Intervention 2014

I sat down to write a con report. I ended up with a retrospective. It’s the best way I can think of to convey the appeal of this yearly weekend in Rockville.

Intervention is a gathering of independent creativity. To the folks confused by Sexy Bacon in the elevator, it’s where people learn to start online businesses. To some, it’s where to meet favorite web comics and discover new creators of awesome to follow. To me, it’s where I ended up hanging out with a live broadcast of Bomb Shelter Radio and drinking in a packed hotel room with a large man in a Burger King crown who periodically raised the ice bucket in proclamation to ensure that all of his subjects were having an excellent time.

Intervention is where I continue to learn, to meet new friends and reforge connections with those from prior years – and to be inspired to try instead of fearing that I’m Doing It Wrong.

Garth Graham taught me that digital color was fun rather than the incomprehensible domain of professional concept artists. AJ Rosa encouraged me to try my hand at video commentary and meta for my favorite games. Oni Hartstein – the master of ceremonies and also a close friend from way back when – gave me the kick in the pants to reboot this personal site as an evolving gallery of creative interests. I’ve had my hands on various ink pens and a Cintiq display, upon which I drew a butt because my brain froze up in awe of a peripheral worth as much as my computer. Oni would approve.

Intervention 2014 Highlights

  • Reacquainting myself with Metroid, which plays like survival horror when you forget where everything is. Got up to the ice beam, fell down the wrong hole thereafter, and considered it enough of a win for not having played the game in two decades.
  • Oni’s marketing panel, where she talked about building an online audience through a long game of making contacts and producing honest, quality content. Her site is a home base for said content, promoted through social media but independent therefrom. This inspired me to get all my scattershot business in one place so I can work on the same for myself.
  • A well-choreographed demonstration of Unity in which a ball on a plane was built up into a simple game of Pick Up the Spinning Cubes. I left with thoughts of rolling my own Katamari Damacy, terrible pun much intended.
  • A presentation by David Pescovitz of BoingBoing on scientific technologies seeming magical, and the artistic potential thereof. Nanosculpture! Quantum levitation! Ooh, shiny.
  • Arduino programming demonstrated by Bree Rubin. I only caught the tail end of this, but the spousal unit had a blast. Though I’m much more of a software person, Arduino would have been cool to try if not for a panel conflict.
  • Joining the spousal unit for some tabletop gaming in the This Is Not Where You Drop Off The Husbands Room. (Which is where he wanders off to when I’m in some art panel or another.)
  • Indulging in stout at Gilly’s Craft Beer and Wine. They had pumpkin. They also had cookie dough. And a pitch black glass smooth imperial. And a hummus and vegetable sandwich to soak it up with. To some extent – the next couple of hours were a dreamy haze.
  • Singing along with an acoustic guitar player at the meet and greet party, klutzing my way through some years out of practice chords myself, and trying to learn the proper pronunciation of Cao Cao as per his patient attempts to teach me.