long long time ago (2002 or 2003.) Otakon has always provided the consumer soft versions of these games in some form or another, but I was excited the year they finally offered the arcade counterpart. I spent much of my time in the videogame area that year, and enjoyed it very much. I met so many people who shared me love of the game as well. There were people who were just starting, people who have been playing forever, and people who have played the games in Japan and Korea, and want to play at Otakon to reminisce.

 

I believe the video game room is a big part of any convention. It gives us the opportunity to play something we may not have a chance to at home. Otakon celebrates all aspects of Japanese culture and subculture. You can't deny that arcade games aren't a part of that. Bring the arcade cabinets back please!

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The party that provides the machines, The Save Point in TownMall of Westminster, was not able to come to an agreement with Otakon this year. To make up for it, all of their machines were available to play for free since last Wednesday and will still be free to play until tomorrow.

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I was very disappointed about the lack of arcade machines in the game room. Otakon 2013 was personally made for me with the DJ Max Technikatune machine, I was seriously there every chance I got. This year I walked in the room excitedly hoping to find the machine again this year and was crestfallen to find no machines in there at all. I walked back out of the game room after walking around the place and finding nothing of interest and didn't go back in all weekend.

 

 

Please bring arcade machines back to Otakon next year!

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Agreed 100%. It's so easy to compare the game rooms of smaller cons like Anime USA, Katsu, and MAGfest (well this one is a bit of a stretch because it's really gaming focused). The variety is there in Otakon, but the real experience and having that slice of Japan and its arcades brought over would make the game room so much better on so many levels.

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This year marked my return to Otakon after about a decade of attending other conventions.  I've been averse to attending this particular convention again because my flavor of otaku is definitely biased towards gaming and cosplay.  I have found that other conventions provide a better experience in these areas.  I'll keep this post focused on gaming.

 

I decided to give Otakon another chance this year.  I can't say I feel inclined to repeat this mistake based on what I experienced.  What is sad about this that several of my gaming friends warned me that I would not enjoy the convention, but I attended it anyway.

 

Although most of us have the games that would be present in a game room at home, the exciting aspect of gaming at conventions comes in the form of arcade cabinets, tournaments, and the general camaraderie that comes from mixing veterans, newcomers, and spectators in a relaxed atmosphere.  There are people I've known for at least a decade that I met through gaming at conventions and tournies.

With that stated, imagine how disappointing it was to walk into a giant, barren looking room with tiny clusters of subdued looking people huddled around laggy televisions.  I didn't see a single cabinet in the room.  In the four or so times we went to the game area, I witnessed one tournament, if you could call several listless looking people staring off into space while competitors tap buttons and grow increasingly frustrated with lag a tournament. 

 

Honestly, I could write up a small thesis about how depressing the room was (not enough imports, volunteers all bunched in one corner, very few indie developers..), and the kinds of opportunities Otakon is missing by excluding cabs and organized, exciting tournies, but really I think we need to start with integral component:  if Otakon refuses to hire one of the numerous cabinet companies for next year, I know I won't be there and I will be certain to tell all of the fighting and music game organizations with whom I associate (this includes groups from MD, VA, FL, CA, and NC) to go elsewhere if they want to actually enjoy themselves.  Honestly, the monthly gatherings held locally are far more rewarding than Otakon.

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It was kind of disappointing to see the lack of Arcade games this year, I always like playing the old one like Super Puzzle Fighter and watching people play DDR.

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Hello everyone, I am sorry to hear so many people were so dissatisfied with this year's Video Game hall. Pleas allow me to take a moment to explain some of the situations and respond to some of your concerns.

 

At the beginning of the 2014 planning year we were instructed that we would need to be very cautious of our budget. This was not at all easy considering the purchases of next gen consoles we needed to make this year. As a result we were unable to work out an agreement with both of the organizations we have rented machines from, The Save Point, which has been brought up multiple times as well as Bemani Invasion. Its something the staff was equally disappointed by but we ultimately were unable to work out alternate solutions that were fair for both companies. We will be putting in every effort to have arcade machines return for the 2015 year. 

 

The new addition of Indy Developers this year was partially a way to fill in the void left by arcade machines, these were companies who were both able and willing to give Otakon a shot for the first year of our Indy Isles section. Since the feedback from the developers was positive we hope to expand the section either way regardless of arcade machines.

 

As far as the volunteers in the corner comment, that corner was the operations stage. While on shift our staff members do walk through the room keeping an eye out for any issues or to answer questions. The ops stage also happened to double as a hang out area for our staff members while off shift since they enjoy hanging out with the rest of the staff. So admittedly it looks like everyone is just hanging around but at least half of those people are off shift and killing time until they come back on. That said all of the staff members at the ops stage regardless of shift made themselves available to any attendees who approached them with a question or concern. It was helpful to have that area be within the room because it is difficult to distinguish Video Game Hall staff from other Otakon staff.

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