It hasn't just been the Multiplay events themselves, nor the clientele which have been changing - no longer the solely domain for the geeky teenager, but the twenty-somethings with an Audi TT in the car park, and beyond. We noted with veritable glee that the computer cases toted along to these events have changed. Gone, to almost extinct proportions are the boring beige cases of old, replaced by cases adhering to varying extents to the modded code. From simple EL wire wraps, to perspexed beauties, and even a handful of windowed Prometia beasts, there was quite a range of 'off-the-shelf' modding on display. Great in itself, to see the proliferation of bit-tech's craft to to speak... but we were glad to see that there were a handful of cases doing something a little different, against the grain.
David 'Stat3y' State's plasmatic wonder.
Of the most eye-catching of these perhaps 'true-mods' particular acclaim goes out to David 'Stat3y' State - whose project took around two months end to end; inspiration for the plasma ball (sealed within a static bag) came from "seeing one somewhere else on the net" - from our very own linear perhaps? Who knows, who cares! One really nice case.
"Nite" takes chalkboarding in to the 21st century.
My personal favourite of the event has to go out to "Nite" for her chalkboard case. None of the bit-tech crew could recall seeing anything along these lines before, kudos indeed. While the practicalities of such a case might annoy from time to time, what with case art liable to smudge, that must pail in comparison to the perpetual funnies to be had with folks leaving you nice messages on your box. Case manufacturers take note! A great office case idea?
Of the more novel, not not quite 'case' mods we observed, was this rather fabulous palm tree, complete with blue and green cathodes! Suitable company for any network gaming event for sure. Watch this space to see if Ikea pick up on this new phenomena.
And so, after yet another successful and slickly-run event, the bleary-eyed masses staggered out into the sunlight, wincing at the weak winter sunlight like prisoners escaping solitary. However, their encarseration was voluntary; their crime a love for gaming. Everyone I spoke to on the way out had a great time, and many are already looking forward to i20 - set to take place 25th-27th June.
For the ACON4 participants, there can be only one, and we look forward to seeing Alex again in Shanghai on June 6th. And while the weary PR staff head off to Germany for Cebit, along with our own Macroman & Fly, gamers worldwide are sharpening their spears and polishing their sheilds in preparation for their own local qualifier. We will be reporting on a number of these qualifiers around the globe, and of course, bring you all the results come June.
For information about an ACON4 Qualifier near you, head over to abitgamer.com
. You never know - it may be YOU appearing on these pages in 8 weeks' time (but only if you give us a lift home in your brand new KIA car!)
Also check out Multiplay's own photo gallery
, for literally hundreds and hundreds of photos from the weekend.