Convention Impossible: Holiday Matsuri 2018!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds traveling the vast universe! It’s time for our Convention Impossible post on Holiday Matsuri. It’s going to be a hard one this time around which I know there will be some Needs for Improvement.

Disclaimer: This review is based on thoughts and observations from the lead writer of this blog. Please respect her thoughts on the convention and its rating because not everyone has the same experience especially with this convention.

Oh man! Where to start! This year we had a different experience from past years since it felt like the convention gone and went without even knowing. We did stay at the World Center like last year and I felt like we spent more time in the room than the con itself. Let me talk about the hotel.

Hotel: Like I said above, we stayed at the World Center and we spent some time before heading there by getting some shopping done for the weekend as in getting food to eat in the room and getting checks cashed because apparently there was a security breach that took place and best to use cash at the hotel areas itself rather than your card. Trust me, being hacked is not fun. So, we got to the hotel and the parking was packed! Apparently, besides Matsuri, there were two other events taking place and it was a military ball type event and a business convention in one of the wings. This does happen at some venues where some events take place at the same time, especially with conventions. Good examples, the cheerleading competitions during MegaCon when they were held in March, Omni Fandom Expo taking place at the same time as Florida Anime Experience when they first started, even a beauty pageant took place at the World Center as Omni Fandom Expo taking place, these are a few but these three going on at the same time caused parking to be full and Gondras was told to park at the outlets and take the shuttle but he did find a parking spot. We were glad we had East Tower this year with our room and it was a one bed and one couch situation. I did remember that leading up to the convention that they talked about rooms being sold out and the Queen Bed rooms were taken by then and I have a feeling people from the other two events were also staying in those. So glad they extended stay slots at other hotels in the area to cater to everyone. We were afraid that Hol Mat would be moved next year but heard that it won’t so who knows where we will be next December. I did point out Gaylord Palms but realized that they have their Ice exhibit and that would be an issue to hold Hol Mat there unless they give discount tickets to attendees, just saying. We did have a great stay this year and man that King Size Bed was comfy. Also our roomie was great too! At first we asked on the Hol Mat Housing Group to find new roomies and the first cancelled due to financial reasons which does happen, second one what friends coming, and third person was a major charm! She was awesome and she is a big Tales fan and she did host a trivia panel which I will get to later!

Game Room: I have to point this out because this year’s Game Room was very impressive this year and better than years before. Not only it featured your classic cabinets that you tend to see at this convention but we also had Japanese games including the famous Gundam pods! If you haven’t been to Japan in the Otaku areas, it’s basically a Gundam cockpit simulator game where it’s in an arcade that you have people dressed as the attendants in the Gundam anime series and you get to be in the pods where you get to pilot Gundams ranging across the vast series. Gondras wanted to play this thing so bad if we ever got to go to the arcade with it and they brought it here except he didn’t fit in it due to how tall he is. That did make him happy that they brought it to a convention of all places where a lot of fans would roam around. Also, there was the Rock Band set up which not only had the classic songs but there were a few more added in. Besides this room having games inside there were games spread out in the convention itself like Music Tag near the vendor’s room which I will get to now…

Vendor’s Room: I liked it better this year than the last. How so? Not only it felt bigger but the vendors were better this year! As in there were more variety in merch than it has been before as in plushies, apparel, even artists for instance which I felt like I bought more items from as usual since I do love handmade items since they are more unique. Some of these items include a seatbelt type belt for your pants featuring Happy. You know I love the kitties from Fairy Tail and haven’t gotten much of Happy lately and glad to get this because this is a comfy belt! As in, you just have a cloth strap versus leather which to me leather belts do become uncomfortable even while being Lucy thank you very much! I should have taken a card from this vendor because I would want to see if they can make a plain black one. I also did find my favorite seller who had the cat ears and tails. She did give me a discount again which made me happy and did pick up two of her newer furs which one pair of ears and tail had pastel spots all over and pink bows with the bells and I didn’t mind having that on my ears because they matched better with the pastel spots. As you know, calico kitties are one of my favorite types of kitties. While the other pair is more interesting which is a very fluffy fur that is in red with silver striping. I didn’t get the bows and bells, which I should have asked, maybe I should message her about that but it was so soft that I did hand her the money for them too. I love her ears and tales and I suggest buying from her. I did run into Japanese Snacks Guy at the front of the room which he had a really good spot. He had new items which are these long gummy things. They remind me of those jolly Rancher bars I remembered as a kid which I wished I could find them again but as a gummy. I haven’t opened them yet since I have been munching on candy canes all thanks to my L cosplay! I am not kidding, after Hol Mat, I have not only my remnants of the Hershey’s candy canes but two boxes of Sour Patch Kids canes, a box of soda flavored which features Crush, Dr. Pepper, and A&W Root Beer canes which the A&W got my interest since that is my fave root beer ever! And now waiting on a shipment of Trolli Brite Crawler ones which I did order a box through Shipt and they taste good! They aren’t overbearing sour since the sour powder is inside. Anyways, I did get another pack of Hi-Chew which is green apple, I did like this flavor from long ago when I first got into them and got a bag with multiple flavors. I still have my stock just in case I need something to chew on even at work and that is not gum. Also, I did get something chocolate but only one item since I still have a big container of mint bark and a chocolate bar thing from Gondras’ job and my chocolate container filled to the brim. They are these chocolates I did love but this time different types of strawberries which is going to be interesting. Other items I did get were for holiday parties, I did get a Charmander for a toy drive party but didn’t go due to really bad weather rolling through Daytona Thursday, even a tornado warning happened and had to stay in the building, and got a Groot keychain for a White Elephant gift thing for the staff party and was entertaining seeing that get passed on for a gift steal. I also got a new Jolteon plush which you guys know I cosplay as my own Thunder Gym Leader and I had a plush from Disney of Jolteon but it was a chibi form one. This one is him on all four legs like my little figure on my desk. Trust me I couldn’t resist since the only Evees I have left to get are Umbreon, which I have a Dark Trainer in mind, and Espeon, which I haven’t done a Psychic trainer yet. I will have to wait for Omni to see if anyone sells an Umbreon in the same style as my Jolteon which the interesting thing there was one but in a prize machine. I did almost have Gondras get me Umbreon as a belated birthday present but I wanted the Pikachu with the Rawst Berry instead because I didn’t know when I could see that one ever again. And Gondras did get something and that was Keith Silverstein’s autograph on his Persona games. When we heard Mr. Silverstein being at the con, Gondras wanted to bring him something that was rare and it was these games he got from Cyber Tron Gaming here in town, which is a game shop that sells vintage games and some anime too. Which by the way…

Guests: Oh man the guests! Did we interview? Yes! The only one we didn’t interview was Zach Callison because by the end of the weekend according to his Liaison that he was done for the weekend. Hoping we can get a Skype interview since we have a line to get to for that with some people from Ranger Stop, I did Tweet Zach to see if he can do it with us and haven’t heard back. We did get to have a video interview with Brittney Karbowski which was great, I know we did interview her years ago at MetroCon but had to transcribe it and now that we do video ones it worked out. And we did interview Jennifer Hale finally! As you guys know we wanted to do it at MegaCon 2017 but since everything going down we didn’t get it and since this was another chance for us we did get to sit down with her for one and it was great! We will get the videos up as soon as possible if we can since I am really busy with work and Gondar’s is to, we will try to get them up as soon as we can so stay tuned on Twitter!

