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Unread 05-22-2013, 10:52 PM   #1
NiGHTmaren
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Fanime 2013 : Feedback Thread

This thread is for posting your thoughts/opinions on Fanime 2013!

From your experience this year, what were the pros and cons? What were the highlights and lowlights? Would you return again next year?

Also, you can discuss the particulars of the convention, such as the events, panels, masquerade, dances, etc., as well as what you thought about the con and hotel staff, the guests, convention space, food, dealer's room, attendees, and whatever else pertaining to this year's Fanime!
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Unread 05-27-2013, 12:27 PM   #2
Kikaida
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I think the biggest mistake is not sending out the Pre-Reg badges to the people that paid in advance. It would free up the people to just register new attendees. The two lines were insane. Think of all the time people attending and staff would save if the badges were sent out ahead of time. I think that was everyone's complaint. Not just mine.
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Unread 05-28-2013, 05:06 AM   #3
DrTights
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oh yeah it was crazy. probably in line for about six hours.

Someone actually passed out in line and the EMT's were called.
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Unread 05-28-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
rj_sosongco
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I also agree, the registration fiasco seems to be getting worse every year. They need to be taking cues from other large cons about how to handle registration. Sending out pre-reg badges wouldn't be cost effective (you would need the materials and manpower to produce badges and packets for several months before the con), but they can definitely work toward expediting the process. For one thing, they can make the goodie bags optional, kind of a "grab one on your way out" kind of deal. I know I don't keep them. Also, they should devote a majority of staff, especially on Day 1 and the mornings of the other days, to registration specifically.
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Unread 05-28-2013, 06:36 PM   #5
Kell-chan
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Agreed 100% about reg lines - I'm positive now that the reason I "only" spent three hours in line is because staff accidentally send me ahead at some point of confusion. Needless to say, when people are fainting in line, you've gone ten miles past the point where you need to seriously overhaul your process.

On a staff note, I realize that staff is mainly comprised of volunteers - and I thank them for their service - but I was misdirected so many times that exasperation was inevitable. I was told by an info desk that the panelist check-in was on the wrong floor (thank you Fanime Finance people for directing us to the right place), and after much stress on the forums about checking in early as a cosplay gathering organizer, I found the gatherings table empty the morning I was supposed to check-in. I went to the info desk, who didn't know what to do except send me to the cosplayer hangout, where I accidentally walked into a staff meeting that was supposed to end 20 minutes earlier. The gathering staff didn't show until five minutes before my gathering. In addition, my gathering was listed as offsite but no staff could tell inquirers where exactly that was. Everything turned out fine, but I admit my annoyance levels were quite high from having to run around in a heavy costume when I had shown up on time. (A HUGE thank you to the Tales gathering photographer- you were amazing and a lifesaver!)

I had an awesome time at Fanime, certainly - but there were moments of stress that very much could have been avoided.
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Unread 05-28-2013, 08:00 PM   #6
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Luckily I did group reg, so I didn't have to be the one actually in line this year. It still sucked for our group leader, though. Otherwise, I didn't have too many troubles this year.
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Unread 05-29-2013, 01:14 AM   #7
Yukari Kaiba
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Day Zero badge pickup this year was ridiculous - my friends and I waited 7 hours in line from 7pm to almost 2am in the morning (the same amount of time we waited last year when there was the power outage). Also I didn't like that the pre-reg badges were just stickers put onto a plastic badge - I personally liked the perk of having a fully printed and nice laminated badge to take home as a momento and it was something that always felt trademarked to Fanime.
Tech for the masquerade was also absolutely terrible - the skits themselves were awesome, but wow whoever was running sound kept making mistake after mistake. I was really disappointed that the Hetalia group never got a redo of their skit when they were cut off early.

Other than that I had a great time, but its really disappointing to see a con that used to be so on top of things really drop the ball this year :/
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Unread 05-29-2013, 01:39 AM   #8
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Fanime this year was a lot of fun, but it definitely had its ups and downs. Iíve been going to Fanime since 2008, but this is the first time Iíve stayed the entire weekend. Therefore, I decided I might as well do my first in-depth review of Fanime! Hopefully my feedback is useful to someone. Iím going to go topic-by-topic instead of doing a pros and cons list because each has their individual ups and downs. From the beginning!~



Registration:

Yes, here we go.

Everything and anything has been said already on this topic, so Iím going to talk from my personal experience. Since 2008 I have alternated between pre-reg and at-con reg and had problems with neither. I live close enough to San Jose that itís convenient for me to get up at an ungodly hour Saturday, get there about an hour before registration opens, wait it out and get my badge within an hour after it opens. I have never had problems.

