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Tuesday
Jun092009

Episode 13: Full of Technology

Take 2 of the aborted live podcast, only not live. We also have no Baka, so we pulled in friend of the show, Lunar! No, he's not famous, don't worry if you don't know him. He literally is just our friend, but he had stuff to say so he's welcome aboard for this E3 wrapup.

[podcast]http://insert-disc.com/AMIF/AMIF013.mp3[/podcast] Music used in this episode:
  • Opening: Do you think love can bloom, even on a battlefield? - Metal Gear Solid
  • Break 1: Sonic 3D Blast Opening
  • Ending: "John Freeman 2009"
Easter Egg:
  • Preshow nonsense.

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Wednesday
Jun032009

Episode 12: Kitty/Chihuahua/Griffin/Bird Monster is DAWWWWW[Audio Version]

In case you missed it, here's our live video podcast we did today, raw and uncensored only in audio. There is a video version avaliable on the site, feed, and Gaming Dungeon TV. Go check it out if you want. Remember, we're having another on Thursday! [podcast]http://insert-disc.com/AMIF/AMIF012.mp3[/podcast]

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Wednesday
Jun032009

Episode 12: Kitty/Chihuahua/Griffin/Bird Monster is DAWWWWW[Video Version]

In case you missed it, here's our live video podcast we did today, raw and uncensored. We're doing another one on Thursday to wrap things up. So check that out. An audio version will be along shortly The player below probably won't work, so you will have to download it or go to Gaming Dungeon TV and watch it using the Video on Demand feature. [podcast format="video"]http://insert-disc.com/AMIF/AMIF012.mp4[/podcast]

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Tuesday
Jun022009

Episode 11: Hey You Pikachu!, but for Baka[Audio Version]

In case you missed it, here’s our live video podcast we did today, raw and uncensored. We’re doing another tomorrow and then another on Thursday, so look out. Note this is the audio version so you have moments where you hear the audio of trailers, I kept that in because at times it is important to hear. XD The video version is also avaliable on the site, your feed, and Gaming Dungeon TV [podcast]http://insert-disc.com/AMIF/AMIF011.mp3[/podcast]

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Tuesday
Jun022009

Episode 11: Hey You Pikachu!, but for Baka[Video Version]

In case you missed it, here's our live video podcast we did today, raw and uncensored. We're doing another tomorrow and then another on Thursday, so look out. There will be an audio version avaliable as well and you can watch it anytime on Gaming Dungeon TV. The player below probably won't work, so you will have to download it or go to Gaming Dungeon TV and watch it using the Video on Demand feature. [podcast format="video"]http://insert-disc.com/AMIF/AMIF011.mp4[/podcast]

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Sunday
May312009

Anime Boston 2009 Report

Hello my Gaming Dungeon readers! My name is Birttany Emmybelle Aran, but you can call me Emmy. Baka and I go pretty far back, to the days of NSider far back, and when I told him I was going to Anime Boston this summer, I promised him I'd write an article for GD. Lwelyk, APA, and Ecks are pretty cool guys too, in case you didn't know. I never honestly expected to go to an anime convention. It was one of those things that seemed like a good idea, but either we never got around to planning to go, it conflicted with someone's schedule, or we honestly just forgot about it. When I heard the Japanese Culture and Animation Club (JCAC for short) of my college annually went on a trip to Anime Boston, I made sure I paid my dues and the money for pre-registering, and got all my hours done so I could go. Thankfully, since this is the clubs main "trip", I didn't have to pay a cent for rooming. Our club booked three rooms in the Sheraton, which is conveniently attached to the Hynes Convention Center where Anime Boston is held every year, and on May 21st I arrived all ready to go. Now Anime Boston is a fairly large con, the biggest held in New England, and rather than try to break down everything that happened to me on everyday (if you really want to know, you can ask in the comment box) I'm gonna go over a list of awesome stuff, not so awesome stuff, and things I'd like to do next year that I compiled shortly after I was picked up to go home.