Panels: We didn’t go to many this year. I did say we spent most of our time in the room and I felt bored. I know it’s sad since panels are the greatest part of the convention experience. Not only that this year we didn’t have a real coverage schedule which I will get to that later due to press not being as organized as it has been. I admit I was on Colour Pop and Ulta’s websites shopping since Ulta was doing a gift to spend $35 to get a free gift from their brand. I did make it and it’s at my parents’ place, I am thinking of doing a collective haul of beauty stuff since I did buy clothes for work and fleece jackets too since it was freezing here for a bit. And Colour Pop did a 40% off pallets and picked up two I was eyeing on and a $30 off their Lux Lipsticks which I got one I wanted. So, yeah I was a bit bored. We did go to two yaoi ones, well me with Vivi and Tobi. We went to Yaoi after Dark and Yaoi on Ice, the Voice Actors panel on Saturday which Nerdy Shirts did record from the start which we were late due to something that took place. And the Funimation Peep Show. I told you guys not that many and wishing we did go to more or at least had a set schedule this year. I did try submitting Blind Perspective but didn’t hear anything about it, I think it was not approved being it a writing panel. Oh well, I don’t think it will be a panel I will submit again, I do want to bring Blind Experience though since that was a success even though some people did tell us it wasn’t that great. I think it is a success in my eyes and people did enjoy it during Hol Mat 2013. Let’s see what 2019 brings. I did forget to mention the Tales Of Trivia Panel, that was also a fun one since all thanks to playing Xilia 2 for the most part with Gondras, I did get to answer the questions on that game. I did win the Mila and Jude keychain or shall I say phone charm.

Verdict: Convention…abor…Complete! I am saying why! I felt like this convention was almost an Aborted this year due to some things going on but I give it a Complete because I have noticed some staff were working harder than others and I will explain in Needs for Improvement!

Needs for Improvement:
Hotel NFI: Don’t Plan SO Many Things At Once! I know this is something that does happen but I feel like the hotel was overbooked for events this year and as said above that included a business convention in the western part of the hotel, the Military Ball, and Hol Mat. This caused a major parking problem and I felt like due to the overbooking not everyone could park at the hotel even when you were a person with a room. I did see that on the group were there was supposed to be more parking areas but it wasn’t noticed. Even motorcycles took up an entire space! There should have been parking slots for motorcycles instead of having the riders do that. With the Outlets parking, I don’t think anyone of us who owns a car would have enjoyed it. ZI did see one of our friends did have to park there but being towed is not great either. SO, my message to World Center, don’t overbook when you know hol Mat is there for you guys. Not only that for anyone who wants to hold an event in Orlando at the same time as a convention, there are other places in town that you can hold events and some of them are pretty big like the Caribe Royale where Hol Mat was at, Rosen Shingle Creek, Rosen Center, Holiday Inn Across from Universal has a decent size ballroom, I can go on, even the Florida Mall Hotel is pretty big with how Omni holds their events. I would say do research in holding events at other places please, there were so many people coming to this thing, plus some people did say they had complaints about some of the Military Ball attendants, which I haven’t heard much of.
Attend Your Meet Ups! I have been hearing about how meet ups are being held and others just had people bail on them, this is according to Vivi. I understand the convention is filled with shiny things that you can be distracted by but having a meet up with people that you schedule on a group is something important from what I have seen. I remembered people posting meet ups for Naruto, My Hero Academia, even a Lolita one and these are planned ahead in time and scheduled with the convention and it not happening is something that says it was not cared about. I know Vivi was excited for the Yuri On Ice meet ups and the Lolita Meet Up because she ordered an actual cord for her first time and it’s sad to hear that it didn’t go well, it was just crafting and some people almost came in but didn’t go in since it wasn’t really a meet up. I guess I am glad that I didn’t go through a meet up, I bet if I were to cosplay as Sue or one of the Wild Pussy Cats from My Hero Academia and find out the meet up wasn’t happening at last minute where people just left I would be mad! I am not sure if that still happened since that would have been fun to witness.
Press.pardon my French…WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU GUYS!? Sorry guys, I had to ask because the past few years Press was really organized ever since we have started getting the press pass with them and thought they were a good con to go to since we have seen great and unique events, meet up with awesome guests and hoping to interview them. I was glad we got the interviews this year and I noticed that the Guest Relations people were working harder since they had to take care a lot of people and working with press for possible interviews like us. Press this year….I know they had higher demand…I know they probably have been swamped…but I was lucky to meet someone who helped in getting us in. I haven’t seen bad organization since JACON 2009 actually. To tell you the truth, I preferred Press at Hol Mat to be more organized as in first of all having a set schedule to cover events which was great, it helped get more coverage out there even on our channel where we had so many videos, like our coverage from last year and the year before, not only that it kept us going to more events too that we never got to see. I also enjoyed that! We also got great pics from the Cosplay Runway over the years and now this year we didn’t go due to our interviews which was fine in my book. This year without that set schedule, yes we got to be a bit more slack but I missed it especially doing the Google Hangouts which the past two years we got to sit down with the Press Staff, even last year was the best Hangouts because I got to talk to the other teams that were covering Hol Mat but now this year I am wondering who else got approved besides us or shall I say who else got handed Press Passes? We didn’t get to meet anyone from Press unlike last year where we got to meet some of the other Press teams in person. See where I’m going? I know Press can have high Demand and I can see why with this year but not being able to see who else is doing it with you makes it like you’re the only ones doing it. I am glad that whoever has known what we do remembers us, even the staff member who has responded to my post about my giving away some of my manga due to the move knows about us all thanks to her daughter. That is why for 2019 starting with Omni Fandom Expo we will have better promo materials since we have worked hard especially this year with Omni, interviewing APl DeAp at the NFB Convention, Ranger Stop, and now with this one I felt not so much work. I am sorry guys but with my rating with what I was about to say was almost an Aborted because I felt this convention felt disorganized and Vivi pointed out that attendees weren’t as friendly in person as I have seen more people talking on the group and once the con does happen not a lot of people talk in person, it just becomes a huge standoff mess. I did have fun with our roomie though during her panel since it was a trivia thing and hoping to get to stay with her again maybe for Metro and we are looking into a room for Omni next year since working now we can do hotel stays a little more often. Also was supposed to meet another person I have met on the board but she was in line for something. I know big tangent…next point…
Watch Out for Disabled People! What do I mean by this, I had my cane cracked by someone during the con? I know, gasp! Okay, the story is that Gondras and I were heading over to the voice actors panel on Saturday and on the way there someone walked up and walked and in front of my cane but in the worst way, it was halfway up the cane and tripped over it and caused it to crack. I wasn’t hurt nor the person and it caused the cane to twist and cracked one of the joints where it collapses. We did get it duct taped Sunday because using an umbrella was not easy for me, I even ran into a wall since I missed my cane so much and almost cried Sunday because of it helping Gondras carry stuff to his car. This was something that still made me mad and bid felt like I lost a best friend when my cane cracked. Even the mobility instructor was annoyed when I told him about what had happened when I went to get a new cane, I didn’t show up with my taped one because I felt awkward so I show up with my short cane I had since my college days. I know the con was crowded but when I am at cons using my mobility skills people step aside! Even people with guide dogs, wheelchairs, and even crutches get that treatment too but what I went through was even worse. The person who tripped even said, “I didn’t know!” I was appalled when I heard that because here is the thing, all thanks to the comic Homestuck, people have cosplayed the blind character in that even back in 2012 when the comic had a major spike in popularity and people thought my cane was a prop and I was cosplaying the character when I now the comic with the troll side having candy corn horns. I even remembered seeing someone with huge horns from that comic, I think they did a better horn design for their character they were doing. Anyway, I cosplay as characters like Lucy, my many Pokémon characters even my variation of Link, and so on and my cane is always with me. Plus, it is my symbol of being someone in the bind community getting to enjoy a convention like a sighted person and doing press for it. So please guys, watch out for people in wheelchairs, guide dogs since there was a story that Vivid Barnacle read that someone had their service dog get hurt really badly at a con to use as an example, and watch out for blind canes because they’re not props and blind people are real! Yes Homestuck did have one in comic form but we are real!
Please Wait to Celebrate After the Con! What I mean by this is that I did notice that there was a meet up at Volcano Bay three weeks before the con or was it four weeks, can’t keep count but still it was planned during my moving weekend. It is great to have meet ups outside of the convention and good to party but best to save it during a time after the convention or during like how AFO does it with any volunteers. During the last three weeks before the convention it should be taken as a way to plan and make sure things are finished as and secured for the con, plus I think that would’ve been a better Saturday to do the Google Hangouts for Press too since I did get my internet in and would have spent the time before my dad shown up to take me for my grocery trip talking to the Hol Mat Press Crew and when the con is over then you can go to Volcano Bay or have dinner somewhere. I did notice that not every convention goer could go to this thing, like I said I was moving that weekend, so best to just save any big party things for after or at least during the convention to do a pat on the back thing for a job well done. The convention weekend is the real test of how the event goes rather than thinking it will be great in advance. That’s my opinion on that.
Need Better Security! Even With the Rooms! Apparently this year there was a lot of stuff being stolen, even a projector was stolen from someone’s room. I am glad no one went to our room or Vivi’s and Tobi’s room. I would be pissed if someone stolen my Braille Sense Polaris because that thing isn’t cheap! There should be better security at this thing since we have seen so many things happen at cons and now this taking place I feel a little unsafe with Hol Mat knowing that people broke into hotel rooms to take things. It’s sad that people are willing to hurt others to get their stuff, one thing is it’s not right, just save up for that product you want and then buy it. Someone else’s stuff is not yours people and plus you are risking your freedom for jail and being banned from the con itself. So, please better security.

