Sadly we didn’t spend too much time at the panels—we were busy playing the multitude of indie games and had other time constraints--but we did manage to check out a few of them. Almost all of them were ScrewAttack related, but chances are you'll find an internet personality's panel that you like at SGC 2014.
On the first day we visited the much hyped Death Battle! panel. Ben and Chad were themselves although Chad would occasionally slip into his Boomstick voice upon hearing the audience’s clamor. The first portion was mostly QA, and by that I mean it was a bunch of live-action You Tube comments, typically asking why Goku didn’t win. Then the two treated us to a timed exclusive episode of the Shao Kahn vs. M. Bison episode, complete with an alternate ending and a tease for a new episode. I appreciated how they brought up new animator Jordan Lange on stage, and they even gave props to their new research team. It looks like the show is in capable hands.
The next one I visited was the Nathan Barnett Power Hour, which caught my interest because it’s allegedly the first panel in which the actor would play, well, himself. Nathan Barnett is most known to the g1 community as Keith Apicary on the show Talking Classics. Keith has a penchant for getting kicked out of gaming conventions, has seemingly endless energy and pain tolerance, and he’s a Neo Geo aficionado. So what was the man like behind the character? Well, he's pretty much the same! The man immediately attempted to hug everyone in the audience before giving up and submitting himself to the audience’s raised arms for crowd surfing. Even while taking questions he stood on the main panel rather than sit down. Later he challenged Tom the Ironman to a video game tournament, but due to technical issues he stripped to his underwear (complete with a wrestling belt) and wrestled some guy dressed as Trale Lewous on top of the panels. Needless to say Nathan Barnett’s panel was hilarious.
Andre Meadows, known as Black Nerd, also had a low-key albeit hilarious panel. He was open to suggestions at the beginning of the panel for audience suggestions before launching into his live rant about William Fichtner in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. The rest of his panel consisted of QA; however, most participants would suggest a show or other popular culture topic, and Andre would tactfully provide historical and comedic context per answer. Like the Death Battle! panel, most of the QA consisted of “cover this topic;” however, Andre was almost happy to oblige-that is unless you found the one question where he would point towards the door. I was most impressed with Andre’s panel because even though he advertised one live rant, he turned the whole hour into a giant episode of Black Nerd Rants.
And of course I had to see the official ScrewAttack panel. Most of the panel consisted of topics that only a g1 would care about. They spoke a bunch of the infamous, deadly salsa challenge between Ben and Nick when they were still in high school, among other fond memories. Their favorite part of SGC included the pulled pork sandwiches, which consequently caused a huge line about five minutes after their panel (and damn were those pulled pork sandwiches good). I liked how they spent a good fifteen minutes talking about pulled pork sandwiches and old memories and then casually announced their ScrewAttack Games division (which explains the strong presence of student and indie game developers) and the fact that they may one day finish the mobile version of their website. The crew did a good job letting the g1s get to know them better.
And The Koalition's David Jagneaux saw a panel about violence and video games, but I’m sure that it’s not even remotely pertinent to the gaming culture--nope, not at all.
I wish I could have seen more of SGC, but I had other time constraints and I can only control my own body. ScrewAttack had many panels set up that I would have liked to attend, such as Jim Sterling and Adam Sessler’s panel, and there were still plenty of indie games that I would have liked to play.
But none of that matters to me in the long run considering how I finally got to attend an SGC when I had thought it had been resigned in 2010. ScrewAttack means a lot to me. Craig was able to start a gaming website barely a city away from my hometown, and he was able to keep it relevant and growing for the past seven years or so. ScrewAttack is one of the reasons I’m currently here writing for the Koalition, and I owe them a debt that they’ll never know. I’m happy ScrewAttack was able to revive SGC one more time, and I wouldn’t think twice before helping them continue into 2014.