So I have arrived back in Ireland after a three week stint in America that included a trip to Dallas for QuakeCon. Really enjoyed the whole weekend. Have learned some things for my next one or for other major LANs for definate!

Toured around a bit to check out the lay of the land and met a few cool people. Didn’t seem to be a line for people like me (without PC) so set to work playing arcade games. Developed a slight addiction to air hockey which led to a bruise on my thumb the following day. Air hockey, the next extreme sport! Was a good way to meet people and get to see how diverse a crowd QuakeCon can draw.

First day of the actual convention arrived and still no line for non-BYOC people…Found out that I had to wait in line with the BYOC people. But again got to mingle and drew a few funny looks because of . It’s amazing how much people wanted to know about Ireland (and how often conversations faded into stereotypes!).

Once inside I did a couple of laps of the Vendor area and then hung out in the Extreme Gaming tour booth for a while watching PMS|Iris play Q4 and ThunderQueen play GH. Quite impressive all around and what a job to have! Stopped by the main stage to watch some of the Quick Draw Challenge and Quick Picks. The name is quite misleading – not so quick! Got my hands on a FRAG movie grenade squeeze ball too which was pretty cool but decided against trying to bring it home on a plane or in my luggage!

On Friday I spent a lot of time over by the tournament area spectating and took in some of the Extreme Gaming Tour on the side. Also gave UT3 a bash against PMS| Raven Murder. Managed to scrape a win (-1 to -2) but she was definitely taking it easy on me! (And if reading, “thank you!” ). Lost it in the finals where I found out why I don’t like UT – the double jumping. Something that I am very unused to and resulted in me leaping to my death!

During the tournaments, John Carmack sat down in front of me. Slasher came over and started chatting to him and asking all sorts of questions. So I of course listened in – was very interesting. Both Slasher and Carmack were straight to the point and right on the money in what they were saying. However, I fell into a trap set by a necro post here in a journal where Slasher had said that he was leaving for a position at GotFrag. Got a bemused reaction. Whoops! Need to read the dates of the original post in future However, did get to hear a great comment – when Carmack and Slasher were done talking, Carmack turns around and says “where can I get a soda?”. Response: “Hey, it’s your QuakeCon”

From there it was the screening of the FRAG documentary. And what a great job they did of it. Capturing the highs, the lows and everything in between. And providing a good overview of what pro gaming encapsulates and some of the stories that it can throw up! They also did a great job in the Q&A session.

Saturday was filled with tournament action and the anticipation of the approaching finals. Also played in the Q4 FFA tournament in the Extreme Gaming Tour booth. Won my heat but lost in the finals. Not bad for my first taste of Q4 DM action though! The finals were great, even the wait before hand was entertaining with the FRAG grenade squeeze balls being fired around the place.

The CTF match was unbelievable. Was hoping for RAGE to pull off a surprise and they put up quite a fight in an epic battle but it just wasn’t meant to be! The 1v1 GH was decent but 2v2 was a bit frustrating seems as we had to sit through the same songs (damn DragonForce). Though the performance of “One” at the end made it worthwhile! I felt really bad for the 1v1 guys sitting while all this and Corvette draw was taking place, especially Cypher who seemed trapped while Zero4 walked around a bit. Finally it came time to play the final match. Another great matchup and a great win for Cypher!

Overall a great weekend - would have liked to network a little more, have learned to read original posting dates (damn ESR & necro-posters! I don't need help looking like an idiot :D), should stay around the tournament area (missed my match :( ) and don't wear when there is a Christian convention in the same hotel and I have to share elevators with some of them!!!

(Sorry for the long post.........but it's my journal! :D)