Well guys that is it for this year’s review. I know a lot of people had fun during this weekend but I felt like even though we were Press doing what we do but I felt like this year was not the year that we had more work as Press. I did mention above on asking what had happened. I know conventions are supposed to be fun but I did say in my Ranger Stop review that I enjoy doing press and looking at this one I felt like my experience at Hol Mat was not as great as it had been last year and with 2016. I understand there being a higher demand in one department but Press could have been better handled. We did try to salvage what we could, we did enjoy our roommate which she was fun and she did have to volunteer during the weekend. Are we coming back? It looks like not so much at this point. I did answer someone asking who is going to what in 2019 and we just got word about our Press Passes for Omni Fandom Expo which is a great Christmas gift and hoping to get a room next year for that since I do live here in Daytona now. And of course Ranger Stop since that was a major blast this past year even getting to interview some of the guests this year. Vivi did mention MetroCon which I want to go back to due to how that one was our first Press job of all time and it’s been years since we’ve gone back to them. AFO…it will take us forever to meet their press requirements of how many followers which I wish we could have a bypass on that when we have done a lot of work already and do have still have a small following and Reuben Langdon is on our list for interviews we want to do. Let’s see what 2019 brings with our Press work!

Note: I know it seemed biased with this review but people experience different things and this is how I felt about this year’s event. I want to thank Jerad from Guest Relations who worked hard in getting us the interviews that we were able to do and Trina Wilson for helping us get our press passes when we didn’t get much of a response when it comes to how many applications they have received this year. If anyone from Hol Mat’s staff reads this, sorry for being harsh but I was pretty honest and observed what I have been even before the convention itself, it is a big “IF” in coming back. Thank you for understanding.

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Conventions: Holiday Matsuri 2018!

Hello to all of my beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling across the universe! I am back and it’s time for another Convention Spotlight!

Convention: Holiday Matsuri
Location: World Center Marriot in Orlando, FL
Dates: December 14th through the 16th 2018

It’s back and we’re back for another year of press! Oh yeah, we are on a roll for this year since of course any new readers who don’t know about this convention, I will tell! This convention in Orlando’s holiday themed convention that takes place in December. It has seen many hotels in town and now it has been at the World Center Marriot since 2016. Speaking of hotels!

Hotel: Like the past two years, Holiday Matsuri will be held at the World Center Marriot near Disney. Rates for the Marriot start at $159.00 a night and if you guys have the Marriott Rewards app you can add more rewards. Rooms are almost sold out so I would hop on and reserve but what if you can’t get a room? There are two other options near the hotel and they are the Caribe Royalle where Holiday Matsuri was held before and the Holiday Inn Resorts & Suites Water Park. Good thing is that there are free shuttles for the two other hotels during convention hours. You can book through here: http://holidaymatsuri.com/2018-hotel-new/

Registration: Now onto Registration which is pretty big this year! You can buy your tickets via Event Bright on your PC or on your mobile device through the app available in the App Store and Google Play Store. There are passes left for VIP and they are $150.00. For the Three Day Pass, it’s at winter pricing at the moment which is $55.00. And for anyone going for just a day, Friday is $30.00, $40.00, and Sunday is $30.00. There are fees included when ordering online to let you know. If you guys go for a day, I suggest either Friday or Saturday since there are tons of events going on and if you go for Sunday you would catch the costume contest which is pretty entertaining. Oh right! If you have a child that wants to go, its $20.00 for age’s six to twelve. And for under six, it’s free!

Besides the usual convention passes, there are events that require tickets to be purchased and that includes the Benefit Ball and they cost $10.00, $15.00 and $20.00. You can find out more about Registration by going here: http://holidaymatsuri.com/2018registration/

Guests: So, what guests does Hol Mat have in store for the good little nerds this year?

Returning to Hol Mat this year we have Todd Habercorn, you may remember him as Natsu Drakneil from Fairy Tail, Death the Kid from Soul Eater, and one video game duo you may have heard an interesting version of his voice, Rowan from Tales of Xilia Part 1 and 2! It’s fun playing as him in that game. And of course any Star Trek Continues fans in the Nerd Universe like me and Gondras, he plays Spock!

Another return is Cian Schemmel who of course plays Goku in DBZ and also DB Super.

For any Over watch fans out there we have Jen Cohn and Keith Silverstein!

And of course, what has me excited is Brittney Karbowski making an appearance at this year’s convention and you may remember her as Wendy the Sky Dragon Slayer from Fairy Tail, I’m wondering if she still has the Carla I gave her at MetroCon. Hmm! Also she is in My Hero Academia and one anime I remember her from is of course Kiba.

