Posts Tagged ‘SGC. ScrewAttack Gaming Convention’

WCG Ultimate Gamers Mark and Jamal

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009
WCG Ultimate Gamer's Mark Smith (left) and Jamal Nickens (right) with BG's Tim Danger (center)

WCG Ultimate Gamer's Mark Smith (left) and Jamal Nickens (right) with BG's Tim Danger (center)

One of the neatest things we got to do at SGC was hang out with WCG’s Ultimate Gamer contestants Mark Smith (the big winner of the show) and Jamal Nickens (who ended up taking the SGC’s “Iron Man of Gaming” championship this past weekend). The weekend was spent socializing, watching them play some games, and even a night out to downtown Dallas Texas with the gamers and their friends where we demonstrated the only game we could probably take them at was “drinking”. On Sunday, I found some time to sit down with Mark and Jamal and talk about the show, girls, and games.

TDANGER: How did you two guys meet, it was obviously before the show right?
Jamal: Actually, it was a weird thing. We had both went to the same audition. I was the first person to arrive and then I saw Mark and I don’t know if anyone has said this but whatever… I’m like, “Alright, good, he doesn’t have a chance. Who is this dork???? *laughs*
Mark: Yeah, dude, I saw him with his Sonic pillow thinking, “Man there is no way this clown is going to get on this show!??? *laughs*
Jamal: But we were the first two at the audition, I was like five in the morning, he was like at seven. It was intense. I was there sizing up people.

TDANGER: So you guys had not met before then? Not in any other gaming circles?
Jamal: Even at the audition we didn’t even talk. We just saw each other.
Mark: Yeah.

TDANGER: Talking about the show then, how many rounds of auditions did you have to go through?
There was actually two audition rounds. The first was like a prelim, there were game challenges, you had to fill out a survey, like a contract type deal, you had to interview, video interview…
Mark: Yeah, and then they made us play some games. They wanted to see if you talked trash to each other and that sort of thing. Then after that they did auditions in Chicago, Austin, New York and L.A. and out of all of those, they narrowed it down to like 40 people. Then they flew us out to L.A. and they had some really really intense auditions there.
Jamal: I thought it was like 60? They just sent half the people home the first day once you got to L.A.
Mark: Yeah, one guy they actually sent home because you weren’t allowed to leave your room without a handler and stuff because they didn’t want you talking to other potential contestants. Some guy was walking around double fisting beers, like you know, pounding them. They said, “No drinking while you’re there???. I don’t know what he was doing…
TDANGER: We wouldn’t have survived that (referring to Busygamer’s legendary outing on night one of SGC).*laughter all around*

SGC Wraps Up, Reckon Crew finally sober

Monday, July 6th, 2009
Mark and Jamal of WCG Ultimate Gamer and, yes, Mark is sporting a Reckon Crew Shirt

Mark and Jamal of WCG Ultimate Gamer and, yes, Mark is sporting a Reckon Crew Shirt

Hot weather be damned, the Reckon Crew raided and rampaged the SGC and made it home to tell the tale.

We got a bit of a late start on Friday morning thanks to an issue with the site not coming up but once that was remedied, the car was loaded with swag and we were on our way to Dallas to visit the ScrewAttack Gaming Convention put on by, you guessed it, the folks from The first of what I personally hope will be many, the SGC had much to offer of the course of the three days and you’d better believe the Reckon Crew took it all in.

To begin, 180 hopeful gamers signed up for the Iron Man of Gaming contest. Among those contestants were none other than Mark (aka mMmApplesauce) and Jamal (aka Zophar321) of Sci-Fi’s WCG Ultimate Gamer reality show. More about them in a moment.

Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese

Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese

Ducking out of the crowded lobby, we took in the keynote speech by the famed Nolan Bushnell. You may have heard of him from a little business he founded called Atari. Bushnell’s speech set the tone for the convention as he told stories of both successful and missed business opportunities, off color jokes, and predicted the future of gaming to lead away from consoles and into the arena of cloud computing. There was also talk of hunting a Wumpus out in the real world with electronic devices like the iPhone. We still have goosebumps.

We left the keynote, browsed a bit more, and then may our way to the hotel lounge. You just knew there had to be drinking somewhere in this bit, right? After a bit of relaxing, we met up with Jamal and Mark and headed to downtown Dallas for a bit of the nightlife. What followed was some epic scale drinking (as evidenced by our Tweets that night if anyone was paying attention) and getting to know the guys from Ultimate Gamer. Timothy Danger arranged an interview with them and then it was time to call it a night.

Jack Thompson

Jack Thompson

We woke a bit worse for wear on Saturday and made our way down for the Q&A session with Jack Thompson. Well, T. Danger did. He was the only one with fully functioning mental capabilities that morning. If you’re not familiar with Jack Thompson, he’s a former lawyer from Florida who has fought for civil rights and public decency in music and video games. While my personal opinion of the man is that he’s a bit off kilter, he was in fine form for the SGC both in his Q&A section and in his debate with Mark Methenitis. He joked with the crowd, related stories of run ins with Take Two Interactive, and even managed to win a standing ovation or two during his time on stage.

We lost Cruthcboy in a freak rave accident

We lost Cruthcboy in a freak rave accident

As the day wore on, we checked in with Jamal to find out he was in first place after two days of the Iron Man competition. Considering the night before, the Reckon Crew was suitably impressed. We wandered the hotel speaking to the various attendees and checking in on the scheduled events. We were a bit frightened at both the pool party and the rave but it may have been the bright lights.

Sunday morning saw us a bit disappointed that the event was drawing to an end. But we picked up our spirits, loaded the car, and made our way to the convention floor to check on the scores for the Iron Man gaming competition. The day would unfold to show Jamal as the victor in the event.

The last round of pictures and interviews were completed, goodbyes were exchanged with our new friends, and we made our way out into the Texas heat and began our journey home. We were all in agreement that the event had been a smashing success and look forward to attending next year.

So long as the Reckon Crew has not heard the last of the SGC, the SGC hasn’t heard the last of the Reckon Crew.

Gritskrieg – End of Line