Noteworthy Awesome Things:

People This picture is about four times better than the best thing ever It doesn't matter where you at Anime Boston, whether it be a crowded elevator, the hotel's pool, or even the food court, it's more than likely that you are surrounded by fellow con-goers. I was in a sauna with two of my friends and these other two random guys, and we had a great talk about Star Wars. And those awkward elevator rides of silence are totally less awkward when you have about 12 people in cosplay packed in to go to the main floor. These were the greatest elevator rides of my life, and I can say I am officially a fan of talking to people on elevators after AB. Not only were the random conversations fantastical, but I got some triple sweet high fives and hugs this weekend that you wouldn't believe. I mean, where else would I ever get the chance to hug Pedobear or Lloyd from Tales of Symphonia, or Candlejack from Freakazoi He had enough rope

To tell the truth, I'm usually super weird about talking to strangers or people I don't know. I'm shy like that, but it was a lot less awkward at AB. It is easier to be comfortable with complete strangers when you're surrounded by fellow otaku/gamers/nerds. Cosplay Best group cosplay I saw hands down.

I never really realized how many people cosplayed for conventions, and pulled it off well. Sure, there was a great deal of poorly done cosplay and those few guys dressed as Tifa (leg hair was a dead giveaway) as well as some of the Sailor Scouts, but there were so many well done cosplays that it was ridiculous. I took well over fifty pictures of fellow cosplayers, not counting my group pictures with the Tales cosplayers. As one of the mom's I was standing next to in a line put it, "These people dressed up to get their picture taken." I cannot exaggerate how good cosplay affects the cosplay to pictures you're in ratio, which comes out to something like this:

(Quality of Cosplay)x(Popularity of Series)x(Popularity of Character)/(Number of Fans Present) x Nostalgia = Pictures Taken of You

OR

The TOS crew. I only wish it had less Zelos.

I was dressed as Colette from Tales of Symphonia. I honestly didn't expect to be in as many pictures as I was. The first morning, a boy ran up to me, telling me how Colette was totally his favorite character in the game and how he'd hope someone would cosplay her at the con. He asked for a picture and a hug, and I politely agreed. [Editor's Note: I want a hug ;_;] After that, I was mostly just asked for pictures (with an exception of a few glomps) and it was lots of fun. Short of the long: Enjoy the cosplay some people worked hard to make before the con, be polite, and if you plan to cosplay, be prepared to pose for the camera anytime you are in costume. You might even make someone's con by doing one or the other. Soul Eater Characters my friend really loved. I thought they were cool too. Events Let the Kendo sparring begin!

After I received my ID badge, I was approached by one of the workers at the con who handed me a lovely plastic bag with several important things inside. I peered into the bag, and the man pulled out a simple 8 by 11 sheet of printer paper with what looked like a spreadsheet. It's as if he knew this was my first con. "It's dangerous to go alone, take this," he said solemnly, handing me the sheet. I thanked him kindly and looked at the paper. It was the con's schedule of events. I totally wish the above scenario happened, but it didn't. However, the schedule is indeed your guide to learning about things you like, and a friend of mine advised I plan out my day according to events I wanted to go to so I could "further enhance the con experience." I picked a few, and man was I glad I went to every single one of them. I went to a sword demonstration, put on by a group of guys who owned a 'dojo' close to Burlington, Vermont. Not only was it entertaining (the three guys were all nerds too) but I learned some great stuff, like the four places where you can score points by hitting in Kendo, or one handed versus two handed sword combat, or how there are no tumble weeds in Japan. The guys sparred Kendo style at the end, and they gave out business cards for their 'dojo'. Awesome. I wish I could have high fived these guys. The other three events I attended were two panels for voice actors Greg Ayres and Travis Willingham. I don't know much of the stuff Greg does, but I'm a decent fan of Travis, but both of these panels were the funniest things I possibly went to at the con. Greg was a really cool, and I like him a lot know especially after not knowing him. He does the voices of Onigiri in Air Gear, Koyuki in Beck, Negi in Negima, and lots of other characters in anime I've neither watched nor heard of. Greg briefly talked about himself and the things he did before moving on to questions from the audience. Someone in the crowd asked Greg to sing a song (he was in Beck and had to) and he got wicked embarrassed and said maybe at the end he would hide under the table and do it. He was a real person, just as real as any of us in the crowd, and it was really cool to see that from him. I also got to see him DJ later that night, and what an experience that was. Greg told us his first love was DJing, and that he would always stick with it, and after seeing him in that element you can tell the man loves what he does. I originally wasn't going to go to this panel, but my friends suggested I should because Greg was fabled to be wicked cool. I am glad to say Greg really is a wicked cool guy, and if I ever get to tell him so I will. This was the best picture of Travis I could get from my seat with the awful lighting in the room. Sigh. Travis' panel was a tad more ridiculous. For those of you who don't know, Travis voices Roy Mustang from Full Metal Alchemist, Ace from One Piece, Takashi Morinozuka from Ouran Host Club, and countless other people. The man has a Mini Skirt Army Club and they made him this little mascot plush thing, and because of his character in Ouran Host Club, he also had some seashells. Anyway, the fangirls at this panel were slightly more annoying in the "I think my ear drums are bleeding" kind of way, but it was well worth it. Travis was in favor of a Lust x Roy pairing because "she's totally hot" and if he had to give Roy any advice it would be "Dude, give me those gloves" so he could set things on fire. He air hugged a girl because he wasn't allowed to make physical contact with us for some reason and all the girls basically stood to air hug him as well. He told the story of his first glomp where a fangirl ran to glomp him and he instinctively blocked her (Travis played football back in the day) and she went down. It was a great time, and I can't wait to see him again next year, maybe let my inner fangirl go up and ask a question. My final AB event attended was the Saturday night rave. I'm not a really big fan of techno, the only songs they played I liked were 'I Was Made to Hit in America' (from Beck, I rock the air guitar), a Zelda remix, a Mario remix, a Tetris remix, and a weird remix of the Vader theme from Star Wars. The only reason I really decided to go was for the fun of it... I mean, why not? I probably will never willingly go to a rave anywhere else, and it seemed like a cool idea at the time. The music was loud, of course, there were more people with glow sticks than I could count and only a handful of the people dancing were actually good, but I had a fun time. Even though I went back to my room at 1 am with my ears ringing. I could tell you I wish I had gone to more events, but I am perfectly content with the things I saw and the people I listened to at AB. The Dealer's Room and Artist's Alley So. Much. Stuff. Glee.