If you want to see full lists of the guests including cosplayers, hosts and so on, you can hop over to here: http://holidaymatsuri.com/guest-2018/

Stuff to Do So Little Time: Like a lot of conventions, there is so many things to do at Holiday Matsuri within the three day span. Plus you also have a lot when it comes to going around Orlando if you want to go out into maybe, hoping, cooler weather at night, to check out Disney Springs, Disney Boardwalk, and even Universal if you can. And if you need to pick up anything bathroom wise like toothpaste and shower gel, there are drugstores around and any grocery stores for any food you may get for your room. There is also the Pantry on the first floor alongside restaurants on hotel grounds and nearby.

Besides Orlando’s attractions, some things you should check out during the convention including their first 12 Ft. Christmas Tree where attendees can bring ornaments made by hand, which I will be doing myself with my keychain making. Plus, of course you have events like the Holiday Runway Contest which you have seen pics of in past years, and of course the Costume and Skit Contest. Not only that, returning for another year is Idol Fest! There is also other events which you can hop over here to see what else Hol Mat has to offer: http://holidaymatsuri.com/2018-events/

Well, that’s about it that I will be covering in this Spotlight! There is so much to mention! I suggest getting your hotel room soon either at the World Center or the other two hotels I’ve mentioned because they will sell out. We will have coverage from this year’s convention and hoping to have some interviews for you this year. And if anyone’s new to the convention scene, my best buddy Vivi has been doing convention tips and will be doing it leading up to Holiday Matsuri which you can see right here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDdkJ2EOOQBqXXI8vnVwIIg And follow her because she will appreciate it!

I hope you enjoy this Convention Spotlight, I know it was a bit early but had to get it out since I am moving in November and who knows when I can post while unpacking everything and working too. So, hope to see you all at Holiday Matsuri 2018. The weekend before the move, we will be at Ranger Stop 2018 doing press! So yep, the end of this year is a busy one for us! So, until next time! Stay beautiful while traveling the universe!

Accessibility In Gaming Part 2: What d Do I Want to See In This?

Hello my beautiful nerds traveling throughout the vast universe! I’m back with a new post and this time it’s a continuation of a past post I’ve done!

Accessibility in Gaming Part 2: What I Want To See in Gaming With This?

Stellarnan gave me this idea since she brought an article about a new controller Microsoft had developed for their XBOX for anyone with hand issues to play one handed. This is a step in the right direction since it has popped up and now Microsoft has been working on a lot of things in the Accessibility Department. I even participated in the NFB’s webinar with Narrator recently and can see improvements. Not only that, don’t forget Seeing AI and Soundscape made for IOS.

  1. ind that should be included1. Nintendo Get More Into Accessibility! As you know, I play a lot of pokemon and it’s not easy playing without any assistance. I did use Seeing A.i. with the Short Text setting to read things on the screen and it was great but it would be tedious holding it up all the time even with a tripod. I did mention this and that Nintendo needs to get into the accessibility game more even though they did start with the contrast adjustment settinngs on the Switch. A little fact, according to the episode I listened to the episode by Assistive Tech Update that Nintendo is behind in accessibility due to Microsoft taking the top sot with Sony right behind because of one setting which I will talk about next. Yes, it is nice that they started with the contrast adjustments but not everyone can see that because not everyone has the same eye condition so that brings me to the next point.

  2. More Screen Reading Support! I menttioned Sony because they only have the Text to Speech engine working on their home screen at the moment. Even Gondras demonstrated this when he first got his Playstation 4 this year and we were disappointed that only went far to work on the home screen area which makes us sad and me even more because I have not gottten my paws on Playstation controllers for a long time, well I did have to navigate through the Rock Band 4 song list to find one song I wan sing and that was last year. Anyways, it would be nice that screen reading software be included or as an app to downloaded. I did mention above that not everyone has the same kind of eye cndition to use contrast adjustments with colors, you need low vision for that while total blindness or low vision to the point of not seeing anything requres screen reading. Reason being is because we ccan follow along with the story better to have it read to us, the tutorial screens read to understand what the button combos are and how not to get killed in something ike Final Fantasy XII or even Kingdom Hearts to name a few. And speaking of Final Fantasy, having the emnu options being read out along with who is up next because it would be hard to see that little arrow icon over each character when it is their turn. Okus, give it he Soundscape treatment by telling where an item is like in Pokemon and what building is ahead and nearby because a character does have to buy their supplies to go on and continue their adventure so more screen reading support and even navigation can help someone with lower vision get through a game more easily.

  3. Braille Support On Braille Displays! I know it seems weird but hear me out! Braille has come a long way and it has improved in the tech dpartment and we are having complete Braille tablets being made! Not kidding! Anyways, Braille Note Takers today have Android tech built into them which not only we have the usual built in apps but also Google Play to get the apps we get on our tablets to be installed se. Oh yeah that will be handy when I start my certificate program. What is also great is that they have Bluetooth and Wireless settings and also a USB cable to plug into a computer to use in order to read. So, having a way of using a Braille Display while playing a game would be awesome to use if the screen reading support is not there or still being worked on. Yes, there may be plug-ins needed but it is easy to add onto a device or just have Bluetooth pair with each system like how it does with IPhones with my Braille Sense Polaris. With this ablity, it can read menus, the subtitle boxes when characters speak so you can feel while pushing X or the A button while hearing the story, and even read the tutorials and any notes from that tutorial. Wishing I had that during the PS2 days while playing the original .hack games since it was a lot of text along with dialogue.

  4. Developers and Gamers Should Talk! As in the disabled community, even blind, and the developers should have discussion about these issues. Trust me I have been emailing Nintendo about the screen reading and it will take forever. WHile game developers, on the other hand, seem to be more open. Steve Saylor, the Glind Gamer on YouTube, even is working on that too from his review of the accessible version of God of War where they added some accessible points to the game. In order to improve on games themselves, developers d listen and hear their fans out well most developers, still it shows that they are open to the subject of making their games not only great for their existing audience but new ones as well and that will help with inclusion of new audiences.

Developers Should Speak to Well Known Acccessibility Companies! This is another big point I want to touch upon besides the one above because it can help expand on making games accessible and that is the developers of the systems, technology, and even games should talk with the developers of Narrator, in order to make it inclusive to the screen reading for XBox, JAWS, and even NVDA, and even the devices I have mentioned above in getting ways of how to make their games and systems work with this kind of technology. Without the having talks with each other, it would make it harder to know what to do or how to do it when it comes to making something more accessible to a new market. As in how to make a title be read out by Narrator or how it will look on a Canute 360 for example, having these discussions will take as far as new games come out and new people w

ant to play. Who knows, maybe we will hear UVSoft thanking Freedom Scientific one day for helping them having a screen reader read out Beyond Good & Evil 2 someday on an E3 stage.

So guys, that is it for this post! I know it was a lot to talk about because I have been using Assistive Tech for eight years now and about to go into it for work and school as my career field it would be awesome that the tech we use could expand into video games since I do not want to give up on finishing any of the games I have been playing and I am also planning to get a Switch due to 2019 will be announcin another generation of Pokemon to be made. I would ove to have my Polaris at my side telling me if my Dragonite wants to learn a new move and I need to remove one to make room for it.

So, what is nextt for Nerdy Shique Universe? Well, I need to talk about an affiliate program I just joined because I have been hearing warnings about companies scamming people over Instagram and wanted to talk about it since I just received my product and they were one of the ones mentioned. So stay tuned for that and follow us on Twitter @ Nerdy Shique for all of the latest updates! Oh right, also gotta do a Faves post! Until next time!

