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Episode 35: Slashers on the Street

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Oct. 2nd, 2012 | 02:32 pm

Hosts: wook77 and elanorofcastile
Reporting on: Dragon*Con


Wook: With the Slashers on the Street segment I’m Wook77 and I’m sitting here with Elanorofcastile and we’re going to be talking about our recent attendance at Dragon*Con where we had a rocking good time.


Elanor: So awesome that we’re already registered to go back next year, so that has to say something.


Wook: Yeah. Registered before we even finished the dang convention.


Elanor: It’s true! [laughs]


Wook: Oh, so cool. So. Alright, so I totally dragged EoC to, like, a million and one of the panels I wanted to go to. [both laugh]


Elanor: Yup. That’s okay.


Wook: Mainly because I got her to realise the awesomeness that is Bioware as a gaming company.


Elanor: Oh man. Oh man. So great.


Wook: I’m just saying. So the first panel that we went to was… was it the Voice Acting in Video Games panel?


Elanor: Yup, that was the first one. Our first experience with sitting in a line! [laughs]


Wook: Oh my god. So the lines were… what did you think of them, first?


Elanor: They were kind of naff but I guess that one thing they said too, about this year, was that this was the first year that they’d had a video gaming track, so they weren’t really sure, I guess when they’d decided to have it, how many people they were going to have interested in so they just kind of stuck us in some rooms at the Hilton. It definitely needed to be about three times as big and they totally could have filled the rooms still. But on the other hand the kind of fun thing about sitting in the line is getting to see other people who are interested in the same thing as you as you are so you get to kind of talk to them, where the rest is kind of a giant mix and so that’s kind of where you find some of the pockets of likeminded folk. Yeah it was cool, um, I did the daring thing and I cosplayed the first day, on Friday. My first time. Woo!


Wook: And it was awesome. Oh my god.


Elanor: I had so much fun, besides the fact that I was hot as hell, because oh my god, I had forgotten what summers in Atlanta were like. So I cosplayed as a RED Scout from Team Fortress 2, and as Alyx Vance from Half Life 2. I kind of felt really awesome. I had this guy come up and ask if he could have his picture taken with me, because he was another RED Scout and he was so excited to see someone else. So yaaaay!

Wook: I don’t think excited was the right word, by the way.


Elanor: Er, no.


Wook: Giddy. He was giddy. He actually, like, did a little happy dance.


Elanor: It’s true and it was pretty awesome. [laughs]


Wook: And then Alyx Vance, when you were like ‘nobody’s even going to recognise this’, and then like, what? An hour later we fuckin’ see someone wearing that costume walking right past us. [laughs]


Elanor: Yeah. And a Gordon Freeman in an ATV with her, so I was like ‘oh god, that was amazing.’ Yay. [laughing]


Wook: And I have to say, having gone to Comic-Con, I didn’t think the lines were bad at all. I was actually really surprised that you could show up about an hour before a panel and be guaranteed a seat. I was freaking shocked by that development, because at Comic-Con, at least the last time I went (which was the first year Twilight was out, so I haven’t gone in years) but they used to let people line up, like eight hours ahead of time and then if you were sitting in the panel beforehand you got to stay and the people that waited in line for, like, eight hours got fucked. And so I liked at Dragon*Con that they were like, ‘no, if you’re in the panel beforehand you have to go to the line, sorry.’ But no, the rooms for the video game panels were ridiculously small, and basically I think we only really went to video game panels, so we never really-


Elanor: Yes that’s true. [Wook is laughing] Well I know that when we walked by I did peek in to see what stuff looked like in the main ballroom. I mean it reminded me of Star Trek Las Vegas with the giant hall with people up far in front of you. So that’s kind of what the rest, the big stuff was like.


Wook: Yes. So the Voice Acting in Video Games panel was amazing and more amazing for me than probably for you, [Elanor laughs] because Mark Meer, the voice of Commander Shepard in Mass Effect crashed the panel, whereas you lost one of your people so that I could get my person. [laughs]


Elanor: [sort of unenthusiastic laugh] It’s true.


Wook: And then of course, [blissful sigh] there was the most ultimate voice in the entire world. I swear to god this man could just read the phone book and I would be happy. I watched Raphael Sbarge play incestuous necrophiliac and I still was like [adopts very high pitched voice] ‘I love this man’. So, Raphael Sbarge was on the panel, and then your lady whose name I just forgot.