Never ever have I ever seen so much stuff I've wanted to buy in one place at one time. The Dealer's Room is where people sell goods (plushies, t-shirts, necklaces, jackets, anything you could imagine) that you would only really find in specialty stores or on eBay. They also had lots of anime and manga for really cheap, depending on where you bought it from. Best part of the dealers room is the later it gets in the con, the better deals you'll get. On Sunday, I went back to buy a Chopper plushie for a friend of mine that says adorable things in Japanese when you press its belly. When I looked at it the previous two days, it was $20, but I purchased it for $18. Score. I know it's not the best bargain in the world, but hey, two more dollars for me to spend on food. Zorro from One Piece, my friend bought this in Artist's Alley. So awesome.

Artist's Alley is more or less the deviantArt or etsy of the convention. Amateur artists buy a table from the convention and try to sell their art (some is actual art, some make plushies or magnets and pins and similar wares) to the con goers. The only thing I bought was a print of time skip Simon from Gurren Lagann, but there was so much other art I would have loved to buy. I went with Jess, my Art major roommate friend from school, and we spent half an hour talking with two of the artists there about doing art and Resident Evil 5 and just normal stuff. Again, it's nice to know these people who are masters of their crafts are people too.

Noteworthy Obnoxious Things:

Losing the game First of all, sorry for making you all lose the game. Secondly, I couldn't count the times I would be standing in a line or walking to the con or looking at art in Artist's Alley where someone would yell at the top of their lungs "I LOST THE GAME!" Doing such creates a chain reaction of people cursing, yelling that THEY'VE also lost the game, and some telling people to just shut up already. Prepare yourself accordingly. Rick rolling When we were looking for the line to pick up our preregistration badges, we passed a group of girls sitting, and they were singing. What were they singing, you ask? "We're no strangers to love. You know the rules, and so do I." It was really pretty, but it was the first of my few rickrolls of the con. Other instances included two boys walking down a hall, blasting a stereo with Rick Astley's song and another time where I was on an elevator and the boy behind me was quietly singing the dreaded song to himself. In case you're not catching onto a theme here, con goers are up on the annoying internet memes. Prepare yourself accordingly yet again. Lines Oh my bears, so many lines. Half of your con might as well be spent standing in lines, and if you're not in a line early enough, you might not make it into the event you want to go to. My first line was waiting to pick up my badge for the whole con. I was in line with my friends for a solid hour, which was apparently not as bad as last year. Other lines I had to wait for were the two panels I went to (and we went early to wait in these lines) and those lines were about 30 - 45 minutes long each. My biggest disappointment of a line was on Saturday morning. Travis Willingham was having an autograph session, and we were told we could start lining up a half hour before the event started. I bought a FMA poster for him to sign, and my friend and I booked it to where the line was. We were half an hour early, and the line was already down the hall from the room a good deal. I whipped out my DS and played some Golden Sun, took pictures of some awesome cosplayers, and waited. I waited two hours in that line, and the workers at Anime Boston made a cut-off point of people that would for sure get into the room to get an autograph. The cut-off point was about thirty or so people in front of me. Wicked lame. I left slightly disappointed and hoping maybe next year he can sign the poster. Sigh. Fangirls I forgot how annoying the shrill squeal of fourteen year old girls could sound. Especially the ones that will go "OMG IS THAT ICHIGO THAT JUS T WALKED BY? EEEEEEEEEEEEEE! OMG LOOK A SASUKE! I LOVE YOU SASUKE! SQUEEEE! WOW LOOK AT LINK HE'S SO KAWAII!" and what not. Such fangirls account for a large amount of people, especially at Anime Boston. After a while you can adapt to the ear shattering, high pitched calls of their kind. Just be ready to restrain yourself from elbowing them in the teeth. Or punching them in the face with an axe.

