Last weekend, I experienced my first eSports convention by attending CEO Gaming in Orlando. Despite years of fan convention attendance, I found myself completely overwhelmed and shambling throughout the ballrooms with wide-eyed wonder. I remember watching kids play games in the arcades when I was younger and seeing crowds gather to watch the spectacle. Attending CEO gave me that same feeling all over again, but thankfully without the need to hunt for a change machine to break bills for quarters!
Bring Your Own Whatnow?!
I’ve been to plenty events and parties where one brings their own beverage or dish, but CEO was the first time I’d ever experienced the BYOC (Bring Your Own Controller). Some folks rocked out on their tried and true, war torn and well loved gaming controllers, but others unveiled customized pieces with everything from swapped out colored accents to fully unique equipment with decals, paint jobs, and specialized storage cases! Like musicians showing up for a gig or professional athletes at a tournament, eSports professionals and amateurs take their gear very, very seriously!
I shouldn’t have been surprised that competitive gaming, eSports, and associated conventions have their own scope of top level products, accessories, and merchandise. Wandering and hovering around the vendor booths, I felt like I was in a bizarre combination of fan convention meets sports expo. In this vein, I thrust my hands firmly into my pockets for fear of touching and breaking just about everything. I was a novice, but I certainly didn’t want everyone knowing it.
Controller Chaos was one of the vendors in the main event room, and their product display of customized XBox, PlayStation, and Nintendo controllers absolutely took my breath away! Looking at the beautifully and intricately painted customizations made me feel like I was gazing into a bakery case packed with elegantly designed pastries! They looked too beautiful to handle let alone log countless hours of game play. I had to stop myself from pressing my hands and nose against the glass like an eager child.
While I didn’t ask for specifics about their product availability, I did manage to startle myself by nearly bumping into someone at the water cooler beside the CC tent. (If that didn’t indicate how out of my element I was, I doubt nothing would. Mercifully, I had a hearty laugh and lovely chat with a gent over how exciting I found everything to be!) No sooner did I return home, did I start checking out all the items they have on their webpage (and an extensive wish list subsequently sprouted). I happened upon a shiny giveaway on their Twitter feed today, and wouldn’t you believe it, it’s *just* my size, too!
— ControllerChaos (@ControllerChaos) June 21, 2017
[At date of publishing, Controller Chaos was advertizing their Take Home the Gold Nintendo Gamecube controller Giveaway.]
Outdated Consoles or Nouveau Retro?
The last time I purchased a console system, it was 2003 and it was a Japanese PS2. Before that, it was my Nintendo Gamecube. Since returning from Japan in 2009, I have been out of the console gaming loop. Additionally, until attending CEO last weekend, I was completely unaware of eSports and competitive gaming as a whole. Discovering that Super Smash Bros. Melee (SSBM), one of the only Gamecube games I own, is not only still beloved, but has a community of active, competitive gamers blew my mind!
It has been years since I’ve played console games. However, after watching these competitors battle and best one another on the big screen in front of hundreds of spectators, my hands are itching to shakedown all my boxes stashed throughout my house to resurrect my old systems! I’ve been in The Lil House of the Nerdy for over 18 months, and I’m fairly certain 65% of my life in still contained in boxes. With the ample seating arrangement in my living room, a return to console gaming would be a great way to entertain when I have company or to blow off steam after hours.
I’ve found it difficult to keep up with console trends, but I have started researching which future system I would like to invest in. I also wonder about collecting older games for my older systems, especially my Gamecube which didn’t get nearly enough love when I first bought it. Not only do I feel the need for some Melee, but I know that Soul Calibur 2 is calling my name after all these years! The biggest question is, do I set up all my consoles downstairs in the living room, or save one for my studio on the second floor?
Answer Me, These Questions Three
- Have you ever purchased a customized/personalized piece of equipment (gaming or otherwise)?
- Should limited editions or special customs be for display purposes only?
- If I were to get a custom controller, should I purchase a special storage/travel case or make my own?