This year was different because my friends and I decided to stay the entire weekend, so we checked into a hotel and all that instead of getting up early and just staying the day. We considered coming Thursday to get our badges early and avoid the Friday rush, but decided against it last second and just decided to leave Friday morning to get badges around noon. Thank goodness we did because from what I heard, the line Thursday took anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. Friday, we got in the pre-reg line around 1:30 PM and were out by 5:00 PM. Apparently this is a very short amount of time comparatively.

Now everyone knows about the fiasco last year, and I was hoping that this year would be different. I am not sure where to place the blameóon one hand, construction was going on, and what was Fanime staff supposed to do? On the other hand, they knew months and months ahead of time they would run into this problem. When I go to the front of the pre-reg line Friday after following through the maze of rooms that never seemed to end, I think there must have been less than 10 people checking people in, and several more actually passing out the badges. Iím pretty sure Fanime staff have a pretty good idea of how much traffic they would have going through registration, so what didnít they know?

A quote from the front page of Fanime.com as of 5/28/13:
Quote:
It would be foolish of me to try to pretend that nothing went wrong: from some of the programming mishaps, to our line *ahem* issues (registration overshadowed them, unfortunately), and then some. We hope that you understand that we, the volunteers of FanimeCon, are going to spend months figuring out how to improve across the board.
The first step to solving your problems is accepting you have one. I trust that Fanime thought about this extensively and did the best with what they had. Mail-out badges has been suggested countless times and I trust that thereís an excellent reason why this is not part of Fanime policy yet. Construction will be done next year, so hopefully this was just especially bad because of that and everything will be better next year. Fanime will always be my favorite con, but Iím not the audience Fanime should be concerned with losing. Itís the casual fans who decide on the spot to go but decide to never return because they had to wait six hours in line on Saturday. Fanime, I trust that youíll do the right thing.


Hotel:

I donít know why the Hotel De Anza isnít an official Fanime hotel yet where you can get discounts for the weekend. I had an extremely pleasant experience! Yes itís a 10 minute walk away from the convention center which is just out of the way that you wonít be going in and out of your room all day, but I will definitely tolerate it again because I saved around $100 by not going to the Mariott or the Fairmont. The room was great, the shower had high water pressure, and the $20/day valet service was definitely worth it. Itís awesome to be able to have your car brought to the very front of the building whenever I want. The staff was very kind and useful, and I have nothing to complain about. Also, free snacks and sandwiches from 10 PM to 5 AMódoes it get any better? Fanime, get on this!


Artist Alley/Dealerís Hall:


I understand why the Artist Alley was moved. More space for more awesome artists is awesome! The artists this year were amazing and once again I was blown away by the talent that Fanime gathers.

There were quite a few cons to moving the alley, however. Was it really a good idea to have the Artist Alley so out of the way? I feel fairly confident that the traffic was significantly reduced this year compared to previous years because attendees had to go out of the way to find it. Itís impossible to replicate the traffic produced by putting the Artist Alley in the middle of the convention center itself when you move it to a few blocks away. Itís not as easy for people to wander in and out like they did for the Dealerís Hall. Speaking of which, why not move the Dealerís Hall to the building where the Artist Alley was? People will actively seek out the Dealerís Hall, but fewer will look for the Artist Alley. Maybe itís because thereís less profit associated with the Artist Alley, but I think the artists would really appreciate it. Speaking of which, holy cow were there a lot of artists. I had to take the hall over a span of three days because there were so many artists. Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? I felt more overwhelmed than anything else. Maybe itís just me, but if I had only gone for one day thereís no way I would have gone through the entire hall. Everything blurred together after two rows.


The Masquerade:


Iíve always wanted to attend the masquerade, but never had the chance to until this year. Was I the only one who didnít know there would be a musical act beforehand? I couldnít find it in the guidebook (maybe I missed it?). I had a friend who would have loved to shop a little longer if it meant skipping the musical act and just staying for the masquerade. Maybe this is something that happens every year and I just didnít know but it would have been nicer to make it a tad more clear.

The masquerade itself was nice. The technological issues were irritating of courseóthere must be a way to avoid this? A few I could understand, but it seemed somewhat consistent until about an hour in where most of the issues had been worked out. I mean, skits being cut off mid-skit and having to end? That sucks. And not knowing what order everyone goes in is ridiculous. The MCÖI just felt bad. I get that it was his first time, the audience was rude, and he had a ton of time to kill, but the poor guy needed more preparation. It was awkward in the middle when he started making jokes that put himself down. I hope he doesnít feel bad because he obviously did the best he can.


