I spent last weekend at Otakon 2017, which moved to Washington DC this year after it outgrew the convention center in Baltimore. Below are the pictures I took of some neat cosplay and some other cool things I saw and did there.
One of the main highlights this year happened in the video game area. They had a lot of arcade games there this year, including a Gundam game where you actually hop inside a cockpit with a 180-degree display.
There was a pretty big line for what I later discovered was Kidō Senshi Gundam: Senjō no Kizuna (Mobile Suit Gundam: Bonds of the Battlfield), which originally came out in 2006 and has had various revisions since. It became one of those fabled cool Japanese things that never gets released in the west (seeing that many arcade cabinets in one place in the US is in itself a rarity now).
The actual game seems to be a pretty straightforward deathmatch first person shooter, but if you’re a fan of Gundam then being inside what resembles the cockpit from the anime feels cool. The best part about it is probably the sense of total isolation in the “POD” as they call it. It’s not like a racing arcade game or After Burner with an open seat and controls. You actually have to open a door to step into the cockpit, and the game screen pretty much takes up your whole field of vision. It’s got two control sticks and pedals to resemble the controls shown in the TV shows and try to deliver the feeling of actually piloting a complex machine. It’s not Steel Batallion but it’s certainly a grade above something like After Burner.
Another cool thing for me personally was the Naruto-themed ramen they served. Here’s the deal — I’ve never had actual Japanese ramen before (or Sushi for that matter). I’m not even really sure what it is. From what I can gather after the fact, it’s a bunch of stuff they cook in a soup in a bowl, mixing and matching ingredients in different styles. I had some kind of meat/corn mix or something and I guess it was good. I get the feeling ramen is the kind of thing I’ll have to try in different styles and brands before I find something I really like.
Other than all that I did what I do pretty much every year at Otakon: attended some screenings, took in the scene, and took pictures of cool stuff like cosplay and all the things they had on sale.
- Doom II + Diablo II: http://www.pcgamer.com/someone-has-finally-recreated-doom-2-in-the-diablo-2-engine/
- Orioto does Doom: https://www.redbubble.com/people/orioto/works/27635757-the-fall-of-babel-only-one-month
- The “Netflix tax” isn’t coming, it’s already here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/08/17/netflix-tax-yes-and-its-already-thing-some-states/500416001/
- New clues about the origin of multicellular life on Earth: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/08/the-origin-of-complex-life-on-earth-just-got-a-little-less-mysterious/
- Chinese crime writer arrested in a cold case: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/16/guilty-secret-chinese-writer-arrested-cold-case-murders
- Alternate History — “The Winter Period” by ToxiStory: https://t.co/4xX14JiFav
- Story on immersive sims: http://www.pcgamer.com/the-uncertain-future-of-games-like-deus-ex-and-dishonored/
- Story about the anniversary of the partition of the Indian subcontinent: http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2017/08/15/543497914/for-indias-oldest-citizens-independence-day-spurs-memories-of-a-painful-partitio
- Val Kilmer says Kurt Russel more or less directed Tombstone: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/tombstone-val-kilmer-says-kurt-russell-essentially-directed-western-1028891
- The real reason Valve is making a card game: https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/zmmv99/valve-is-making-a-card-game-because-it-wants-you-to-trade-some-cards