NVIDIA GeForce Team Grabs Huge Crowds at QuakeCon 2014

by Brian Caulfield

The King of all Wieners was there. So was a man equipped with a flamethrower fashioned out of balloons. There were bikers dressed in their leathers, and mild-mannered systems administrators clad in Patagonia sweater vests. Just when you think you’ve got the crowd at QuakeCon figured out, someone new shows up. It’s an amazing community, and NVIDIA’s GeForce team will be mixing it up with them this week in Dallas.

The king made an appearance at NVIDIA's booth.
The king made an appearance at NVIDIA’s booth.

We brought SHIELD gaming portables, gaming rigs equipped with GeForce TITAN and TITAN Black GPUs, our latest G-SYNC monitor technology, notebooks equipped with our portable graphics chips, and a flat, wall-mounted gaming rig created by Richard Surroz, one of the gaming industry’s best specialist PC builders.

And it was all hands on. The hundreds of visitors to NVIDIA’s booth Thursday at the sprawling Hilton Anatole were given simple instructions: play with our products – get your fill of games like “Last Light” on the PC or “Half-Life 2” on SHIELD – and get a shot at a piece of the huge bundle of prizes we’re giving away every day of QuakeCon through Sunday.

Thursday’s giveaway – overseen by GeForce community manager Kris Rey – drew a crowd of more than 250 fans. Prizes included keyboards, mice, a SHIELD, headsets, a monster EVGA 1,300-watt power supply, and two GeForce GTX 760 graphics cards. Kris and the show team have many more surprises planned for the weekend of gaming.

But the most interesting stories at NVIDIA’s booth Thursday came from gamers identifying themselves by handles such as Lightbringer and Lonour.

Flame on: this gamer used balloons to transform himself into his favorite Team Fortress character.
Flame on: this gamer used balloons to transform himself into his favorite Team Fortress character.

Playing off QuakeCon’s reputation as a magnet for males, Übermensch – who drove all the way from Colorado for the event – gestured regally around NVIDIA’s booth as he wore a crown on his head, and an enormous hot dog outfit. “QuakeCon’s known as a sausage-fest,” Übermensch said, “so I thought I’d come as the King of all Wieners.”

Meanwhile Androchastic – a tall, lean Ohio systems administrator – quizzed NVIDIA staff about technology while dressed as Pyro from Team Fortress. He happily posed for pictures with other booth goers impressed by the flamethrower he’d fashioned out of balloons.

Then there was Janet, a woman in her fifties, from Plano, Texas, who came to the show with her son. While he ran off to check out the enormous ballroom filled with thousands of gamers battling it out, Janet grabbed a SHIELD and quietly started to play. After a few minutes with SHIELD, Janet was sold. “I didn’t even know you could buy something that could do all this,” Janet said.