I write for a variety of media outlets and attend events throughout the year. As a freelancer, I represent whichever of my clients is biggest, but I also will sell stories to anyone willing to cover the events. This post is somewhat of a top ten list of my personal favorite events repping Hardcore Droid over the past few years.
10. Hardcore Droid on the Cover of High Times Magazine
In December 2014, I was jailed until March 2015 related to my former life as a banker and concurrent life as a bank whistleblower. After getting out of jail, I reached out to High Times editor-in-chief Dan Skye and sold a piece based on my handwritten journals from my first 30-Day sentence in Tent City.
After my release, I recovered and hit the road, attending events throughout the west coast, providing media coverage of cannabis legalization events, consulting on foreclosure cases, and adventuring.
Reaching the cover of High Times magazine has been a dream since I was a kid, and Hardcore Droid is the only publication I still work with from the phase of my career prior to the High Times publication.
9. Hardcore Droid at the PC Gaming Show
After years of getting no respect at E3, PC Gamer started running the PC Gaming Show concurrently during day one of E3. Attending the event, I was able to talk to Nvidia, Razer, Intel, and a variety of gaming computer manufacturers that make professional gaming rigs.
Being in the audience for the PC Gaming Show is like attending a live taping of Conan or The Tonight Show, but with much lamer jokes. I couldn’t help but laugh when American Trucker Simulator was playing (though not as hard as I chuckled at Minions Paradise being featured by EA).
Enjoying free drinks with titans of the PC master race and leaving with a swag bag full of valuable game codes makes the PC Gaming Show one of the premiere video game industry events of the year. We’ll be returning in 2016. In fact, I just registered when I wrote this draft.
8. Hardcore Droid on the Aimless Adventure Podcast
As discussed in a prior editorial, I grew up in Sierra Vista with Josh Irwin, the host and moderator of the Aimless Adventure Podcast. In February, I appeared on two episodes of the podcast and had a great time.
Episode 16 of Aimless Adventure starts off with my rapid-fire rants of CES technology, mostly focused on 3D printing and delving deep into VR (also touching on AR and drones in toy-to-life gaming). After declaring Android the winner of CES, the discussion moves on to Murph discussing Transformers toys, Ryan discussing games, John evaluating collection practices, and a quiz from Helen, which I completely bombed.
By episode 17, our relationship is established, and the comfort level is raised, which gave me an opportunity to discuss an old playground accident, its connection to my role-playing history, and how much I heart my Hearthstone priest deck. The discussion moves on to the biography of Gary Gygax, GI Joes, car automation, and movie dream teams before moving into Helen’s quiz round, where I fared a little better, though still suffered a crushing defeat.
7. Hardcore Droid at VR Fest
VR Fest is a budding event held to recognize achievements in VR content creation, held by 3opolis and VR Fest. The event is held concurrently with major events such as Sundance, CES, and SXSW and is where I learned about all the upcoming 3D VR content.
Hardcore Droid gained a cache of exclusive footage of everything VR, including the Jaunt professional grade spherical camera that looks like the Death Star and is backed by Disney and the equipment used by Hollywood and video game teams.
6. Hardcore Droid at CTIA’s Super Mobility Week
Android is a big part of the mobile marketplace, and attending the annual Super Mobility Week in Las Vegas every August allows me to keep my finger on the pulse of keynotes and important items to note in the wireless industry.
Spectrum is becoming an issue, and wireless bandwidth is being choked by OTA antenna signals. Cable and wireless companies are in constant battle with the FCC over bandwidth, and Hardcore Droid was in the audience watching it all.
In addition to the legal and regulatory issues, we got to hear from Jimmy Wales at Wikipedia, Jeffrey Katzenberg at Dreamworks, and Bob Pittman at iHeartRadio. Also the heads of Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T were on hand for demonstrations.
Gear VR and Samsung Pay were on full display, along with Samsung’s entire mobile line. I got a private tour and was one of the first journalists to point out inherent flaws in Samsung’s MST LoopPay technology vs Apple Pay, Google Pay, or EMV chipped credit cards.
5. Hardcore Droid at PAX Prime
Seattle is just a rainy place I couldn’t wait to leave when I first arrived for PAX Prime and the Seattle Cannabis Cup in 2014. I’m glad I showed up to Penny Arcade’s premiere event in order to understand how it compares to Comic-Con, E3, and just a normal arcade.
Blizzard has a huge presence at PAX Prime, as do all the professional gaming tournaments. Board and card games are given much more love than at E3, and the cosplay is phenomenal. I smoked weed with a Microsoft engineer and loaded up on snacks before scalping my ticket and heading up north to meet Crazy Dave and head to the Cannabis Cup.
4. Hardcore Droid at Outdoor Retailer
Outdoor retailer in Salt Lake City is a great place to keep an eye on mobile tech. OR Summer Market is where I first met the solar companies and got a lot of great USB batteries and charging equipment to keep my Android devices running while on the road.
Android has become my main computing, productivity, and gaming platform while living on the road, and I’m impressed at how much things have changed. Wireless charging and mobile solutions are the main draws of Outdoor Retailer, though sporting equipment, action cams, and military-grade mobile equipment is good too.
3. Hardcore Droid at Comic-Con
Comic-Con is unique in the trade show circuit in that every state has a different comic book convention utilizing the same common moniker of “comic-con,” though they often butt heads in court. Comic-Con International is the major comic-con, which recently sued SLC Comic-Con for using its name.
I’ve attended Comic-cons around the country for decades and have turned down tickets to CCI on multiple occasions. I love superhero movies, but I’m not a fan of Hollywood rules and ticketing. E3 is already too much.
Either way, HD has been to Comic-Con, and it’s as hardcore of a time as you can imagine.
2. Hardcore Droid at E3
E3 is one of my all-time favorite destinations as a journalist. Hardcore Droid has had scattered coverage of the event for years through me and several other contributors. This year, I’m hoping to gather at least three of us there, but we’ll see how ticketing works out.
I normally use Main Street or High Times to get me in events as large as E3, but my personal site and Hardcore Droid are large enough now that I can use them. E3 is the best place to get hands-on demos and footage of games before they’re released. In 2016, virtual reality is going to become prolific, and VR has been on display at E3 for years.
Closed to the public, only media and industry analysts can attend E3, but the shirts, bags, and other swag alone is worth the trip to Los Angeles every summer. If you only get to attend once, I highly recommend going.
1. Hardcore Droid at International CES
E3 used to be nothing more than a side event at International CES, which encompasses the entirety of Las Vegas and Paradise, NV every January. The event is so large, it squeezed out the porn industry’s money.
Attending CES was one of the greatest and most hectic experiences of my life, and I met the people making everything. Aside from just mobile phone makers, I met the people making the vibration (haptic) input technology, Remix OS, 3D holographic inputs, touchscreen sensors, QR and drone-to-toy-to-life games, laser tag, and more.
CES is the largest trade show in the world and one of the largest events hosted in Las Vegas every year, drawing in a who’s who of the entire global community. Hardcore Droid attending CES got us a seat at the table in the real-life Game of Thrones.