MEGATech Showcase: GottaCon 2014 and BCITSA Spring LAN Party Night Michael Kwan March 18, 2014 Features March has been a pretty busy month for us here at MEGATechNews. In addition to our usual duties of reporting on all things techie and reviewing some of the latest gadgetry, we also had the opportunity to attend a couple of events in our home province of British Columbia. First, our travels took us across the water to Vancouver Island where we spent a weekend at GottaCon 2014 in Victoria. GottaCon 2014 in Victoria As I mentioned in the GottaCon preview post I published before leaving, GottaCon is an epic weekend of multiple gaming adventures. They aim to encompass many different aspects and areas of gaming for all the different fans. There is a huge BYOC LAN area, for example, as well as a gamer's lounge with console games, areas for Warhammer, Magic: The Gathering, all sorts of tabletop and trading card games, a vendor area and so much more. For our part, MEGATechNews partnered up with our friends at Futurelooks, InWin, Gigabyte, Creative Labs, Kingston and NCIX to set up a booth in the vendor's area where attendees were able to check out the coolest and latest hardware. Everyone was blown away by the beauty of the InWin 901 and 904 glass and aluminum computer cases, for instance, and they loved the audio that the Creative Sound Blaster ZxR sound card was able to produce too. Discussion panels ran pretty well the length of the three-day event and I was called in as an expert on two of them. In the Future of Gaming discussion, we dove into how virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift could affect the future of gaming, as well as how gamification has infiltrated so many aspects of our lives and how we have come to game on so many devices these days. You can listen to the full audio podcast here. I also expand on this discussion with another blog post if you're interested in checking that out too. In the second discussion panel where I participated, we discussed several aspects of the digital lifestyle. We talked about consoles vs. PCs, for instance, as well as why someone may choose to read an e-book on a Kobo or Kindle rather than pick up a printed paperback. The conversation moved to how the digital delivery of entertainment, though services like Netflix, have changed how we consume our media and what this means for independent artists and developers. A lot was covered in that hour and a half or so. You can find the full audio podcast on GuiltyPleasures.com. A full list of all the discussion panels from GottaCon can also be found there with brief write-ups and links to the MP3 audio files. There was certainly a lot going on all weekend, including karaoke contests, cosplay contests, paper plane competitions and more. Be sure to check out our full GottaCon photo gallery on Facebook. Taking Care of the PC DIYers with Futurelooks But of course, that wasn't all either. While we're on the subject of panels, easily one of the best attended and best received panels at GottaCon was the PC DIY panel put on by Futurelooks. Stephen Fung was joined by Futurelooks senior hardware editor Eric Garay, NCIX PC's "Crazy Russian" Ivan Metelitsa, and NVIDIA country manager Eric Chen. In an open and non-judgmental environment, they talked about everything you needed to know about building your own PC, but were too afraid to ask. If you've ever been confused about the difference between microATX and mini-ITX, for instance, or how you should choose your next graphics card, this was the panel for you. We've embedded the panel is all of its full HD glory here. We also buddied up with Futurelooks to put together a quick overview video of what we were doing at GottaCon too. All said, we had a great time and we're looking forward to GottaCon 2015. BCITSA Spring LAN Event in Burnaby With only a few short days to recover in between, we made our way over to the British Columbia Institute of Technology campus in Burnaby for the BCIT Student Association Spring LAN and Video Game Party Night recently as well. This event has been steadily growing in popularity and we've been happy to support it along the way. We took a similar rig as what we had set up at GottaCon and transplanted it for the BCIT students to check out too. In addition to the great PC hardware we had on display from such companies as InWin, we also had some cool Creative Labs Sound Blaster gear to show off too. For example, here you see the Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 intelligent wireless sound system. The attendees were pretty impressed with its multifunctionality, especially the megaphone and karaoke features not typically found on other Bluetooth speakers. We also had the large Creative AirWave Bluetooth speaker, which was quite a bit bigger and louder than most people were expecting too. It was meant to be a night of fun and that's precisely what it was. They had rooms set up for a series of tournaments, including Smash Bros, League of Legends and StarCraft. A total of around 200 students came out for the evening of gaming. As has become the tradition for us at these events, we passed out some raffle tickets and gave away some superb prizes. One of the biggest giveaways of the night was the Creative Sound Blaster EVO gaming headset. This is a part of the same family of products as the Sound Blaster EVO Zx I reviewed last fall. Head on over to Facebook to see the full photo gallery from that night. Where Are We Going Next? Going to events like GottaCon and the BCITSA LAN can be a lot of hard work, but they're also a heck of a lot of fun. We're happy to attend and lend our support. They definitely offer a different kind of vibe as when we attend major trade shows like CES and Computex. Where are we headed next? Stay tuned and we just might meet you in person very soon! Share This With The World!