[New GSW contributor Henry Cao is going to be writing a video game music/audio column for us in the near future, but in the meantime, he happens to have written this neat guide to upcoming game-related events in New York City, so we're reprinting here. Contact us if you'd like to do the same for your city.]

Come Out and Play Festival
When: September 22 - 24, 2006
Where: Eyebeam, 540 West 21st St.
What: From the creators of I Love Bees, PacManhattan, and more, the Come Out and Play Festival seeks to celebrate new styles of play through street and alternate reality games. The festival kicks off with a performance of Modal Kombat - a game of Mortal Kombat played by using real guitars - followed by a game of Space Invaders on the side of a building with your body as the controller. Sonic Body Pong will also make an appearance; there’s no screen - you have to use your sense of hearing to hit the ball!
Free, but many games require registration.

When: September 23, 2006 at 10 pm
Where: The Tank, 279 Church St.
What: Home to the scene of chiptunes, NYC’s latest show is headed by Nullsleep and Bit Shifter. If you’ve ever wondered why your Game Boy sounds like crap, run – don’t walk – to this show for an orgasmirific evening of bleeps and bloops.
$6 for all ages.

Wired NextFest
When: September 29, 2006 – October 1, 2006
Where: Jacob Javits Center, 655 West 34th St.
What: Alright, so this event is less about video games and more about the automatons who will one day subjugate mankind. And who cares about solar-powered cars, a glove that speaks sign language, or a digital camera that lets you see your own veins? “How am I supposed to rot my brain cells with these?” you ask. Well, you can, and look like a hamster in a cage while doing so! The VirtuSphere will be adopted by the future of arcades (heh heh. Look Beavis, I just made a dichotomy) and the military… but don’t tell Jack.
$15 for adults ($20 at the door), $12 for students, $5 for children. Adult ticket includes one-year subscription to Wired magazine.

New York-Tokyo Music Festival
When: September 30, 2006
Where: Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
What: New York-Tokyo’s annual music festival seeks to bridge Japanese and American culture with live performances by some of the best artists from both countries, but don’t let the name fool you – anime and games get the full-fledged treatment too! Featuring newly-released titles like Xenosaga III, Hot PXL, and Eureka Seven, the fun never stops (unless these games suck). Afro Samurai starring Samuel L. Jackson will also premiere; a reliable source tells me that Sam yells “I want these motherfucking ninjas off this motherfucking plane!” before every fight. Okay, not really.

8 Bit: A Documentary about Art and Videogames
When: October 7, 2006 at 8 pm and October 11, 2006 at 6 pm
Where: Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd St.
What: Billed as a rockumentary of video game art, 8 Bit explores the “repository of the marvelous”, at least according to the press release. What’s that mean? It means you’re stupid unless you’re in this movie. Ohhhhhhh.
$20 for adult museum admission, $12 for student museum admission, free for children.
$10 for adult film admission, $6 for student film admission, free for children but requires ticket.

Nintendo Fusion Tour
When: October 8, 2006 at 6 pm
Where: Roseland Ballroom, 239 West 52nd St.
What: Who’s the star of this nationwide tour? Hawthorne Heights? Emery? Emo band #471? Non, monsieur. It’s the Nintendo Wii, or the “Wiiiiiiiiiiiiii!” if you’re crowd surfing while slitting your wrists. In an unrelated note, there was a guy who wore a Halo 2 T-shirt when Shigeru Miyamoto visited the Nintendo World Store, and all the Nintendo fanboys hissed at him (at Halo 2 shirt-wearing-guy, not Shigsy). Man, you guys piss me off.

Digital Life
When: October 12 – 15, 2006
Where: Jacob Javits Center, 655 West 34th St.
What: Digital Life is mainly a consumer electronics event, but it does have a respectable game division – especially if you’re up for Star Wars: Battlefront II and Dance Dance Revolution tournaments. Highlights for this year include the premiere of Final Fantasy XII and appearances by a roster of as-of-yet unnamed B-list celebrities. Highlights for last year include a black Batman, an unplayable Xbox 360, and an appearance by Carmen Electra. Holy crap, I couldn’t walk through the crowd around her. I couldn’t even see her – she might as well have been Carmen Sandiego.
$12 for adults ($15 after Oct. 12th), $8 for students ($12 after Oct. 12th).

Digital Play: Reloaded
When: Wednesday and Thursday at 11 am–5 pm, Friday at 11 am-8 pm (free after 4 pm), Saturday and Sunday at 11 am-6:30 pm
Where: Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Ave. at 36th St.
What: “Digital Play: Reloaded is organized around the theme of action in its different uses and interpretations. Music, dance, and movement-oriented video games originating in Japan constitute a shift from traditional, often violent game scenarios” is how this event’s described on its website. Here’s the summarized version: you get to play video games in a freaking museum! The bad news? There’s no “suggested donation” system (aka “show your significant other just how cheap you are”) that’s the bread and butter of other museums – you actually have to pay! Like if you were going to the movies. Except you’re not. Those Commie bastards!
$10 for adults, $7.50 for students, $5 for children ages 5-18, free for children under 5.

Honorable Mentions:

When: October 27 – 29
Where: Valley Forge Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
What: I don’t know what this event’s about, but it seems to have gotten much bigger from last year; the recent cancellation of E3 is probably why. In any case, it’s close enough to NYC that it’s worth mentioning, and anything that uses Ben Franklin to promote itself is okay in my book.