Convention Spotlight: Omni Expo 2018 in Orlando, FL

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Another year and another Convention Spotlight!

Convention: Omni Fandom Expo
Dates: March 9-11, 2018
Location: Florida Mall Resort & Convention Center, Orlando, FL

It’s the fifth year for Omni Expo and even a fifth year for us to cover the convention for press which we’re excited about! It will be at the Florida Mall Resort again. It seems like this convention was had a major success at this hotel and glad it did since it is easier to navigate and walk around in in my honest opinion. For anyone new…

Hotel: This hotel is attached to the Florida Mall which is a huge tourist trap for us here in Orlando. People from all over the world come to this mall and also stay at this hotel year round. For anyone who are veterans of this mall, they have changed up some of the layout and moved some of the shops. Trust me, it wasn’t easy finding the new location for Hot Topic last year when I picked up my new Rise Against shirt but you do have the food court for meal time, even discounts from what we’ve seen with some stores. I will link to the entire website this time because I figure it’s easier to take a look at everything that way.

In case you guys want to know what’s in the food court and some of the food kiosks, here are a few:

Joey Fatone’s Burgers and Hot Dogs
Five Guys Burgers & Fries
Subway
Chicken Now
Taco Bell
Auntie Ann’s

And so much more! There are places outside and even a plaza with a Publix next to the mall in case if you want something different. Make sure you hit Chick-Fil-A Friday and Saturday and if you head further west, you can hit International Drive for more places to eat.

Guests: Of course we can’t forget the guests coming and coming back!

Returning Guests:

Bruce Karr: Oh yes, No Ordinary Balloon Man is coming back for another year. He is well-known for his balloon creations. If you were at Omni last year, he made a Hercule Satan and of course you can request for him to make something for you.
Paul St. Peter: He is back everyone! The voice of Wyrmon, Stingmon, Kokomon, and Xemnes is back for another year at Omni Expo. Hoping he does Pirate Curses again and check out his voice acting panels while you’re at it!
Mesumi Sempai: She’s back for another year and if she does her Lolita panel, I suggest going to it if you’re wondering how to dress in the popular Japanese style. She has really good info.

New Guests:

Sawa: New guest to arrive and from Japan! Sawa is making their first appearance and you may have heard their music in the game The World Ends with You!
Derek Steven Prince: The Digimon Emperor has arrived for this year’s Omni and can’t wait to meet him and get my copy of Digimon Season 2 signed by him!
Josh Seth: He’s returning to Orlando for another convention! We’ve interviewed him at Holiday Matsuri and hoping to do it again and without interruptions. Anyways, you may know him as the voice as Tai from Digimon and Tetsuo from the forever famed movie Akira and one voice from one anime called pilot Candidate as the voice of Zero!

You can see other guests on the Guests tab on the Omni Expo page!

Panels & Events: I did mention above that we’re hoping to see Paul’s Pirate Curses panel which is a lot of fun especially when people yell things at each other and of course get to learn more about pirates outside of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. He should teach a pirate class at UCF. Just saying; Some other events, which one I am excited about is the Crystal Carnivale Ball and this year is going to be based on the Beacon Dance from RWBY and it’s $5 at the door. So grab your formal wear even formal versions of your cosplay and a mask if need be and join in on the fun! Another event that keeps popping up is the Dance, Death, Rumble! I guess it’s like Suicide Karaoke but with dancing. We may have to check this out. And of course the Café Au Lait Maid Café events taking place during the weekend. These events are what you would experience at a real life maid café in Japan. CanadaJin3 did do a video talking about these but she deleted everything but you can find other videos experiencing these things in case if you’re interested. I will update you guys on Twitter in case of panel info for me since I did put in a panel form with Nerdy Shirts’ idea. The Assistive Tech panel video is still up from last year if you haven’t seen it. If you want to check out more events, you can check out the link below!

Well, that’s it! Better follow us on Twitter because I will be updating with things as the convention gets closer with any interviews that will be taking place, any panel updates since I’m crossing my fingers, and much more! We’re hoping to take some pics this year since last year we didn’t do many and definitely apologize with that. And of course we have the business cards for the blog, my first book, and now my second book, Love Found in Cinders.

Omni Expo Official WebsiteWhat is next? The RWBY Volume 5 review since this newest season just ended recently and like with the first four there will be a review so stay tuned!

Conventions: Voice Actors Panel from Holiday Matsuri 2017!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe and time to continue the Holiday Matsuri Coverage!

Saturday, Dec. 16: Voice Actor’s Panel:

So, another Saturday event which happens to be the Voice Actors Panel on that Saturday with Charlotte Chung, J. Michael Tatum, Brandon McInnis, and Fred Tatasciore. We covered this one as our press requirement which I wanted to do their Holiday Panel but it wasn’t on the schedule but it did take place but hey we at least got this one. I know this is so out of order but our Friday stuff is going to be on Google Drive so I can get it onto YouTube as soon as I can with the magic of my Galaxy Tablet! (Yes, trying to navigate that thing!)

Anyways, I did get to ask a question which happened to be the Fave Holiday Moment which I started adding to my interview questions for Holiday Matsuri but due to what took place this year with interviews I did ask some of the interview questions I had for people and ask them during panels. The stories the actors gave were pretty good, even Brandon gave a Fourth of July one which does count as a holiday and it was during the time he was in Japan. You will get to hear that. Gondras did help people with questions to ask while we were in line especially with our fave question, “What was the funniest moment in the booth?” This is the number one question that I always love to ask because I heard stories of funny moments in commentaries and that is how the question came to be and you will also hear those answers to that question and it was pretty funny with Fred. I have a feeling that is one answer he would give if we had that one on one.

Well, that is about it for this post! I hope you enjoy the videos with this panel and stay tuned for the rest! I am not sure if I should post the Idol Festival if that is one of the videos on our SD card because of the music being copyrighted and the footage was not as great.

What is next though? The Bests & Worsts of 2017 and man my fingers are going to hurt with this one with the amount of stuff to talk about! Stay tuned!

Access Tech: Accessibility in Gaming

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe and I am back and will be taking a bit of a break from the Holiday Matsuri coverage, which I will get back to since we have to figure out what videos go up first since we have them recorded on Nerdy Shirts’ phone and camera and my phone with pics from the Runway Contest. Don’t worry, it will be up! Right now I am doing a post that my best friend Stellar Nan thought it would be interesting for me to do with my own take and that is…

Accessibility in Gaming

Disclaimer: This post is based on observations and opinions of the lead writer. Please respect her thoughts and thank you!

I am glad to talk about this topic since it has been a hot one all year especially since MegaCon Orlando this year when Troy Baker announced that he wants to see more accessibility in gaming and I did thank him for it which he did mention to me that he has seen articles of blind people popping up in the gaming world which is true.

The first article I had read before the con was done on a Japanese boy who is blind and beat a rhythm game series on the DS and he wrote to Nintendo to thank them for the series which the company did write back to him in a Braille letter and a printed one for his dad and said “Thank you for playing!” This was amazing to me because the kid did go onto playing the Taiko drums all thanks to playing these games which if you haven’t seen a Taiko show I highly recommend to go to one in your area or find videos on YouTube. Even before this article, Gondras did turn me onto one blind gamer that lives in Canada by the name of Steve Sailor who plays games despite having low vision. He has played many games such as Bio shock, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey and it is very entertaining to see how he roams around and plays the games and reacts to them. I will put a video link in here so you can see what he does.