Etc.

I didnít actually go on Day Zero, but I just wanted to say that I applauded the effort to make all of Thursday badge-free, especially with the registration troubles. Please do this again! Also hallelujah thank you for bringing back the pocket schedules again. And I mean tangible pocket schedules, not just the online ones. I really appreciate it, keeping it on my phone drains the battery and just isnít as nice. For the most part the staff was very reasonable and useful, I didnít have any bad experiences.


Overall:

Still one of my more fun Fanimes, if only because I stayed longer than usual. I canít wait for all the silly construction to be over so we can enjoy the nice new convention center and hopefully end these registration issues once and for all.
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Unread 05-29-2013, 02:24 AM   #9
MouseAlchemist
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Overall I had fun at the con though again it did had its up and downs.

Registration:
Do I really have to go over this because everyone else has. It was a rediculous amount of areas you had to go through just to get a badge. (I really didn't mind the sticker on the badge, I like it was hard plastic this time) I would gladly pay extra just to have the badges mailed to me. Or even have badges sent to a pick up station at each hotel depending on which one you are at and have like a main registration for at con reg or something along this lines.

Hotel:
I stayed at Hotel de Anza as well. I had a really good experience there. I like the "raid our pantry." That was pretty awesome especially if I got to the room late at night. I am glad i didn't have to wait for elevators that is annoying when staying at the marriot. Hotel de Anza had super nice staff too. Heck I had another guest stop me just to check out my kotetsu costume which made me chuckle. I did my booking for that hotel through Booking.com (it was the commerical that did me in lol) . Also they had a mini fridge that you can use to put food in. Though it took us 2 days to find the pillows. lol


Cosplay:
I wish I had seen more anime/video game/comic cosplay. But there is always next year when the construction will be done.


Dealers Hall:
Its was okay though everything I saw was overly jacked up. Which made me want to save my money and buy it on ebay or another con where I can get it for cheaper. Also I wasn't too happy how many dealers required you to spend $20+ dollar just to use a card when they have the paypal card reader or square reader. That was just silly. I have one too but I don't have a starting limit with that.

Artist Alley:
Was pretty big. I wish I had spent more of my money there because I would have. I thought it was nice and roomy. Though I would like it back in the convention center though.

Gamer Hall:
Is it just me or does it seem to be less game to play.


ETC:
While charging my phone and standing on a corner I not only had 1 person ask me where the bathroom was I had like 5 guys ask me where it was. This made me laugh redicousily hard. I think maybe there should be a sign of list of bathrooms locations. I also had 2 guys I think that sneaked in ask where the gaming hall in but I told them with no badge that can't play games.

Badges:
Okay I like the badges but I had to go to the dealers hall because they had no lanyards. I always got one every year I have been at fanime. None this year. I had to go to the dealer's hall just to buy one. I got a LoZ one which had a card holder on it so I can carry my hotel key in there. Also So many people loose there badges without the lanyards. I found a few and called out the name to the people they belong to til someone answer or turned it into info desk. Though I do guard my badge with my life lol.

Snack vendor room:
I liked this idea though I feel it could have used more snack mini stores maybe.
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Unread 05-29-2013, 03:44 PM   #10
Eurobeat King
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I'm glad that for this website's forums, the mods won't close this thread because it's a feedback thread for everyone to post their good & bad points for Fanime this year.

On the Fanime website forums, the mods there seem to be closing a LOT of threads, and directing everyone to fill-out this form to submit their own feedback:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1WUs...viewform?pli=1

While the form is nice, it means that only the person submitting the form and the people in-charge of reading the form will be the ones to see what feedback was said. Closing all of the threads and not letting people say what's on their mind and letting others read their rants & praises (mostly rants, tho..) is like Fanime wants to shut-down any/all negative feels from after the big weekend that they messed-up in a lot of aspects.

So please continue to post here about what you liked and what you didn't like at Fanime this year.
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Unread 05-29-2013, 04:03 PM   #11
Naiagu
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Reg:
I was the leader for my group and it was my worst experience yet. I waited 6 hours in line. I was not prepared for being in line until the chilling nightfall, I had only thought of being in line maybe 3 hours. I prepared for the time I thought I would be there. By the time I managed to get inside I was exhausted. On the inside a good dozen people I had never seen before were in front of me (I was at the beginning of the line outside when it went inside). In the death line inside I honestly was so exhausted when one of the volunteers at the reg line asked for my photo I was so confused. I thought he was asking me to show me ID for picking up my badges.