Elanor: Ellen McLain, she was the voice of GLaDOS in Portal and Portal 2, as well as the Administrator in Team Fortress 2. That was pretty awesome. The person that we lost though was her husband who does the voice of the sniper in Team Fortress 2.


Wook: And that was a great panel. The questions that the audience were asking were so much better than, like, we were sort of mocking some of the questions that we heard at Star Trek Las Vegas, and I didn’t think we got any of those ‘so what was it like when you died?’ questions. Like, even one.


Elanor: Well and two it felt like there was a lot of respect from the crowd, especially considering, you know, Mark Meer and Raphael Sbarge voicing characters in Mass Effect and the whole Mass Effect 3 ending debacle. There wasn’t anyone being a jerk about it. You know, it was a very welcoming kind of comfortable questions and respectful audience and respectful people on the panel, you know, they were great to listen to, of course [happy sigh].


Wook: Yeah. Well and you know you bring up the Mass Effect 3 debacle, but we went to the Meet Bioware panel where outside we were all talking about how we sort of hated the endings, um it was a very nice line bonding experience ‘cause I’m definitely one of the ones who hated the ending originally, and it was very respectful any time anybody had any questions about the ending, or why it went down the way that it did, and there were some great questions that were asked. And everybody was super respectful, and I have to say that even though Chris Priestley’s nickname is ‘The Evil Chris Priestley’ he was extremely respectful of the fans that were-


Elanor: Yeah.


Wook: -so upset. We met one lady in line who Thane her love interest and those who aren’t in Mass Effect basically, so if you are planning on playing and don’t want any spoilers you’re gonna have to fastforward a couple of seconds here. But Thane dies and nobody- and he’s a love interest and nobody really acknowledges it and Mass Effect 3 ended how many months ago and she was still extremely upset about it and her voice was shaking and you could tell she just wanted somebody to hear the fact that she was not happy about how Thane died. And Chris Priestley was beyond respectful in his response to that.


Elanor: Yeah.


Wook: So definitely kudos to David Gaider and Christ Priestley.


Elanor: Yeah.


Wook: Who had a giant pair of balls the both of them, because they were all alone basically for a lot of stuff with the fans. Like they were like ‘hey we’re gonna go sit over here and if you want to come talk to us, come talk to us’ so I liked how accessible everybody was. Mark Meer just walked right up, dressed as Commander Shepard by the way, it was freaking awesome. Although it was totally awkward because we were in line for the Meet Bioware panel and I was like ‘oh my god that’s Mark Meer’ and everybody around me was like [adopts squeaky voice] ‘that’s not Mark Meer, that’s just somebody dressed as Shepard’, and I’m like, ‘well that’s Mark Meer and I’m going up for my photo’. [both laugh] It was so awesome. I think I can speak for both of us as I, like, take over the conversation here [Elanor laughs] and tell the world that our favourite panel that we went to was the Sex and Sexuality in Video Games panel.


Elanor: Yeah, very much so.


Wook: It was at night, so I guess they thought people were going to be showing a lot of sex scenes or something, and so did a lot of the audience members until they heard the word privilege, and then no joke we had a bunch of people leave, and then a bunch of people who actually wanted to hear about sexuality and sex in video games came in. It was basically David Gaider up there talking about why video games are slowly but surely embracing the idea that gay people exist, and why it just makes smart business sense. So if you didn’t get to hear our interview with David Gaider in our Video Games episode you definitely, definitely need to take a listen to it, but he really sort of expanded from that interview in this panel, and holy shit, right?


Elanor: Yeah. It was pretty much the greatest thing ever. And I will say too, one thing, even though a bunch of people left there wasn’t any comment during the panel, like ‘oh, well I guess they were just here for t and a’, or whatever, I don’t think. You know, so it was still kind of open, respectful even though it wasn’t what they were expecting.