When it comes to accessibility, it is where different things to be added in order to make playing games more fun for people with disabilities, especially ones with visual disabilities. It’s not easy to play a game for me since I can’t see the screen nor the buttons but I have been sighted before and remembered playing Sonic 2 the most and almost beating the game a couple of times. I even remembered playing Super Mario All Stars on the Super Nintendo and moved onto the Nintendo 64 and the Gameboy Color. Nowadays with my limited sight, I can only really play Pokémon even though I did help unlock people on Super Smash Brothers but it’s mostly Pokémon and I know how it feels to play it since another blind gamer by the name of James Rath goes through the audio cues like I do but sometimes the Pokémon can sound the same in my ears and do need the sighted help time to time. Plus, walking around can also be difficult since I do run into things a lot and need some directional guide. Trust me, playing Y with Lumios City was not an easy feat with how that city is a rotating 3D model when I look at it. Even navigating Mauville in Alpha Sapphire was confusing too with the different doors you go through. I bet you are wondering where I am getting at.

Screen Reader Tech! That’s right, screen reading tech should be developed for the Nintendo system since Sony has developed it to be on their PlayStation 4 for people with visual impairments to be able to play. I am hoping Gondras does get one soon because I want to see this for myself since I have co-opped with him a couple of times in Tales of Xilia 2!

For many years, I have been emailing Nintendo about this since it is not easy being able to see the text and the story is in that text based telling. Trust me, I try to ask Gondras to read the stuff out even during Pokémon Black and besides the story parts, also reading out signs on buildings since I was able to locate things on the maps in the strategy guides and can’t read them anymore. So, the screen reader would help in reading the maps, reading the tutorials too and even read the different menus on the home screen area when selecting the games you want to play, to putting in the text like with how Siri would do on the onscreen keyboard, and many other things, heck even see items ahead of you.

I did get an email from Nintendo once I read the article about the Japanese boy to reach out to them again and they did say they started including the ability to change the colors on the Nintendo Switch which James Rath talked about in a video I will also include about how a blind person would play the Switch. These settings pretty much change the gray scale and reverse the colors on the screen which sounds like something Zoom Text and Magic does where you can make the background different colors and your cursor a different color to help see while typing as an example. That is a really good start for Nintendo because it is now showing they are joining in on the Accessibility Arena due to how many people that are visually impaired want to enjoy their games. James mentioned how he and another blind friend were able to play together especially with Splatoon where they were able to switch the color blind settings to help with that.

It would be nice for Nintendo to expand on the settings to add the screen reader tech since we do live in the era of voiceover on Apple and Samsung’s tablets and phones, heck even Zoom Text has added speech to be like Magic in its own way. I did bring the question about this to Jennifer Hale and Ally Hillis during the Mass Effect panel during Mega since it would be interesting for their take and they said, “Of course! Since we live in the time of inclusion in tech that would be something that should be added.” You can watch those videos in our MegaCon Orlando coverage on here or go to our YouTube Channel for that. I do agree with their points because we do have the audio description and closed captions for the sight and hearing impaired audiences who love to come and see a movie with their family and friends so should have a talk with the companies that develop these devices or talk to Freedom Scientific, the creators of NVDA in Australia, or even Apple and Samsung for help in how to make something like this to work on the Switch and their DS systems since we do have the New DS too to think about. Plus, it will help Nintendo to keep up with Sony since they are getting into the Accessibility game a little more to include more gamers in their market and it would be the same with Nintendo if they keep going forward.

Well, that is my take on the accessibility in gaming since I am a JAWS user, it would be nice to play Pokémon with screen reading support. I did bring it up to someone I used to know and he thought this was a bad idea but now with more blind gamers and now voice actors wanting to see it more, I guess he will be thinking it more differently if he has been to the latest conventions where the actors have talked about it and plus more blind gamers are popping up in the mainstream media even on YouTube. I haven’t mentioned the points that Extra Credits mentioned in one video they did all thanks to someone who told her story but I will also include their video on Accessibility in gaming too. Now I will be crossing my fingers on all my paws to see if more accessible settings go forward. And I also want to thank Steve Sailor for letting me use one of his videos to show what he does and in a recent video he is starting to be a consultant to help game developers so hoping an expansion does happen. So, enjoy the videos and until next time! I will be doing a post that Mr. Brandon McInnis inspired me to do during Holiday Mature. Until next time!

Concerts: Orlando Overdrive 2017 Review!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Yesterday was Orlando Overdrive and man it was awesome! We only there for some of the acts but not all because Gondras felt exhausted from work earlier in the day but hey we did have fun from what we saw! We will be putting videos up onto our YouTube so you should be following there, our Twitter account for updates, and Facebook for more updates!

Let’s see what I got and who we saw!

Event: Orlando Overdrive
Location: The Geek Easy inside A Comic Shop!

Location: Let me start off by talking about the location itself! For those of you who may be new to knowing about some of the hangouts outside of the club district basically the Geek Easy is a bar/food hangout inside a comic book shop called A Comic Shop that has been around for a while. It used to be smaller but it got renovated to be more spacious and having a better stage, sound, and even a bar/food area to get drinks and food which is awesome! They do do events such as anime showings, concerts, and even dances because back in the day there were raves there too and even a few burlesque shows. Manime Man used to do his Anime Nights every month at this place but now at Bikkuri Lounge, which I recommend that place for Japanese cuisine especially how big of a bowl of ramen and udan you get! While the Geek Easy does grilled stuff such as burgers, grilled cheese, and their tots are in the shapes of Tetris blocs which throws everyone back! They are delicious and I highly recommend if you go to any event or just hang out!

The Acts: This year, people got to vote on the Ongaku Overdrive website for who they want to see and nine of them get chosen to perform. I did vote for some of them but two we didn’t get to see that I voted which were Ben Briggs, which I wanted to see a few times but always missed, and EyeQ, which he is an awesome rapper especially with doing his own Attack On Titan raps! Who else did I vote for? I will reveal down below!

Jasper from Random Encounter: As we got into the event, we were a little late which it does take a bit to get to my part of town to get me from where Gondras lives, wtis guy was on the stage performing. He used to play accordion for another nerdcore band called Random Encounter which took their separate ways but this guy is still performing! Never thought hearing a guy on accordion was awesome! He took requests from the crowd and even quizzed them in what song he was playing. With one song I was thinking of Mario Kart 64 and Gondras tried to say Mario 64 and got it wrong. He did do the actual song that Gondras was thinking but what was even funnier was when GOndras tried to request “Birdhouse In Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants. He got the old “Don’t know that one!” I can “Nyu” that one and would be funny if I start doing nerd music that way.

Boy Without Batteries: This is one of the other artists that I voted for because I enjoyed his music a lot from the times he performed at the Anime Prom Nights Manime Man did. He does chiptune music and hooked up an old school Game Boy to his soundboard and acts like he is playing the Game Boy while performing the song. It is like doing the chiptune song with a guitar controller or something from Rock Band. I didn’t know what he was doing because my vision sucks and glad that Nerdy Shirts described it to me! You guys should check this guy out after seeing our footage. One song I did like by him was one that almost was like a combination of “Last Chance” by Kascade and “You Are” by Paul Oakenfold which was the version from the Electric Daisy Carnival set from last year! (I listen to the set time to time since I am a bit of a techno fan.) Still, should check him out.

