The QuakeCon Files: Day 2

August 7, 2008

With both Jared ‘jRAD’ Hefty and Dave ‘ducks’ Johnston out at QuakeCon 2008, we’ll try and bring you regular coverage from the event in form of riveting and highly emotional blog updates and photo galleries. Find below the shocking truth that lies beneath Day 2 of QuakeCon 2008!

The morning started with a quick wander around the BYOC area, in a hunt to find the finest PC cases and systems to ever exist. Amongst our favourites was the Spongebob Squarepants PC (it doesn’t take much to entertain us SD staffers.) We also spotted a number of groups attending QuakeCon, from Something Awful goons to Shacknews shackers, each with their own enormous placards, tables, and pizzas visible from across the hall. By the afternoon, the BYOC area was practically full, awash with an even greater selection of games.

In the adjoining vendors area, the main stage has seen a number of events, offering more opportunities to win a chance to snatch the Ventrilo-sponsored Corvette. One such opportunity was to allow the QuakeCon girls to chew gum and mush it in your hair… but whatever for a Corvette, right?

Perhaps one of the stranger spectacles has been the Bawls chugging contest, in which a dozen or so thirsty QuakeCon attendees are invited on stage to drink a can of Bawls (a caffeinated soft drink found all over the convention centre, with it’s own booth and everything) as quickly as they can. The quickest gets one step closer to winning the Corvette. The slowest… well, humiliation. We saw one chap drink an entire can in about 6.4 seconds, utilising the ‘screw the can into a sand timer-shaped tube’ technique, whereas others opted for the less successful ‘forget to attach mouth to can’ maneouvre, in which the liquid mostly ended up on their clothes and floor followed by disqualification. The slowest successful drinker took about 24 seconds (but at least he finished it without spilling a drop, which is more than most.)

Jared and myself were tempted to show the QuakeCon attendees how it should be done, but as we marched to the registration line we had second thoughts. Besides, who really wants a beautiful blue Corvette with all the trimmings anyway?

We also had our chance to meet up with not only some of the clans playing in the ETQW tournaments, but also watch them play, and chat with those arranging and broadcasting the matches. Kompaniet had a close first day, narrowly losing their first match by 2 seconds to The United Force, hampered by the lack of audio in their headphones. We had the chance to see them back on form though, steamrolling in barely 5 minutes, and a full 20 minute first-objective full-hold in the following match.

Throughout the event, we’ve met even more staffers from various companies, and were even lucky enough to have lunch with various members of the Quake Live team, who have been helping ensure the Quake Live tournaments run smoothly. We also saw one of the Wolfenstein RPG girls play ETQW, a number more people lose at Guitar Hero 3, a bunch of massaging chairs (we MUST get these for the office), a DLP projection technique that lets two people play on the same screen at the same time with the use of shutter glasses, and a fantastic service that makes setting up game servers as easy as pouring Bawl’s all over your chest (but without the mess.)

Tomorrow, on day 3, we’ll finally be having an interview with the lot, and switching our bright orange shirts for perhaps something more subtle; we’ve grown bored of blinding people and feel that now they recognise us it might be worth mixing it up a little… well, if their sight has returned yet anyway.

Oh, and hey guys!

More pictures can be found in ducks’s QuakeCon photo gallery on Flickr!

Click here to read the day 3 update!