Wook: Yeah and I was sitting next to a guy who at an earlier panel had told me he was a straight guy so I didn’t think I was going to see him at the sexuality panel but instead he was basically like sitting forward and was extremely engaged. And it was really cool, because there was such a wide, diverse, audience in there talking about sex and sexuality in video games, whether it’s the depiction of women, the depiction of violence against women – they didn’t really get into that as much as I was sort of hoping he would – but he definitely brought up the business logistics of it. It was kind of eye-opening, like, the whole idea of, you know, what the industry thinks the average video gamer is, what the public things the average video gamer looks like, and how those two are kind of aligned where they both basically think, like, an older teenage dude, when really, what was the age that they said?


Elanor: I want to say that it was in the 30s.


Wook: Yeah it was like, late 30s?


Elanor: Mid to late 30s, I think, yeah.


Wook: Yeah. And slowly but surely women are taking over the top spot for video gamers.


Elanor: Mmmhmm. Yes.


Wook: So that was pretty cool. The only thing that I would have liked, and I didn’t get called on so I didn’t get to ask my question, but was they measure how many people play the heterosexual romances versus the homosexual romances, and I was kind of curious what percentage that was but I didn’t get a chance to ask. And I know that with, um, DragonAge, during that whole StraightMaleGamer rant thing that David Gaider addressed, I’m remembering a figure of, like, 20% or something? But it was in an off conversation in response to Yatzee admitting that he played the gay romance as well. Somebody brought it up in response to that and said well, you know, like it was 20% or something. [Elanor makes noise of agreement] We also got to hang out with a bunch of fandom people that we haven’t seen since, um, basically the last Harry Potter convention that we went to, which was Azkatraz. We got to hang out with Emma Grant for a while.


Elanor: Yeah. Woohoo. [laughs] We have some sweet Slashcast swag so if you ever see us, or-


Wook: If you know that we’re going to a Conference drop us a line, you can tweet us or send us an ask on tumblr and we’ll meet up with you and get you some cool Slashcast swag if you know that we’re going to a convention.


Elanor: Yeah. So another track that we partook in was the podcasting track, because you know, since, hello, we are a podcast I thought it would be cool to check out and see what sort of tips and tricks they had, since, you know, we’re by no means professionals, we’re just some folks who like to have fun. And one of the neat things was we’d asked a question about better reaching our audience, because, you know, we adore all of our listeners but we want to, you know, share the awesome that is Slashcast around. And so we had mentioned that, you know, we’re a podcast that talks about LGBT in mass media and different things relating to that and fandom and we were hanging out at the end and this older gentleman came over and asked us about the podcast said he was definitely interested and would give a listen and so, yeah, we definitely got to give out some sweet pins to him and he wore it with pride and it was totally great to, you know, go with it and-


Wook:And it was weird because everybody in the room he would probably have been one of the few that I wouldn’t have said would be interested in listening, so.


Elanor: For sure.


Wook: It was a nice little attitude adjustment for myself too, on my assumptions of others, so I liked that. But oh, speaking of panels, can we just talk about the Meet Bioware panel again? I’m sorry, seriously. [Elanor laughs] Because, okay, I’ve made no secret of the fact that Raphael Sbarge is, like, basically the love of my life. You know, no secret there, right?


Elanor: Yeah.


Wook: Well, in the Meet Bioware panel, I don’t even know that I’m able to say it because I’m seriously like [shrieks] ‘oh my god’, now the question was ‘What’s your favourite part of recording, do you like to do, like, the sounds and the grunts, do you like to do the action lines, like, what do you like to do?’ and Raphael Sbarge says that the romances are his favourite part, which hubba hubba, um [laughs] so he says something like, and I recorded it so you would think that I have the correct terminology in my head but I turn into a flailing fangirl every time I hear his voice, he said that ‘it was really nice to bring the male Shepard/ Kaiden Alenko romance out into the light,’ and that that was actually his favourite part of recording the romances in Mass Effect 3.


Elanor: Mmmhmm, and that he doesn’t do, like he doesn’t approach romancing male Shepard or romancing female Shepard any different because it’s just romance, you know, it’s love. So, it’s not something that has to be told dramatically different, it’s just, it’s just love. So. [happily] Ahh.


Wook: And at the same time, when he referred to Shepard with a gendered pronoun he did say her, [Elanor makes sound of agreement] and so it was kind of interesting as well, he leans towards a Fem!Shep which is really important too, for the fact that most of our Slashcast listeners are women, and so the fact that he prefers to play with a female Shepard is really important as well because heros can be women as well. There was also the teasing between Mark Meer and Raphael Sbarge in like every freaking panel they were in together, where they basically, like kept talking about their characters as if they were their characters.


