MAGFest!!

Life at MAGFest! A folksy village inside a space age pod.

Ellen and I arrived at MAGFest, Washington D.C.’s music and game festival, prepared for awesomeness and it didn’t disappoint. MAGFest was held at The Gaylord, a hotel wrapped around a theme park on the shores of the Potomac and filled (at least it was this weekend) with somewhere around 5,000 assassins, banshees, warriors and morality cores. COSPLAY was IN THE HOUSE!!! We checked into our comfy room Thursday afternoon and prepared ourselves to meet the fans. I had a Q&A panel at 5:00, but Ellen was called with the rest of the stars later in the weekend. So I showered and dressed and Ellen went to sleep. She would need all the energy she could store up.

My Q & A was a lot of fun. I talked about being a voice actor, working for Valve, Bungie and the other companies I’ve voiced for. The fans wanted to know about my new sci-fi novel, Dancing with Eternity, and how I got into being an author. Someone asked if Ellen and I got into marital fights doing the voices of The Sniper and GLaDOS and I had to tell them no. However, I did say that a night of passion can be ruined when you’re going at it hot and heavy and she says, “This isn’t working for me. Could you do The Heavy?” A fan had me read a letter as The Sniper to Princess Celestia of My Little Pony. For the three people in the world who haven’t seen it yet, here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vhNWzK_yGA Evidently people who are into both Team Fortress 2 and My Little Pony are called Team Ponies or Pone Forties or Porties or My Little Team Pony Fortresses 2, or something like that. Anyway, the letter I read to Princess Celestia must have been way overdue because everyone was pretty excited about it.

That night Ellen and I went out to hear a great blues band at The Zoo Bar in D.C.

Friday was the TF2 appreciation panel which was lead by Eric Ruth of Eric Ruth Games and creator of TF2 Arcade. Ellen and I were both there. This was the first opportunity for the fans to meet Ellen and it was a party. Afterwards we headed down to our booth to sign autographs and chat. Here are some of the results:

Chell and GLaDOS by Jessi Pascal

"Let Us Sing a Song of Science" by Michael Plondaya (I hope that's spelled right)


At every personal appearance we make we are given art produced for us by the people who love our work. As always, Ellen and I were blown away by the level of skill and talent exhibited by the fans. These two pieces are indicative of what we saw there. If you want to see more of Jessi’s work you can find it here: Geeks Next Comic

Chris Hardwick (center), me (left) and Ellen (right, doing the Macarena, I think), and the cast of The Nerdist

Friday night we went downtown to the 9:30 Club to make an appearance on Chris Hardwick’s hilarious podcast, The Nerdist. It was PACKED to the rafters. Chris and his two sidekicks did stand-up for a couple of hours before the podcast started, so the crowd was definitely warmed up. He saved us for the end of the program and they cheered when Ellen was introduced. It was wonderful to hear. Chris is a wonderful interviewer and I think everyone had a great time. He gave DWE a nice plug, we played GLaDOS’ Greatest Hits and hit the road. We didn’t get home till 2:00 a.m.

Saturday was a marathon. We had the Voice Acting panel at noon to 2:00, Ellen’s Q&A from 3:00 to 4:00, Voice-a-Palooza from 5:00 to 7:00 and autographs, autographs, autographs in between! We signed autographs until 9:00 that night and even so some patient fans had to come to our booth on Sunday because the line never ended. It was exhausting, but what a great experience for both of us. The fans are so friendly and good-natured (some of them were waiting in line for hours and at least one of them was pregnant). If people are worried about computer games producing sociopathic misanthropes and hermits, I’ve certainly never met any. These people are the most fun-loving, positive, creative people I’ve ever been around.

The crowd finds Ellen (Ellen's Q&A)

Ellen finds a turret (is she CUTE or WHAT????)

Wheatley finds a plaid shirt

The Sniper finds love! (Who else would the Sniper fall in love with?)

And I finally find the kind of girl I can bring home to mother.

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13 Responses to MAGFest!!

  1. Aimee Elizabeth says:

    Wow i made it in your blog! I’m the girl at the very end…that last photo :P

    It was certainly nice to meet the both of you. My brother was very happy to get his Companion Cube signed by Ellen. He couldn’t believe it. Next time you come to Magfest, i’ll wear that outifit again and don’t forget to bring you mom. We’ll go out for coffee and talk about world domination :P

    Again, it was a pleasure meeting the both of you :D

    • john says:

      Mom sez, “WORLD DOMINATION! WORLD DOMINATION! WORLD DOMINATION!” (She’s always a little excitable before I give her her morning gruel)

  2. I’m still beyond thrilled that you guys had such a fantastic time not only at magfest, but at the nerdist show as well. I’m still happy that I was able to send a tweet to chris in time so he could get a hold of you guys for it. I remember Ellen telling me your publicist was happy to get you guys onto the show too. I listened to it recently on my ipod and I still nerd out hearing you guys on the show. You guys do have a real sense of humor and are so kind to all your fans and it really means alot to someone like me that love the valve games and some of the other voice work that you two have done that really make me happy to be a nerd and enjoy gaming. Hope to see you guys again in the future! and again thank you two so much!

    • john says:

      Thank YOU for getting in touch with Chris Hardwick! What a nice and hilarious guy. We had a great time! We can’t wait to do it all again!

      • Darji says:

        I’m still beyond tlhilred that you guys had such a fantastic time not only at magfest, but at the nerdist show as well. I’m still happy that I was able to send a tweet to chris in time so he could get a hold of you guys for it. I remember Ellen telling me your publicist was happy to get you guys onto the show too. I listened to it recently on my ipod and I still nerd out hearing you guys on the show. You guys do have a real sense of humor and are so kind to all your fans and it really means alot to someone like me that love the valve games and some of the other voice work that you two have done that really make me happy to be a nerd and enjoy gaming. Hope to see you guys again in the future! and again thank you two so much!

        • john says:

          It looks like we’ll be able to attend MAGFest again in 2013, so hopefully we’ll see you there! The Nerdist was a total gas and MAGFest was da bomb! (If I’m using that phrase correctly – I’m hoping it means ‘fun’)

  3. Barbara S. says:

    Well, I think the Sniper already fell in love with GLaDOS… and maybe they could have little turrets children :D

    • john says:

      Would the kids have Turrets Syndrome?

      • Melissa says:

        That sounds inldbriece. I’ve only attended comic conventions as an artist, and I’ve been wanting to go to one like this for a while. Next time you guys hit one up in the Southeast, maybe I can swing it!I’m about to start (despite my deadline) reading the book that your sister-in-law sent home with my wife (we’re sort-of-but-not-really related’ now). Can’t to see what you have in store!Enjoy the holidays!Best,Jonathan

  4. Daria Wheatley says:

    And ‘it’s’ named Wheatley because …?

  5. Nobuo says:

    Wow i made it in your blog! I’m the girl at the very end that last photo It was certainly nice to meet the both of you. My bhertor was very happy to get his Companion Cube signed by Ellen. He couldn’t believe it. Next time you come to Magfest, i’ll wear that outifit again and don’t forget to bring you mom. We’ll go out for coffee and talk about world domination Again, it was a pleasure meeting the both of you

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