One I got out of the troll line for the baggies and into the line to actually get badges I ended up having to go to 5 different lines to pick up the badges for each individual name. That sucked so much. I really wish they had put my group under my name. I would have at least been happy about that.

Dealers Hall:
Dealers Hall didn't seem much different from last year. Lots of stuff was so overpriced at some booths compared to others but I guess you can't do much about that.

Artist Alley:
It was amazing!!! We should be using that tent more often, it was super cool. A bit of a walk around the building but for the space it was worth it.

Hall 1:
Besides the nights it had Swap Meet it was almost completely useless. I would suggest putting more food booths in there if possible. Monday morning it was really crowded and had hardly anything left for snacking from the poor booth that had snacks. The Jamba Juice booth and the Milk Tea booth were an awesome idea though. I bought me some over priced drinks. If more food can't be added I think the back space should open up for something like Professional Photography or something fun for cosplay purposes.

Overall this con year was "Okay" was not the best but could have been a worse disaster. Construction couldn't be helped so maybe next year will be better.
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Unread 05-29-2013, 10:51 PM   #12
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you know the on site line? Remember hearing how you could go onto your smart phone to by pass the computer part? Yah we were just at the end of the line when that was discovered and it definitely sped things up. Keep that in mind for next year so it won't take 6 hours.

Also the Four Points Sheraton had bad service. They were clearly not prepared for the rush of fanime goers.

I liked having the artist alley in the big tent actually. It was nice walking down large rows.
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Unread 05-29-2013, 11:42 PM   #13
Adnarim
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This was my first Fanime and probably the only Fanime I'll ever attend.

Registration:
Since it's already been said just going to share my reg story...
Flying in to this convention and attending for the first time I really had no idea the layout of this convention. I did manage to find out that reg was at the Fairmont beforehand. Once we asked where to go to pick up registration (in the fairmont)...We were directed up stairs to the actual room for pickup. Once there we were stopped and redirected to the second room. We had to ask where the end of the line was...then redirected to the end of the line there....then told we had to go outside...I asked where outside and after we were redirected to go back the way we came and all the way around the building we finally got to the end of the line. Seriously, it would have been nice if one person could have said just go outside, we wouldn't have wondered around aimlessly until we found it. OR if there would have been someone with a "END OF THE LINE" sign.
We got in line around 6:30....by the time it was 9pm we had moved four lines and not really any closer to being indoors. I was not prepared for this long of a wait. Oh gah did it get so cold, my boyfriend and I were shivering soooo much.
Just after 11 we finally got to the indoor portion of registration....just to wait more.
One tid bit....I saw around 15 volunteers just standing around the entrance to the building and upstairs....couldn't any of these people helped with the registration? Because seriously 9 people handling all of registration is pretty ridiculous.
I couldn't believe once I finally got up to the booth I was told I had one more line to actually pick up my badge. Finally done at 12:50.

Recommendations:
- More volunteers to help speed up the process. (Reiterating, 9 volunteers is not enough to handle the volume of expected attendees)
- The possibility to mail out pre-reg badges


Dealer's Room:
I thought it was typical of all conventions. I was neither impressed nor underwhelmed by it. I have no suggestions.

Artist Alley:
I don't know what it was like for the previous years but I really liked the where they were. Granted it was a bit of a walk for some and I don't think they got a lot of traffic compared to previous years.
I thought the space was great! And there were sooooo many amazing artists of ALL SORTS. It was definitely hard to pick and choose what I wanted to purchase. It was definitely a highlight of the convention.

Recommendations:
- TELL people where it is located, I had to tell and show several people where the alley was.
- Signs/arrows pointing to it
- Let the volunteers know where it is too so they can direct people to the correct area


Cosplay Gatherings:
I attended two myself. I attended the Adventure Time gathering and that place was wwwaaayyyyy too small for such a large amount of people. There wasn't space to move and people were constantly trying to go in and out the doors right next to the gathering. I really don't understand why they have to be in such crowded areas? Was it only because the construction was there?
I feel that the majority of the gatherings that were held on the Marriott side of the convention hall were in the way of con attendees.

Cosplay Spectacular:
First of all I want to say I feel so utterly sorry for all the participants. Gah You guys rock for sticking with it. I applaud all you!
I got in line about an hour before seating was suppose to open (aka at 4:30) JUST to find out that I would have to wait another hour to be seated because they needed to set up for a band. I didn't even know that there was going to be a band playing first. I honestly wouldn't have showed up early then.
The sound was terrible! It was all bass, I couldn't hear any of the actual speaking parts in music or dialogue in the skits. I don't know if that was the sound person's fault or just the auditorium.
It was so disorganized! I've participated in numerous competitions and could tell how poorly the contest was going.
Why did it take so long for the MC to have a list of contestants?
I don't blame the MC for being bad on time stretching, I hear he was a last minute thing. I feel bad that he had to fill so much time with nothing to go on.
I was happy to see that the Madoka skit got a redo on their skit. I wish the Hetalia had a chance too, their skit was hilarious.
The majority of the skits I enjoyed, everyone put on a great show! I was entertained.
I really can't give any recommendations for this, you know what went wrong and what needs to happen. There was just waaayyyyy ttoooo many things wrong.