Elanor: Yeah. [laughs]


Wook: And then every once in a while Mark Meer would like go, ‘Oh, well I’m sorry about Bermeyer there, Kaiden,’ and Kaiden’s like, ‘oh it’s no big deal, I always play with Fem!Shep anyway’, and so [squeeing] it was, it was really awesome. [Elanor laughs] Which. My goal is to make everybody play a video game with equality in it and someday I’m going to make sure everybody was.


Elanor: Yup.


Wook: Oh man. But, oh one thing we didn’t talk about was meeting awesome people. Like, we kind of brushed over it at little bit with some of the line stuff, but we met some of the most awesome people there. I think that’s one of the best things about going to conventions is getting to hang out with people. And maybe people that you don’t even realise. Like, so I live in Arizona, I had to go to Atlanta but to get to Atlanta I had to fly west an hour to end up in Los Angeles to fly out to Atlanta. And of course I have the longest layover known to man, and I met somebody awesome, like I made an offhand comment to the smelly dude that was sitting next to me while I was waiting for the plane to board and this girl, her name’s Jen, and she started talking to me too and we were ‘we’re not going to get in to do early check in’ and all this stuff so, you know. So I went up to her and was like ‘hey, could you save me a seat, like a middle seat, ‘cause I know I’m not going to get a good seat, right?’ Cause I was like in the last boarding and I ended up meeting two of the most awesome people, like, we just nattered on for like a five hour flight.


Elanor: Yeah.


Wook: It was awesome! And then it turns out that she runs this company called ZombieZom and that she like makes Zombie paraphernalia, including Mitt Romeny is a Zombie tshirts, which I thought were, like, rocking. I totally have got to order myself one of those.


Elanor: Yeah. For sure.


Wook: But hanging out with Emma Grant was really great. I know that she got to hang out with some people at a Sherlock get together but people watching was awesome too.


Elanor: Yeah. It was, I think they said I want to say that the last number that I knew about was 46,000 people were there. When I actually think about that, yeah, the lines were pretty easy considering how many people were there. There was such variety in all the costumes. I mean, there was a guy who was, you remember those balsa wood dinosaur skeletons that you’d put together when you were a kid, from the science kits?, there was a guy who had made a pretty, not full size, but pretty damn huge T-Rex one that he wore. There people as things from pretty much anything you could imagine, from the mascot from Community – the human being – to the two women from Absolutely Fabulous and pretty much any video game, or anime or comic book character that you could imagine. I think we saw a Captain America with his shield made out of beer cans or something, I don’t know, it was like crazies. [laughs]


Wook: Thor – Kanima Jackson! [laughing hard]


Elanor:Yeah, yeah.


Wook: [Something unintelligible and high pitched]


Elanor: That was great. I was like, ‘that person kind of, oh hey they’re like half Kanima’.


Wook: It was awesome.


Elanor: Yeah.


Wook: My favourite was all of the Gambits everywhere. The female Gambit-


Elanor: Yeah. She was gorgeous.


Wook: Oh my god, she was amazing. And then we went to one of the LGBT mixers that they were hosting, [Elanor makes noise of agreement] and there was the cutest, friendliest, nicest Gambit in there as well.


Elanor: Yeah. Oooh yeah.


Wook: I thought I was going to be a creeper and like ask for his photo while he’s like clearly hanging out with his boyfriend and his friends and they’re all drinking and having a good time, and I’m like ‘can I have a photo, huh?’ and I thought he would think I was a creeper, but no he was like super awesome.


Elanor: Yeah, he, er… and super handsome.[laughs]


Wook: He was. I thought it was cute that he ruffled my hair like I was a little kid though. [Elanor laughs] Oh my gosh, but it was like seriously non-stop, basically like, [Elanor makes noise of agreement]. Oh! Should we talk about the craziest, stupidest event we went to?


Elanor: [holding back a laugh] Yes. I feel like we should.


Wook: Okay.


Elanor: Because it was bad.


Wook: And it was, like, frustrating.


Elanor: Yeah.


Wook: So, in addition to the LGBT mixer that we went to we went to the Star Wars speed dating event. [both laugh]


Elanor: Oh my god.