Under Polaris: And the final act that I voted for is Under Polaris which was a blind vote. I never heard of these guys but they are essentially a metal band that does video game covers! You know me when it comes to metal and when I heard this I knew I would enjoy these guys! This band did covers to music from Batman: Return of the Joker, Double Dragon 2, which was a tribute to a close friend, and one that Vivi would appreciate if she heard it unless it is in the footage, Lavendar Town from Pokemon Red and Blue Versions. I did tell Stellarnan I used to have Red Version until my brother’s ex-wife threw away my Game BOy color when my nephew was borrowing it. (Still mad about that!) They did also do the “Suicide Mission” song from Mass Effect 2 which that made me and Gondras happy due to being fans of that game.Thank goodness I voted for these guys after hearing them!

Shammers: Next is a rapper and his buddy that we tend to see a lot at these events and that is Shammers! A heads up, we didn’t get any footage of these guys rapping because Nintendo has been content I.D.ing everyone who has been reviewing anything or using their stuff when it is supposed to be fair use! Sorry about that but we already went through Copyright Claims done twice in two years with some of our videos from Holiday Matsuri. His partner, Professor Oak, are known for doing Pokemon raps and puns as well. Heck, they even did a rap battle towards their fave consoles which were of course the Nintendo line versus the Sega line. Stellar did ask which one I was on and since I had my Tri-Force goggles from my Link cosplay, Nintendo despite playing both systems as a kid. They did do their Pokemon Snap rap and they did ask the audience to hold up pics of their fave Pokemon so they could do a Pokemon Go based rap. So, it was really improve rap this time! A nice variation this past night.

Sci Fried: Another band that I never expected liking and that is Sci Fried. These guys were surprised that they got voted to perform last night since they were more underground but the crowd had spoken and I could see why! These guys do rock/metal music based on many sci-fi properties such as Alien, Lord of the Rings, and did one song based on the bosses’ point of view in a video game! These guys were amazing and wishing they would open for Traverser because they would fit with their sci-fi sound. Also, I did suggest these guys to Omni Expo to perform next year when they return to the Florida Mall hotel! I would love them to rock the Main Events stage that Friday or Saturday night!

Geekapella: We left during these guys’ set since Gondras was starting to doze off but we did catch them a bit. This group is a ten person group that does geek-style acapella music. I tend to like Rockapella and this was a nice new group that did video game and anime acapellas. They did the first theme song from Attack On Titan and then went into “Still Alive” from Portal, and one of them did their own version of “Creep” which is not that bad! If we saw these guys again, hoping it is the entire set and I would vote for them again next year if we get another press opportunity.

Rating: 5 Star PawPrints Out of 5! This event gets the highest on our rating scale since it was entertaining and very fun! Nerdc cre music has been taking a big rise and a lot of people have been enjoying it. Will any of this music end up on this month’s Top 10? You will see soon! In the mean time, you should give Ongaku Overdrive a big hand for putting on this event even having it moved at last minute which was still a success! I am hoping we get to do press again next year for it and even thank Manime Man for letting us do it! Also, check out the bands above! You won’t be disappointed and give them a like on their social media and stay tuned for our footage from this year’s event!

What is next? Well, I have something special in line for everyone and of course I do have the Top Ten Songs of April for you guys! Stay tuned!

Conventions: Omni Fandom Expo Cosplay Masquerade Contest 2017!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Now it’s time to close the coverage from Omni Expo!

Cosplay Masquerade Contest

The last round of videos and the best is saved for last are our videos from the Costume Masquerade Contest! I realized whe idn’t take any photos of cosplay this time but this to make up for that since the really good cosplays didn’t come until Saturday. I know if you saw my last two or three videos I was cosplaying as Link from Legend of Zelda but as a Pokemon Ranger and did enter this year.

I have been in three contests which happened to be the one during MegaCon in 2011 as Hatsuharu Sohma, the Cosplay Runway and Costume Contest from Holiday Matsuri as my ice gym trainer and Lucy Heartfilia! This year was something that Gondras went a step beyond and that is create my prop again. The story behind my costume was all thanks to my Pokemon Ranger cosplay design which you saw in my Eric Stuart Interview video may years ago during MythiCon. I had the idea in my head when Pokemon X and Y came out and introduced a new type of Pokemon known as Fairy Type which I thought what happens if I were to crossover Link and have a Silveon to represent Navi! I didn’t start gathering some of the things until AFO 2015 when I got my Silveon but was short on funds so I had to wait a bit, which I wanted to do it for the 20th Anniversary but didn’t have it in time and did my water trainer instead. So, when I got my work experience money it gave me a chance to get the parts I needed to get the costume made in time for this year which happened to be of course the hat and goggles and my dad did do my patches with the parts we picked up at the Thriftko in town and Salvation Army since I couldn’t find a pair of shorts that fit me right until I went there. What Gondras added was Ageslash but in the Master Sword design! You will get to see him with it since that took a month to complete and using the materials along with it! Oh right, I did forget one thing I didn’t mention that I purchased and was a first for me to wear was prosthetic ears! During Holiday Matsuri, our friend Chibi mentioned there was someone in Artist’s Alley with elf ears and Gondras pointed out that Link had them and I picked up a pair after the convention due to my skin matching issue. At least I got through that fine and the costume was a success! People liked the goggles and even people at Auntie Ann’s saw me and had following looks as I passed heading back to the con. Also, what I didn’t realize while doing this costume in time was the release of the Nintendo Switch and the release of Breath of the Wild.

So, onto the costume contest! Oh man, the entries were amazing! The judges admitted they had a hard time choosing which they had to get the head of the convention for help! You will see all the entries and see who won in part two since the camera split the video. I congratulate all the entries including the only one with a skit which was Echantress from Suicide Squad.

Will I do Link again if you guys are wondering? Yes I will and hoping for MegaCon since PikaBelleChu did invite us to her Pokemon event that weekend so let’s see what happens! Now enjoy the video!

That is it for this post! Next convention on our Universe LineUp is MegaCon 2017! We are happy to announce that we are doing press for this year and hoping to get interviews with some of the big names so stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook for announcements of what will take place and yes I will be doing my Convention Spotlight by the start of April so check back!

Also, next I will be doing my Top Ten Songs, so also stay tuned for that!

Music: Orlando Overdrive and an Intro to Nerd Music!

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! I am back and have something from the Music Universe that needs to be mentioned and it’s all thanks to Manime Man!

Event: Orlando Overdrive
Put On By: Ongaku Overdrive
Music Genre: Nerd Music
Date: April 22, 2017
Location: Backbooth 37 W. Pine Street in Orlando, FL

So, I have a new event to mention on Nerdy Shique Universe and thought it would be great to mention another genre to the Music Category on here. You all know that we at NSU support the local music scene in Orlando and the rest of Florida which includes Mr. Bella, Mechanism, Soul Switch, Traverser, Filth, A Brilliant Lie and many more! We even have attended many House of Blues shows, even went to Earth Day Birthday in 2015 that is always put on by WJRR but there is one event that not many people haven’t heard of nor seen much of this genre unless you go to a convention and that is Orlando Overdrive.

