Fragapalooza 2009 - Day 2

Day 2 of Fragapalooza has come and gone. I already spoke of tent city here. I didn't think day 2 would be a good day after such a restless day, but here I am at the end of the night and the day was fine. Today was dominated by gaming(what else). The games of the day were mostly Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead. I enjoy TF2 quite a bit, however it can get very repetitive. In the morning we had som very good games of TF2, and that kept me hooked for a few hours. After a break, I played quite a bit of Left 4 Dead, the first time I had really put any significant amount of time into the game. And I must say that Left 4 Dead is fun. With a good group of people playing, it may be the most fun games I've played in years. It would be very easy to get wrapped up in the game for hours. L4D's biggest limiter at an event like this is that the biggest game mode only supports 8 people, and in TF2 we were seeing 32 player games at the high point. Overall, between TF2 and L4D there were some quality games being played.

That's not to say the day went smoothly, however. Unfortunately there were several network/internet outages. There were only 1-2 network wide outages, but the internet went out several times. Unfortunately for games that are Steam based, like the games I spent most of my day playing, the servers went offline just long enough for us to lose our game. While not a huge deal, was a bit of annoyance. The staff did an awesome job at minimizing the downtime when it happened though. And while the internet went down 7-8 times that I could notice, it never lasted more than 5 minutes or so.

Today was also the day the tournaments began, starting in the afternoon and running late into the night. I confess that I don't pay too much attention to the tournaments, as I don't participate in them, nor do I wish to. That's not the reason I come to Fragapalooza.

The day ended with a showing of the documentary "Second Skin." Second Skin is about video games and addiction, specifically about online games such as World of Warcraft. I watched the whole documentary, and came out with very mixed feelings about it. The main purpose of the video was to show that playing video games can be an addiction, and that that addiction could have some very bad consequences. While that is very true, I feel that the documentary sensationalized and played up the stereotype that people who play video games have. I understand this approach. Going for a little more of a shock factor will get more people to pay attention to what is a much larger problem in general addiction to anything. In some ways that is necessary, however the people that are shown in the documentary represent the 1% of people who play games, and it's unfortunate that it looks as if they are made to generalize and be the majority. That is unfortunate, and is the biggest reason why I walked away a bit turned off to the show.

There were a couple of other fun things going on during the day as well. in the afternoon there was a massive dodgeball contest outside, with the winner taking home a new video card. The game was not so much about dodgeball as it was about the Fragapalooza staff throwing balls at everyone lined up against a wall until there was only one person left. I didn't win, and there are videos on youtube of the contest that are at the bottom of this post.

The other things that happened were me receiving my T-Shirt and zippered hoodie that I ordered. The T-Shirts are very nice this year, by far the best one of the 3 years that I've attended, and the zippered hoodie is also very nice. Lastly, one of the sponsors, BFG, is holding a free raffle, and gave away a T-Shirt and foam darts. It's amazing how quickly 300 people can move when you say "free stuff," and also amazing how orderly we were getting into a single line :) I got a free T0Shirt, a free foam dart, which was used in a friendly little war with the people around me, and a ticket for the raffle. I honestly don't know what the prize for the raffle is. I guess I will find out if I win it, whenever they call the numbers.

With that, I'm off to sleep. This has been a very full day, and I'm actually pretty tired.