Gaming Expo: SXSW

MarioI recently relocated to Austin and just in time for SXSW. Unfortunately I did not get a press pass however I used the guest pass and my network of friends to get me into events. nintendo2The SXSW Gaming Expo was just a few bus stops of my new condo so I had to go. The first thing I checked out was the VideoGame History Museum Booth sponsored by Nintendo. What a fun blast from the past! My first gaming system was the OG Nintendo Entertainment System (circa 1985). I played Mario Bros, Duckhunt, Zelda and many others with my younger brother…Since I’m older if I was losing against my younger and smarter brother I would hit the “reset” button (this warranted many of fights). I also remember the days of taking out and blowing on the cartridges when the system crashed.mario cart2

I had a chance to play with Virtual Boy; the intense red blinking graphics gave me a headache (how did I play this as a child?!). I also had to take a photo op in the life size Mario cart…It was hilarious and interesting to see the migration throughout the decades of NES gaming systems.

paperdude 1Moving on I went to the Paper Dude booth from Globalcore interactive using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. If you ever played Paperboy on NES this was the booth to visit. They had a stationary bike using the Oculus Rift headset for the full on 3-D experience. When I tried it I realized playing the 3-D version took some time to get used to; I had allot of customers who did not get their paper.

Air GuardThe best booth I went to and one that I spent an hour waiting to try was the Air National Guard Flight simulator. One of my pals in SF is a pilot and I always told her that I would be a horrible pilot…but guess what I’m actually decent. I can’t say I’m great with shooting targets but flying was no problem…of course if it was a real plane that would be different. What I found interesting about the game experience was learning how systematic a person’s eye and hand coordination works when put in the driver’s seat. It was so fun to do some nose drives and then do a barrel roll!

This is just the beginning of SXSW 2014 for this cutegeek. Follow me @nrpena for up to minute updates on the music portion! Happy South By…