Hotel:
I stayed at the Marriott and had no problems. I don't know if it was just my luck but I had no problems with the elevators or my floor or anything (even though I heard so many people had a problem). The staff was amazing and I thank them.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED that there was a luggage storage on the last day. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for having that and don't ever get rid of it. Being one that flew in to San Jose I had large luggage and I didn't want to have to drag around everywhere. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep the luggage storage forever!

Recommendations:
This is only for the elevators---Might want to look into a system where everyone must get off on Second Floor and to go up get on at first floor. It may help lessen the congestion at the elevators.


In general I found out A LOT of the volunteers didn't know or were mis-communicated too. Any time I had to ask a volunteer they either said they didn't know or had to ask several individuals before I got sent in the right direction or had the right answer. I think you should have a training session for your volunteers or do something so they know what is going on.

Overall:
For my first time at this convention I was sadly unimpressed. Don't get me wrong there were great things about it but a lot of things that just made it ugh. I will most likely not be coming back.
I wish you the best of luck Fanime!
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Unread 05-30-2013, 01:32 AM   #14
MagicalStar
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First off, I'd like to say that I had a toooon of fun. That being said, Fanimu, you really do have more issues this year than last year to iron out.

To be fair, a lot of vet staffs left last year, so this year is almost like starting afresh. And with the giant amount of people they had to deal with, I commend them.

Reg lines

I actually didn't had much problem. Maybe we were lucky? Me and my friends lined up at like 10 am Sat and we got out in an hour, stat. I also heard about being able to reg at the DoubleTree hotel [which apparently was ridiculously fast], but none of that info was easily available.

Which brings me to my next point...

Comm/Info

Okay yeah, you did pretty bad on this part, Fanimu. Masquerade and Ball info was not up there at all, and just....I felt like you could have made the pocket schedule a LOT better to understand. We don't need much - we just need to have a map without fancy names that shows us where EVERYTHING is, and a schedule that actually includes all the events [sans meetup].

The volunteers were super helpful, but sometimes their directions were just confusing. I was told to go "one round around the Mariott" to go to the Artist Alley - the help table was at Stage zero, you could have told us to just go downstairs and walk straight there D: !

Also panel rooms randomly changing was not fun - why was the 4th panel suddenly moved all the way to Fairmont? z:

Masquerade
I like the idea of moving it upwards so that we have time to visit the ball afterwards, instead of having to choose between the two.

The MC flopped like a fish at first, but eventually he got better - can't really blame him, it apparently was a sudden thing for him as well.

Whoever is in charge of backstage should be fired, though >_>. Sounds messing up, lack of practice/rehearsals, epiliptic lights [seriously, who the heck allowed that!?], and many more problems just made it bad. I know plenty of people who can write an entire essay on great improvement suggestions for this, so I'll let them do so in my stead.

Cosplay wise, I have absolutely no problem with other, non anime fandoms invading the con - anime cons start out from sci fi/etc cons, for heaven's sake. Homestuck peeps this year are generally a lot more well behaved as well.

That actually was about it - I really really enjoyed the con, otherwise! c:
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Unread 05-31-2013, 03:04 AM   #15
OniCourseMusha
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I will not post anything about stuff regarding registration and Game Hall. Since I staff for E-gaming. Anyways here's my only thing I like to say.

Fanime B&W Ball: The event is still solid and has that same feel from last year's success. Except there was couple step back. I noticed they no longer use projector to display song and dance style but use signs (Better than nothing since Dickens Fair does this simple system) which made me scratch my head. Fairy Godmother Donation was a great addition since it was a place for me to donate stuff that got in the way in my closet. Solid B&W Ball but slightly a step back from the presentation.

Favorite moment in Gaming Hall: Watching the Super Mario 64 speedrun (70 stars) live! That was just amazing! People trying out Street Fighter X Megaman and Muscle March (both are my setup).
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Animation On Display Game Room Staff and Tournament Co-Director
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Fanime E-gaming Staff
Fanime B&W Ball Dance Assistance and Staff 2008-2011
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