Wook: [hidden under laughter] – control our giggles because it was the lamest, most disorganised, most awful thing I have been to, and remember I have been to a lot of crazy bullshit things in my life.


Elanor: [laughs] It’s true.


Wook:I’m in safety and this was worse than any safety conference I’ve ever been to. [Elanor laughs] Oh my god, so okay, they advertised it as open to any sexuality. And on their advertising they even have Sandperson / Mandalorian, so that’s how open they are supposedly. So they have all of the dudes line up outside in one giant line, which I’m sure that there were some gay dudes in that line going, ‘Er, why am I here with the straight dudes?’. And then they had the lesbian circle, which was pretty awkward for all those involved, and then there was a woman who kept shrieking at everybody to take a chair, get a pencil, fill out their fricking card, make sure they had a number. Um, the lady next to me was drinking to be able to get through it, and they didn’t have enough chairs, so it was like the most ridiculous thing, like, they would open up a circle of chairs and these women would like fall over each other to, like, get a chair they were basically, like threatening one another’s life.


Elanor: Yeah. We’re Star Wars speed dating guys!


Wook: Exactly. And so we, EoC and I ended up sitting, like, right next to the speakers. They only had, like, two speakers or the entire fucking room, and we got to sit next to one of them and I was deaf by the end of the night.


Elanor: Yeah, yeah.


Wook: You had to lean in, like, super painfully close. Yeah it wasn’t a good experience at all. And it ended up that they basically blew off the gay dudes. And then they only had like, what, six lesbians there?


Elanor: Yeah, maybe even that.


Wook: So they were all like just sitting in a circle staring at each other, like shoved off to the side, which was ridiculous. But it was completely disorganised.


Elanor: Yeah, and especially considering that we had to register, like to sign up beforehand and had to magically remember this number, which let me tell you: no. [laughs] So it was just crazy, you know, you would have thought that okay there was a registration so they’ll know how many guys, how many girls. Granted they didn’t ask what your preference was in the registration, so that should be something they should add in. It was a clusterfuck, but ain’t no one getting laid.


Wook: Speaking of clusterfucks. [Elanor laughs] We’ll get away from the Star Wars speed dating because we wanted to attend a panel that was about, um-


Elanor: Ostensibly about.


Wook: - Gender and Femininity in comic books.


Elanor:Yeah.


Wook: So a. the speaker is like 10 minutes late, b. it wasn’t at all about what the hell they said, because it suddenly became masculinity in Watchmen. We kind of all just looked at each other like, ‘the fuck?’ and we bailed.


Elanor: That was the only panel we walked out on.


Wook: Yeah.


Elanor: So.


Wook: We did have a lot of panels that we were like ‘ugh, that panel’s at 10 o’clock in the morning.’


Elanor: [chuckles] I want to sleep.


Wook: So this Gender and Sexuality panel, in comic books, was ridiculous, so if you go to Dragon*Con and you want to go to one of the academic panels be aware that they practice bait and switch on us.


Elanor: Yeah. And they do, granted I didn’t double check on their- if they had like a website or something, but when we got there they had a list of ‘here’s some broad topics that sound, like, exciting’, like the Sexuality and Femininity, and underneath was here’s like what the actual paper is that we’re going to be talking about, for this it was like ‘Masculinity in The Watchmen,’ so you have to read, like, the fine print. Granted there were some that looked like they could have been interesting, but I’m not going to sit through an hour talking about The Watchmen. Um, you know, I didn’t mind the comic, er the graphic novel when I read it, but I don’t want to discuss it in any depth, especially in regards to sexuality and the treatment of the female characters and stuff like that.


Wook: Yeah. And they weren’t even going to talk about the treatment of female characters.


Elanor: It’s true.


Wook: It was just on masculinity. [speaking at the same time as below]


Elanor: They were just going to talk about dudes. [at the same time as above]


Wook: And I am so tired about talking about the dudes. I mean seriously, that’s all we ever talk about in comic books in the mainstream conversations. Can we stop talking about the fucking men and start talking about the women? Because seriously, does it get much more awesome than Storm or Rogue, or a million and one different characters that we sort of talked about in our comic books episode?


Elanor: Exactly.


