Hi everyone, Bressler here:

We’ve got a couple of interesting articles down the pipeline here, but We wanted to let you know that we just opened up our very own Steam community page!

I tend to play a lot of Counter-Strike and Audiosurf, but I just downloaded Borderlands GOTY and would love to play with you guys! Mike loves his Dragon Age, because he is a loner, and Tanis has logged MORE THAN THREE WEEKS worth of Team Fortress 2! Join us and the fans of ConGear and other 3GP shows! See you there!

(Editor’s note: Tanis shares his account with his brother, who logs crazy amounts of time of TF2. Tanis is partial to Borderlands and Left 4 Dead.)

New Post Around the Corner!

Posted: January 26, 2011 by ConGear in Cosplay Corner

Hey there Lads and Lasses! We’ve got a special Treat for you today. The Cosplay Corner has finally updated with a new article about Mike’s Red XIII cosplay. So read up!


Hello everyone! We still do update this thing! Promise!

In the few months, we’ve done this blog, I’ve pained to know there was going to be a moment that I was going to criticize my home convention, Sakura-Con. This is a convention I have been with and staffed since 2005. People know who I am there, and I feel I have made lots of positive contributions to the convention.

But again, I’ve pained to know at some point I’d have to criticize them here. I just wish it was something done AT the con, and not before it.

Now, when you are arguably one of the ‘big three’ anime cons in the country (AX and Otakon being the other two), you want to have your rules for things like the AMV Contest, Gaming tournaments, and Cosplay Contests, out of the gate well before the convention, especially when people are going to be putting time into editing, practice, and skit creation for this like the above three. A lot of people put a lot of time, effort, and love into these sorts of things.

What I saw this weekend was sadly not something that gave any sort of proper notice, and changed rules that a lot of people had a huge concern with, some good, some bad:

Walk-offs and skits have been, like The Offspring song, separated.
I fully support this idea. I think that giving people an opportunity to show off their handiwork between a couple of skits got things a little out of hand. This also increases the number of people who can enter both of these events.

Seven people to a cosplay group for skits. We go from the best idea to the most stupid. I understand the chances of a cosplay skit group having more than seven people aren’t very high, but there never was an upper limit, and I think if the Cosplay Coordinator can judge that a group of 25 people might be a tad too much, we’d be fine. I think establishing an upper limit is asking for trouble, and if you read the Sakura-Con forums, it has.

3:00 limit on skits. Also an idea I don’t like at all. Skits were limited to five minutes in previous years, this take a lot of the entertainment and fun out of skits, not to mention this is going to make people scramble to redo skits they may or may not have finished planning out. If you are separating walk-ons and skits, this is an idea with no logic attached to it, as if you are eliminating walk ons, and making them their own entity, you’ve cut that extra dead time from the skit contest. This makes it look like the people doing skits are being penalized and the walk-ons getting more of the spotlight than the people doing skits, who, most of the time, not only have to make their costume, but have to coordinate with others in making costumes associated with the skit, then taking even more time to write the skit. Walk-ons requires (usually) one costume, and not as much time and coordination. I’m more in a stupor over this than the upper limit for people to a skit.

Being given all of this 90 days prior to the convention. I’m of two minds on this one. For half the cosplay crowd I know, this is perfectly reasonable. For the other half, it’s not even close. Some groups I know are like NFL head coaches, where they take seven months of offseason to plan their playbooks. I’d like to see conventions instill a six-month advance on all things programming-related (AMVs, Gaming, Panels, Cosplay, etc.). [NOTE: Yes, I did run Programming at this convention, and I may sound wholly hypocritical in saying that, as I never even came close to that milestone, but you get a petter perspective from the outside looking in.]

I also can’t say I am thrilled at how the Cosplay Coordinator handled themselves when people asked legitimate questions, and I think he is setting his bar of expectations a little too ambitiously. He’s projecting 90 groups for the skit contest. Sakura-Con 2010 had around 30. I don’t think that number is going to triple in the span of one year. I can understand that he’s new to this sort of thing, and that there are people around to help him, up to and including last year’s cosplay contest team. But to tear into the very people who want to entertain the crowd at the convention is the worst idea you can make.


Yes, it’s true.

Another site of the whenver we feel like it!

This moment belongs to our good friend Chris Bores, aka the Irate Gamer. Chris reviews games from the 8- and 16-bit eras, mostly, but also reviews some modern games as well. Come for the game reviews, stay for the hilarious cursing.

In other news, Bressler has a proper computer again, and will be posting a retrospect on cosplay later tonight. Make sure you subscribe!


MEWcon 2010-11: A stripper pole later…

Posted: January 4, 2011 by ConGear in Con Review

So we went to MEWcon at the Portland Airport Sheridan, and we found THIS:

What you didn't see here is that Mike and Tanis are beating the fangirl(s) back with funnoodles.