What is Nerd Music? First, I have to address the genre known as “Nerd” Music. We all have played video games and watched anime over the many years they have existed and know the songs and have hummed them time to time or even blasted them at school on a speaker. For instance, I remembered one day in my UCF days that someone placed a boombox underneath the walkway between Classroom 1 and the Student Union with “Saria’s Song” from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time which made sense for the environment but it is a major earworm. Heck, I even “nyu” it time to time even when Gondras plays Hyrule Warriors. Anyways, the genre pretty much has people put their own spin on these many songs to make them sound interesting whether in chiptune form, rocking out on a guitar, or even doing their own rap to it!

Some of these artists that are known include Arm Cannon, which also includes Danimal Cannon, Random Encounter, Benjamin Briggs, and our own IQ who has been growing lately. I will be putting some videos in this post so you can hear some of these things. I even went to some parties with some artists performing and they are pretty good and also listened to Manime Man aka Kent Ward’s podcast on Nerd Music on Propeller Anime Radio. Now onto the event!

Event: This event will be held at the Backbooth in Downtown Orlando on 37 W. Pine Street. A little It takes place April 22nd 2017! It is the same day as Earth Day Birthday and if you can’t go to that then I would suggest this since you would be in air conditioning. The good thing is that it starts at $10 in advanced and $15 at the door!

Who is playing if you’re wondering? That’s the great thing is that fans can vote who they want to see and voting ends next Monday! I would say vote by going here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YW89WPG

If you want to know how to get tickets in advanced and want to follow Ongaku Overdrive, you can go here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YW89WPG

Kent said in press release that he is hoping that this event would boost the Orlando Nerd Music scene and also open up more doors for the acts that will be performing. I agree with him right there because like with our rock acts, Orlando has very talented nerd music acts even all over the state!

So, go and vote and also if you are interested in subscribing to it, I suggest check out the Propeller Anime Radio Podcast! Not only Kent and his buddies talk about anime that we see on Krunchy Roll, NetFlix, and Toonami but also talks about Nerd Music on top of it! He even gets the artists in for an interview! You can also check out everything Propeller related at: http://www.propelleranime.com/

That is about it for this post! I know it seemed rush but when I saw the date for voting I had to get this up! So support the Nerd Music community and hope you will rock out with what I have in this post! What is next for Nerdy Shique Universe as well? Definitely some last minute info on Omni Expo, my January and February faves, and even my top ten songs of February! Stay tuned!

Convention Spotlight: Omni Expo 2017

Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! It is time for another Convention Spotlight and we are going back to a favorite that will be in March again!

Convention: Omni Fandom Expo
Dates: March 3-5 2017
Location: Florida Mall Resort at the Florida Mall in Orlando, FL

We are back for another year at Omni Expo and it is on its fourth year, which includes us doing a fourth year of press! Yes! Makes us happy since we have done press for them since year one! Things had to be changed around and etat includes location, let’s get started!

Location: Florida Mall Hotel! I bet you are wondering, wasn’t this supposed to be at the International Palms Resort over on International Drive? Yes, unfortunately the story is that they were supposed to be there but International Palms got bought out and is going through renovations and being changed. Awww, that would’ve been a nice wedding place, but oh well! So, due to months of no contact nor news from International Palms, the staff saw the news about what had happened to this hotel and they knew they had to pull out. Once they got out, they had to find a new location and they found the Florida Mall Resort that had a time slot open for the weekend they wanted which is March 3rd through the 5th this year! Which is a sweet relief then they would’ve skipped a year.

I bet you’re also wondering, “Wait! There is a hotel at the Florida Mal?” Yes there is! I never been there myself but I know they have had nerd events there and I did remember the MAC Cosmetics do hold their interview seesions there. I tried applying for MAC a while back. Also, this hotel is known as the Florida Hotel and Conference Center. Sorry guys, I don’t have the rates since the website is not working at the moment, I would say go to Omni’s website and try to reserve a room, which when I talked to them during Holiday Matsuri, they really want people to stay at this hotel! So, make your reservations!

Guests: This year not only brings new people but a return of two favorites!

Paul St. Peter: Returning for 2017, Paul St. Peter! If you remembered last year during the Convention Impossible that we have gone to his voice acting panels and his pirate panel and if you have missed them then you have another chance. I highly recommend going to these panels because the voice acting ones do have a lot of pointers in how to get into it and how to sound for many scripts that audience members get to try out. Gondras was one of them all three days so let’s see what happens this year. Also, he is one of the guests we want to interview after not getting the chance to do so last year. For anyone new to the name, for anyone who has played Kingdom Hearts 2 he’s Xemnes and the Kyuubi in Naruto.

Bruce aka No Ordinary Ballon Man: If anyone has been to the first two years of Omni you may have remembered the titans from Attack On Titan made out of balloons. I sure had and even was at the 18 Plus panel with Matthew Mercer and Jessica Calvello during 2015’s Omni where they signed one one of the titans and extra ballons to be donated. They were made by this guy and he known as the No Oridnary Ballon Man! It’s been two years since he has been back, let’s see what he has in store for this year’s Omni!

Chris Rager: Now onto new people! First up is Chris Rager who plays Hercule in all things Dragonball! Well, not the Abridged Series.

Josh Martin: Josh Martin is another new guest for this year and you may have remembered him as the voice of Magen Buu in Dragonball Z and games!

Lisle Wilkison: Another new guest for anyone who loves Tekken and that is Lisle Wilkison who the voice of Nina Williams. Any Sanrio fans, she is also the voice of Batz Maru!

Brian Muir: Next is a sculptor and that is Brian Muir! He has been working on many movies for forty plus years and some movies include Star Wars, Captain America, and of course, Guardians of the Galaxy. You can find his full list of movies he has sculpted on over at Omni’s guest page.

Tiffany Siper: Next is an artist and that is Tiffany Siper. She is the co-founder of Epicycle Studios two years ago and worked on the art for the web comic Alien Spike where a new threat of an alien and a robot comes to Earth when it has recovered from its past threat. Now I am curious!

Noflutter: Next is another artist and that is Noflutter. She is a native Floridian and studied at the Orlando International Academy of Design and Technology and you may have seen her work brought to life on the show Heroes of Cosplay.

Masumi Sempai: Next is a cosplay guest and that is Masumi Sempai. A hardcore cosplayer from the turn of the millennium and grad student from here in Orlando and a Lolita as well. I definitely have some questions on Lolita for her.

Besides these guests we also have the 500 First appearing again and a Michael J. Fox impersonator known as Rob Simms showing up this year. You can get full details on these guests at Omni’s webpage!

Events: Knowing that all conventions do have events and panels by guests and attendees! One event that is returning is of course the Suicide Karaoke event. Hoping to show up for that to see what it’s like! Then we have the costume contest and also have an announcement here!

We will be hosting an Assistive Technology panel known as Devices from the Dark! Since it is a technology convention as well, I thought why not do a panel on it since I am planning to teach it. I will be demonstrating apps I use, even the Braille Sense that I tend to surprise the guests we interview. Check the schedule as time gets closer to the event to see when this panel happens along with many other panels and events!

Well, that is about it for this Convention Spotlight! You can see the details on Omni at:

http://omniexpo.com/

We can’t wait to bring you coverage from this event and new interviews from it as well!

What is up next for Nerdy Shique Universe? A review on the Grand Magic Games arc from Fairy Tail since I finally finished watching that arc and of course another book review and Cosmetic Controversy! Stay tuned for all that! Catch ya on the universe side!