Wook: You know and one of the panels that we wanted to go to on, in academic panels, was women in comics, ‘Strong Female Characters in Comics’ was what it was actually called or whatever, but the parade interfered with our ability to get to that panel.


Elanor: Yeah definitely one thing to be aware of is the parade. First of all I have no idea how the heck you could get there to be able to see anything. You’d have to like start camping out the night before. We were pretty much stuck on one side of the road. We couldn’t get across. It was horrible, there were so many people and it was just, oh my god.


Wook: Yeah it was awful. There was way too many people. You couldn’t see anything, you couldn’t get around it, you couldn’t get over to the Com hotels. It was awful. I mean I would have liked to have seen the parade but unfortunately we got stuck with nothing.


Elanor: Yeah.


Wook: But then we did meet two of the cutest people in the entire world at breakfast after that.


Elanor: It’s true, because of course right after everyone leaves the parade everyone floods all the nearby restaurants, going for food and we met a couple of really awesome guys. There were three of us, there were two of them and we were like, can you just put all five of us at a table and you’ll be done? And they sat us together and we had a great conversation about all sorts of stuff and one of them does some really fun art, kind of to the fun of well the interesting way we tiptoed around some things that we like until we think, bounce each other out.


Wook: [laughs] Yes.


Elanor: Until we said, ‘okay so yeah, so we like slash,’ and they’re like ‘well,’ and er, and finally once I got around to show that we were cool we were okay, you know we’re not horrible people or whatever, then you know it kind of came out that what more that they liked and they were ‘if they did a ??????? will the other stop?


Wook: Yeah, show us some more adult stuff.


Elanor: Yeah.


Wook: We were sitting in this very nice diner, with this really nice waiter who was getting worked off his ass.


Elanor: Yeah.


Wook: And one of the dudes that we met up with starts showing us gay porn basically, that he drew. And it was awesome. It was one of those random kismet moments and it was great. It was one of the best breakfasts’ ever.


Elanor: Definitely. [laughs] And I’m not just saying that because he made my Screwdrivers strong.


Wook: And the waiter was like totally, I know he caught it a couple of times, and he was just like ‘so, er, need a refill there?’ Like whatever. So the cool part of about like Dragon*Con, I think was the fact that everyone was so friendly and that’s not just us as con attendees saying it. We actually went to eat at The Hard Rock?


Elanor: Yeah. Oh my gosh. High recommendation for The Hard Rock Atlanta. Yes.


Wook: They were great. They did dancing, they were dressed up in costumes. They were, they made exclusive pins, like they were really nice and we wanted to tell the manager about how awesome our waitress was, and about how awesome all the staff was. And he starts going on about how, like, sometimes there’s conventions in town that, you know, people, they have to order people to take shifts during those conventions, and how people actually volunteer to work during Dragon*Con because the attendees are so nice.


Elanor: Yeah. And I mean, c’mon seriously how many other conventions in town do they get to –is it cool to be dressed up for, too? [laughs]


Wook: Yeah I liked how the one waitress at Hard Rock had um-


Elanor: She had Superman undies on over her pants.


Wook: Yes, that was awesome. She actually had Underoos on too, that was like the best part. And that sort of sentiment was shared all over the place. Like we ate at the food court the one day and there was another convention in town, and I won’t describe, like, what convention or anything, but the people there were very demanding. I would say that she was a complete bitchface, but I’m trying to be nice. And the guy behind the register was like ‘I love you Dragon*Con people so much, thank you for being so nice and so patient, you all are so lovely.’ And keep in mind they had to open up empty store fronts to have extra seating. Like that’s how many people were eating in this food court and everyone was going on about how lovely the Dragon*Con attendees were. So that was a pretty awesome experience. There wasn’t really anyone awful during the entire thing. Well there was the one person in costume who made a lot of people uncomfortable, um, was practicing a lot of bad touch. But other than that!


Elanor: I don’t remember that…


Wook: The furry.


Elanor: Oh. [awkward laughter]


Wook: But thankfully we got to watch from a distance.


Elanor: Yeah, yeah.


Wook: But we’re super stoked to go back next year, so if anybody is planning on attending Dragon*Con we’d love to hear from you and maybe we could have a Slashcast meetup. That would be awesome.


Elanor: Woohoo. For sure.



Transcribed by: angelbabe_cj

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