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Philly’s VideoGame Expo


VGXPO, America’s Video Game Expo, has consistently been a positive experience for me.  The first time I attended this small event in Philly, I met and interviewed Athena Twin (Amber Dalton), the co-founder of the all-girl gaming clan Pandora’s Mighty Soldiers for a college paper.  She recommended I apply to PMS and one month later I was taken on as co-leader of the clan’s first Team Fortress 2 team.

The following year at VGXPO 2008, Amber hired me to man a shoot-out booth for Sapphire, a sponsor at the time.  I was undefeated save three losses all weekend in Quake 4 and got my first paycheck as a gamer.

This year, I went as a guest host for UFrag TV, a site that does live, streaming coverage of gaming events.  Thanks to the UFrag guys, I had the best time yet.

My friends/colleagues/agents at NoobToob, Aaron and Jason, were kind enough to set me up with UFrag TV, so TorcH and I woke up early and made our way into the city to the Philadelphia Convention Center by 11am, way before the doors opened to attendees at 2pm.  I met Shane, the ship’s captain, and he introduced me to Tim, the guy who tells us what to do, and JR and Alphonso, the guys in front of the camera.  They accepted TorcH into manual labor in exchange for a coveted “exhibitor” wristband (he and I generally dislike paying to get into events) and I was given a few quick tips on how to work with the mics and cameras and where to stand.

We were introduced to The Smoke, the pro-wrestler/celebrity liaison for the event.  He helped score names like Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers) and Neil Kaplan (Optimus Prime from Transformers, Tychus Findlay of StarCraft2).  Trevor was assigned to pulling pictures from the web and making overlays while the other hosts and I ran around securing interview slots.

For the most part, our interviews went smoothly.  I was pretty nervous having never done live broadcasting, only recorded interviews with Noob Toob.  Once I got a hang of the hand motions and set-ups though, it was all down to coming up with questions on the spot!  Here I admit I got a bit nervous.  There are a couple questions I regret never asking, but alas, the moment has passed.  I also learned a lot about cursing on air and when it is and is not appropriate.  Very important.

Some highlights were the fantastic 4G wifi connection courtesy of Clear: Open Air that kept us tethered to the internet.  Tommy Tallarico, the co-creator of the orchestra experience Video Games Live gave us a great interview on Saturday (that he made me take my shoes off for so as not to tower over him) and consequently got us scolded.  Later on-stage while judging the costume contest he spoke to us about furries and romance.  We also had some serious news as we looked into Nintendo’s preview of  upcoming releases, a independent hand-held console company, and lots of new faces in the field of game design.

It was a tough three days, but worth every minute because I had a really awesome time helping out at UFrag.  All the exhibitors and personalities who participated in interviews brought a lot of energy (especially that guy from Monster who kept delivering cans of it).  And in the end, I feel like I truly bonded with some cool dudes who do great things for gaming.

For more information on VGXPO, go to

Check out for live coverage of all the best gaming events and streaming video from gamers all over the world!


Showdown in Chengdu – Preparation


This past weekend the WCG National Finals were held in New York City.  The finals were where teams earned the right to represent in USA in games like Counterstrike, Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne, Starcraft, and more at the WCG Grand Finals  a.k.a. the “Olympics of Videogames.”  In light of my partner TorcH winning the Wise Star 2 Mob!le Challenge from Samsung, we have been making preparations for our trip to Chengdu, China with the rest of the winners.

Hoping to make myself useful along the way, I will be doing coverage for my friends at!  I have also applied to become a WCG referee, which would allow me to get up close to the action during those all-important final matches.  Keep an eye on my Twitter: for more information leading up to and all during the event!

TSP WiseStar2

TorcH, meanwhile, has been practicing hard at his game, Wise Star 2, which involves matching groups of planets or activating bombs to eliminate them from the board.  Each space on the board must be cleared at least once to complete the level.  In a competitive challenge, the first player to cause an explosion in every cube of the board wins.   For a touch of humor, here’s a shot of TorcH looking unnecessarily furious during his post-victory interview with WCG’s Rivington:


Gaming Vision Network – Summer Bash 2009


The Gamer Vision Network ran a small fighting games tournament in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 22nd.  Being new to the console and fighting games communities, my partner TorcH and I were hesitant to attend such an intimate event.  Fortunately, we got the news that the rest of the crew would be attending, along with WCG Ultimate Gamer participant, Jamal Nickens, and winner, Mark Smith, to light a fire under our butts!

As soon as we got to the hotel where the event was being held, we found our friends;  not a  difficult feat because the room was small!  Every wall was lined with consoles and televisions of varying shapes and sizes.  In the middle was the largest screen, observed by the NOC and the live web feed.  Dudes with fightsticks filled up all available space, punctuated by celebrities like the lovely CGS Fighter ladies Phoenix and Kasumi-Chan, our Ultimate Gamer guys, and a few well-known console personalities like Chosen1.

I got to experience first hand how intense the competition when Jamal and Mark signed me up for a Team of Three competition in Street Fighter IV.   (I am not proud to admit that the three of us lost in the first two rounds.  I am, however, proud to say that my Cammy held her own with both pros!)

TorcH participated in the singles tournament for Street Fighter IV and lasted well into the final rounds with his Zangief.  We were both a little disappointed about not ranking but, to quote EvilRyu, “It’s not all about winning.  Just getting tournament experience is invaluable.”

And GVN’s Summer Bash was really a great experience.  The event was a great example of a neatly-run event, especially considering the size restrictions of the venue.  The community that attended was pleasant, social, and very willing to offer help and suggestions.  GVN runs several events throughout the year which you can track at their site:  With such a great team behind them, you can count on a good time!