My plans for next time:

Set aside a fund specifically for Anime Boston I was lucky my mom was generous to give me some spending money for the con, because I spent way more than I intended to, and most of it was on food. In total, I spent $160 on actual things at the con ( Two $20 shirts, one $18 shirt, one $18 plushie, one $10 poster, one $5 art print, and 6 or 7 meals) where I was really only expecting to spend around $100. Next year, I will get $50-$60 for food alone, invest in some cereal/granola bars for quick breakfasts before I leave, around $50 for buying gifts for other people, and at least $75 for myself. It's a pretty pricey investment, and I strongly suggest going with a club or some friends so you either don't have pay for a hotel room, or you can split it amongst yourselves. Have everything for my cosplay You cannot make your cosplay in one night. Ask either of these two.

Since this was my first time cosplay, I wasn't too concerned on being perfect. I had a hard time trying to find Colette's necklace anywhere and I wasn't quite ready to try to make it myself. My brother said he'd make chakrams, but I never found the necessary materials and he didn't follow up on his end either. For next con, I plan to have both of these items ready (if I chose to go as Colette again) so I am insanely awesome looking. And even if I don't do Colette, I'll make sure I have EVERYTHING. Some helpful hint concerning cosplay, make a decision on your cosplay early (at least a few months before con) and if you plan on buying, do lots of looking. If you plan on making it, make sure you have all the materials you'll need and work on it early. The earlier you get things done, the sooner you can make changes or get alterations done so your cosplay is the best thing evar. Take more pictures I snagged this while a friend was trying to get his camera to work. If only I had done that for everyone I saw.

I missed getting pictures of a few really awesome people at AB, including a really well done Kratos from ToS, Marluxia from KH:CoM, and Canti from FLCL. When I saw them at the time, I thought "No sweat, I'll see them again..." Truth of the matter is, not everyone cosplays for the entire con, and some people don't cosplay the same person for more than a day. If you see people you want to take pictures of or with, do it right then and there. The opportunity may never present itself again. Call out a group of Team Fortress 2 cosplayers So this one is a little more... personal, but on the second day I realized that it would have been really funny to call out a team of TF2 cosplayers (red or blue didn't matter) on doing a bad job of sneaking around and that the opposite color spy would get them. All in pseudo French/Russian accent. I failed to do so, as I didn't see a group of TF2 people walking around in groups of three or more after the first day. So again, if you need to interact with a character or a group of people for the lulz, do it when you can, because who knows if you'll see them ever again. I picked up my bags from the hotel's bag check at around 12 in the afternoon on Sunday, tired from so many late nights and early mornings. I dragged my bags and gave my brother my cosplay to carry as I retired to the back seat of mom's Corolla. I was still on this high of nerding out in an amazingly nerdy place, so I did the only thing I could and I began to tell my brother about my experiences. I had no real expectations going into this convention, and I came out a happy little otaku who couldn't wait to go back next year. If you are a fan of anime (you don't have to be a diehard fanboy or fangirl) I would highly suggest attending a local convention. It's a great way to learn about the art and culture you've come to love over the years, and do so with people who share your interests. Being an anime nerd has never been so sweet, and I eagerly await next year's convention. ---------------
This is guest writer Birttany Emmybelle Aran's first contribution to The Gaming Dungeon. She is a friend of mine since forever ago and currently is not writing for any particular outlet. When asked her favourite anime she responds only "oh bears Baka".

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