We also found a convention, in which some things were going less than great:
-Ghosting. I need to get this one out of the way now. Ghosting is when people follow people with paid badges and simply follow them into rooms. There was next to zero badge checking at doors. This is both the fault of the convention and of the hotel. This is mostly the hotel’s fault because they deemed hallways where the convention were going on as public space. This is stupid, seeing as there were two major area the convention was happening at: a) a set of double doors leading to panel rooms, main events, and gaming – the hotel staff could have allowed the convention to have a security volunteer there checking badges at these doors and the two entrances to the building – and b) the area where CCG gaming, library, and two additional panel rooms were – set up stanchion and you are done. There was nothing going on in the hotel at the time other than that. Part of the blame on this does have to go on the convention, however. Very little effort was made to check badges.

The Hotel. I’m going to be honest. I didn’t like the hotel. The layout segregated part of the convention from the rest of it, which is what MEWcon has done now for two years (though, honestly, this year’s segregation was far less worse that the previous one). Speaking of segregation, this hotel is what is in essentially the middle of nowhere; any place to eat outside of the hotel was at the leasta five minute drive away, and a much longer walk. For those that did not travel by car, this made you feel trapped in the facility. I will say, however, that having an indoor pool handy 24/7 was very nice.

There was some stuff I liked about this convention:
Gaming. For a small con, this area overall was handled with a level of organization that could be compared with the likes of PAX and Sakura-Con. Console gaming had a great check out system, and a decent small LAN area. There were consoles ranging from NES to current gen, which was a nice change of pace from the in-your-face console rooms of current generation consoles. I liked the CCG/tabletop area as well. Even though this suffered a bit from being stuffed into a back corner of the hotel, there was a glass wall ensuring some exposure was had for this area.

Convention Character. The character and soul of this convention was really the point to write home about. This convention was 17+ and it showed, and didn’t care if you were some kid. You could tell it in the attendees and staff. I have never seen more drunk congoers in one pool in my life, and I don’t know if I ever will.

Belated Happy Holidays from all of us at ConGear!

Posted: December 27, 2010 by ConGear in Con Review

Hey everyone! Bressler here.

We want to wish you a belated happy holidays!

We’re hard at work on getting our premiere episode ready to go at MEW without a hitch. Mike, Tanis, and I are very excited to bring this to you!

Some things to expect at MEW’s taping:
-An introduction
-The Win Wall!
-The first six people to drive in our anime like car!
-Guests driving the Anime-Like Car!
-the ConGear awards!
-The Aki-Con review!
-Mike’s cosplay corner!

We’re in Panel 1 at 9:30pm on 12/31. We can’t wait to see you guys!

3 Guys’ Productions

Posted: December 15, 2010 by ConGear in Plugs

Tanis here!

I’d just like to make a quick shout out real quick to 3 Guys Productions, for providing us with all these awesome shows we worked our own asses off to make. For us. And you can watch too.

3 Guys’ Productions is at MEW, and this year the line-up includes:

ConGear — The one you all know and love. Insightful commentary about conventions, news about conventions, bullshit about everything!

Whose Line is it Anyway — Hosted by Jon Bressler, Whose Line is your very awesome stand-up comedy game show that’s played for points! Real actual fake points that don’t mean a damn thing! Improv night is right here.

Press Your Luck
— Hosted by Jon Bressler and produced by Tanis Nikana, Press Your Luck features regular trivia and a big board with lots of cash prizes that you don’t get to take with you! I mean, we’re not on that big of a budget, are we? Can I get a raise? Either way, spin that wheel wrong and you’ll face Whammies and shit.

You Don’t Know Jack — Hosted by Tanis Nikana, You Don’t Know Jack features trolling and irreverant trivia with questions about both symphonic and bowel movements! Also lots of cash prizes that you don’t actually get! This game’s so funny that you’ll start shitting Whammies.

ConGear’s site of the moment!

Posted: December 14, 2010 by ConGear in Plugs

Hi everyone!

We have two sites I want to share with you today one being a personal favorite YouTube series of mine:

First, we have Ideo Prodcutions’ flagship series, Is it a Good Idea to Microwave This? Jory Caron, Jon Paula, and Riley McIlwain microwave various objects with often hilarious and explosive results. We here at ConGear have been a fan of this for a long time, and these guys need no fanfare, but, we tip our cap to them! Definitely make it a point to subscribe to them on YouTube!

The other: OUR TWITTER SITE! Follow us @congeartweets for the latest updates!

See you guys on Twitter!

Aki-Con Outtakes!

Posted: December 14, 2010 by ConGear in Con Review

Hey guys! We have Aki-Con Outtakes after the jump! Enjoy! We will have the teaser up tomorrow! Read the rest of this entry »

We did work this week, Honest!

Posted: December 12, 2010 by ConGear in Con Review