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Invading Oxford’s DoubleDecker Festival: GameDay 2013

So it's like...Double GameDay. Double Decker Logo courtesy of Oxford CVB

So it’s like…Double GameDay.
Double Decker Logo courtesy of Oxford CVB

We haven’t really brought you much but Tech news in a while, and that’s shame on me for not being on top of my game.  And since we all know that sexy beasts (that’s me) are world-famous for their ability to bring you the best of nerd-dom, I’m rectifying the situation. Hehe…RECTifying…sounds like…nevermind.

For those who don’t know, the Ole Miss Gamers Association holds an annual event in Spring called GameDay, in my hometown of Oxford, Mississippi. It used to be just a day-long event for students, but over the years it’s actually become a 3-day miniature convention, and its misnomer of a name is now something of an inside joke in the local area, as well as a testament to the stubbornness of Datahaven’s own behind-the-scenes man CookieChris, who nurtures GameDay to fruition year after year. Six years ago, we’re talking grapes. Now it’s like coconuts…two giant, hairy coconuts, just swinging from a tree trunk, all full of gooey…gamer stuff. Gamer stuff like a dedicated miniatures area, with Warhammer 40k tables going constantly, and hopefully some Battletech for the oldtimers like me. There’ll be RPG one-shots, including an event organized by moi highlighting the RPGs that most changed the business for better or for worse. There’ll be prize give-aways. NERF battles. Videogame tournaments, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic the Gathering, live-action Mario Party, Saturday morning retro cartoons, play-to-win games, panda ninjas, possibly a gorilla suit, a Pac-man maze, and a play-to-win RISK board so big you could use it as a bed.

No.Courtesy of indulgy.com

Courtesy of indulgy.com

GameDay is definitely not just a student or local yokel event anymore. The sponsor list is so long, the first time I saw it I swore it was the Apocryphal Bible, and the space is a much-needed upgrade from previous locations. Best of all, OMGA placed this year’s event right smack dab in the middle of Oxford’s DoubleDecker Festival, April 26-28th. So you get a two-for-onesies kind of deal, where you can carry your happy butt down to the historic Square in Oxford, eat funnel cake, watch local music icons (including Squirrel Nut Zippers frontman Jimbo Mathus, who is one of the nerdiest motherlovers to ever rip a sweet guitar solo), and see the arts, crafts and fine cuisine that make Oxford famous.  But, it gets hot out there, you say. Maybe after gorging myself on 3 funnel cakes, a bucket of home-fried chicken, a case of beer and a tiramisu (go to Old Venice Pizza Company, I’m telling you man), I’ll just want to rest.

My Grammy-award winning homie.

My Grammy-award winning homie.

Then congratulations! That’s how I feel at the damn thing every year. It’s fun for the first day. Maybe halfway through the second, at most. But then the heat, the beer, and the wheelbarrows of food (did I mention tiramisu?) start to get to you. So then you bring your hot, full, nerdy tookus down Jackson Avenue to GAME DAY 2013! It’s all indoors! It’s all air-conditioned! It may or may not have food and drink that you may or not be charged for, and prizes that you may or may not win from local sponsors you may or may not have heard of! There may or may not be children’s events that your kids may or may not think they’re too old for! Seriously, I have no freaking idea! What am I, a mind reader?

If you’re having trouble locating the event, there will be signs and GameDay staff around the historic Square during DoubleDecker to help you out, and possibly to give out refreshments to get you through your day whether you come visit GameDay or not.  Oxford Datahaven will also have its own setup somewhere to be announced later, where you might be able to acquire sweet swag (read: I am going to get knick-knacks and give you a paddy-wack if you don’t buy them for a few bucks each, because I’m poor, and also Irish), or donate to the cause to get this place its own damn hosting, and well, cool stuff. So we can bring you more cool stuff. Yay. I guess.

Assuming that doesn’t interest you, first off why are you even reading this; and secondly, OMGA is in talks with almost a hundred different RPG, tabletop, miniatures, and software developers AT THIS VERY FREAKING MOMENT, HOLY SHIT MY PHONE WON’T STOP RINGING to bring you cool stuff, stuff that doesn’t involve your favorite starving writer staring at you with forlorn puppy-dog eyes until you halfheartedly throw me a nickel and a packet of cheesy crackers like a subway hobo.

A reasonable facsimile. Courtesy of funnysign.com

A reasonable facsimile. Courtesy of funnysign.com

Pre-registration for GameDay starts in late March. Hopefully you’ll be able to do that through Oxford Datahaven, as well as other organizations and services that are involved with the GameDay creative process.

Visit GameDay’s creator and head-dork-in-charge, CookieChris, here, or at his old blog, or look up ThoseYGOGuys on Youtube.


Josh Snow is a skeptical transhumanist and some-time freelance writer. He’s also shamelessly promoting an event he founded through this article, and expects you to deal with it. And follow him on Twitter @ArkangelWinter

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