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Header image via @xzhyrax

This arti­cle first appeared on Justin Knights per­son­al blog Grandmother’s Floor

First off I must apol­o­gize as this post is a day late because even though I am almost in my for­ties, I can­not han­dle hang­overs very well and spent most of yes­ter­day deal­ing with it. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time at the event but my god did I pay for it. As for the event itself? Me and those of us who attend­ed had an excel­lent time and I must con­grat­u­late Shemmie and Mike for what was a well orga­nized and fun occa­sion, aside from some tech­ni­cal hic­cups with the live streams that were host­ed at the end (but I believe that was down to the venue) the atmos­phere was that of fun.

I met up with a cou­ple of oth­er atten­dees in Birmingham train sta­tion and we made our way down to the venue, the street that led to it lit­er­al­ly looked like a set from the Walking Dead series and was haunt­ing­ly emp­ty, I did won­der at one point if we were going to get jumped as we pro­gressed down it. We reached the venue and met many famil­iar faces and sure enough, the con­ver­sa­tions and drinks were flow­ing as well as the retro gam­ing was well under­way. This was where I was caught by sur­prise because I was expect­ing to see a bunch of retro con­soles with the mon­i­tors but instead, we had a bunch of Raspberry Pi com­put­ers filled with emu­la­tors of the­se won­der­ful games many of us had grown up with along with some SNES style con­trollers, small PC mon­i­tors, and a small speak­er for each. It was an awe­some setup and I promised myself I would have to get one and ram it full of games, it will save me a shit ton of mon­ey com­pared to buy­ing the old con­soles them­selves and hunt­ing down the games.

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Raspberry-Pi Compact Computer

One of the best parts for me was meet­ing Kate Russell. Miss Russell is a tech jour­nal­ist and works for the BBC, appear­ing on the tech pro­gram Click and on the ITV pro­gram Daybreak. She has writ­ten the book Working the Cloud anoth­er book, Elite Dangerous: Mostly Harmless and has had columns pub­lished in National Geographic Traveller. I was expect­ing her to show up part way through the event and give her talk but as I was play­ing a game of Cards again­st Humanity (which Shemmie won) I real­ized she was sit­ting oppo­site me. She was wear­ing a den­im skirt and a very cool comic book style T-shirt and I shook hands with her and was quite sur­prised and delight­ed when I real­ized that it was her. To say she was a love­ly and pleas­ant per­son is putting it mild­ly and talk­ing with her was not only love­ly but also quite enlight­en­ing as she told me about being at E3 and play­ing builds of approach­ing games like Sea of Thieves. I only men­tion what she was wear­ing because I was stu­pid­ly expect­ing her to show up in a suit or some­thing like that to give her talk due to where she worked but that brought me to a won­der­ful real­iza­tion: She was one of us gamers.

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Author and Presenter Kate Russel with Undisputed Shemworld Champion Justin Knight

That pho­to was tak­en after her talk which was a joy to lis­ten to as she hap­pi­ly spoke about her career and took ques­tions from the crowd, fin­ish­ing off with how being at the event was her idea of fun. It was also tak­en after the gam­ing tour­na­ment which took place where we all played Sensible World of Soccer. I can’t speak for the oth­er play­ers but I hadn’t played the game for about twen­ty years and I couldn’t shoot for shit, my first game I won 1 – 0, some­how, and came back to play again­st a real­ly cool dude who gave me a run for my mon­ey. We played three games and drew each one, draw­ing 0 – 0, 1 – 1 and 0 – 0 again and as a result, we had to change the game to Mortal Kombat 2 so there could be no chance of a draw. I won that and the fol­low­ing game and was crowned Shemworld 2016 Champion, but I had to be hon­est that it was won with luck on my side some of the time. When I showed it to my kids the next day, they thought I was a gam­ing leg­end and as much as I tried to tell them that I got lucky in places, they didn’t lis­ten. I took plea­sure from it though I must admit, any father out there who reads this prob­a­bly knows what I’m talk­ing about as it’s nice to thought of as a hero by your chil­dren.

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Justin Knight with Allum Bokhari

I also had the plea­sure of meet­ing Allum Bokhari, known to many of us as a writer and co-editor for Breitbart Tech. I was a fan of his writ­ing and intro­duced myself to him and found him to be a warm gen­tle­man and some­one who was quite hap­py to have a con­ver­sa­tion with a stranger like myself. Much lat­er on when we were all out drink­ing he even brought me my first drink (he got it as part of an offer but hey) and we all hung out and talked part of the night away before I checked myself out due to slight drunk­en­ness and tired­ness set­ting in. As I wrote ear­lier I am almost 40 and evi­dent­ly I can­not han­dle my drink like I used to and the hang­over was hor­ri­ble the next day, when I told a friend what I had in par­tic­u­lar what I had been drink­ing, like Desperados, he cringed and said “WHY would you be drink­ing that stuff?” Good ques­tion.

All in all, I had a great time. It is always fun to meet up with peo­ple year after year, cel­e­brate this thing we all took part in togeth­er and con­tin­ue to main­tain our own com­mu­ni­ty and net­work, I per­son­al­ly have formed many friend­ships with peo­ple over the­se last two years and long may it con­tin­ue. I have drift­ed away from games and as I have writ­ten before, I speak up on the sit­u­a­tion in comics and at the event, there were peo­ple there, like the won­der­ful Doc and Homebuck, who agreed with me on the whole thing. This will be an ongo­ing bat­tle for many of us, we will always be there to speak up again­st this crap where ever it may sur­face, be it in comics, games or in movies and my involve­ment in this had been such a plea­sure due to the peo­ple I have met at events like this.

Job well done, Shemmie and Mike, job well done.

I can only won­der what Five Guys must think of all this, I’m sure they must have made a for­tune over the last cou­ple of years.

Shemfest atten­dees at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Imagine via @HomeBuck_ KnightCultureEditorialConventions,Gamers,ShemFest 2016Header image via @xzhyrax This arti­cle first appeared on Justin Knights per­son­al blog Grandmother’s Floor First off I must apol­o­gize as this post is a day late because even though I am almost in my for­ties, I can­not han­dle hang­overs very well and spent most of yes­ter­day deal­ing with it. Don’t…
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Justin Knight
Justin is a hap­pi­ly mar­ried 35 year-old games writer from Northampton, UK. He loves sur­vival hor­ror games, almost any­thing First-person Shooter-based, and pret­ty much every­thing with zom­bies. Being a life long gamer, he has now passed his much-loved pas­sion down to his chil­dren.In his spare time, Justin likes to read, work out and watch movies. He is also cur­rent­ly writ­ing his first book.
Justin Knight

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