Thursday, August 2, 2012

Defcon XX - My time in the VIP area.

-Just because you're not allowed in doesn't mean you can't get in.

If there were anywhere that the above phrase is applicable I would think it's Defcon. The sweetest fruit is that which is unattainable.

So began my desire for entrance to the VIP area of the pool party during Defcon.

I had failed to secure a Ninja party invite, didn't have enough equipment and materials to make a passable fake Ninja dog tag / pin, and hadn't seen what the Spiders are Fun invite looked like. All that added with the fact I really wanted to go see Infected Mushroom lead me out to the pool that evening.

I was wandering around the pool area and noticed that fences had been setup and there was a security guard posted at the entrance to the outer pool. I started talking to a few of the people around the outside of the gate and was informed that this was the entrance to the VIP area. I instantly wanted in, I was offended that I was not to be let into this area, I didn't care who was in it, or what they had, but I wanted in.

So I checked out how to get in.
  1. Every entrance had a security guard and a clip board with names. 
  2. There were some spots I felt I could get over the wall from the outside. 
  3. The VIP's entering all had special red wrist bands.

Now, it was too dark to see the clipboards so bluffing one guard to get a glimpse of the names then going to another guard wasn't going to work well. I didn't want to go outside of the pool area and then just jump the wall and get in because if you get caught doing that the games over, they will know you are not supposed to be there and most likely be told to keep an eye out for you. I save that kind of Die Hard action as a last and final resort of a desperate man.

I had, prior to the con, made a fake card badge that had the Defcon XX logo, my picture, and the words "ALL ACCESS" "VIP" on it. I tried to just fake it till I made it with the guard. I kept repeating "It's okay, I can go in there, I'm All Access, see" and pointing to my badge. He looked at it for a minute, looked at me, then of course said "No, sorry I can't let you in unless your name is on the list or you have a wrist band." I said my name wouldn't be on the list since I was told all I needed was this badge. I wasn't willing to try and push the guy into letting me in, they're security guards, they deal with this kind of stuff ALL THE TIME.  I make my out by asking him one last time if he's really going to make me go all the way back to talk to the guys and get a red wrist band, he says yes and I sigh a bit say "Okay, I'll be back in a bit" and leave.

Badge template I made, sans my pretty mug.

Fake wrist band it is then.

I went back out to the main entrance where all you had to have was a Defcon badge to get in, there was plenty of light and lots of people were still entering so I just had to wait around for someone with a red wrist band. Finally someone walked through I stopped them and asked them if they could point me to the gaming area, wrist band on the right hand, most people point with their right hand, pointing usually brings the arm to eye level. Now I could get a good eye full of the wrist band in the light. Mostly standard red paper wrist band with, I think, some black lettering, not really noticeable.

So now I had to find something red to make a wrist band. I had my Hacker Pimps wrist band from the night before but that was orange, not dark enough. Also it was cut in a wave and not straight. Next stop was the shop by the elevators, I instantly saw a red shirt I planned to cut into strips and use but $15 was a bit more than I wanted to spend. Then I saw a red lanyard for the World Series of Poker. It had writing on one side but nothing on the other. It was only $6 and pretty close the the same width. I made my mind up that I would quickly recuperate the money I paid for the lanyard in free drinks in the VIP area.

Original Lanyard
I went up to my room, and realized I didn't have anything to cut the lanyard with. I took apart my shaving razor head and used one of the little razor blades to cut the lanyard to length then took some of the pop can padlock shims I had brought from home for a contest and used them to secure the lanyard to itself through the latch. I took a minute to check that it wasn't going to fall apart and then, fake wrist band in hand, I had a good chuckle and I headed back down to the pool.
McGyver would have been proud

My mental focus is that I'm supposed to be in there, shoulders back a bit, back straight, be relaxed, be confident. After all, I'm supposed to be in there. About 6 feet before I get there, without slowing down or breaking stride, I go around the line of people waiting to get in, I raise my hand and point to the wristband, he takes a look nods and moves out of the way.

I am now in the VIP area, the promised land of free top shelf booze.

Phase 2: Get everyone I can into the VIP area.

There's not much fun being at a party with free top shelf booze without being able to get other people in. It's time to shmooze the guards. First stop right back up front, say thanks for doing a good job and making me go get a proper wrist band, make a joke that I needed the exercise anyways, general BS. I go back for a bit, send a message to my friend tell him to meet me at the entrance to the VIP area. He gets there I tell the guard he's with me and it's okay to let him in. Not only does he let him in, he gives him a real red wrist band.

This opens the flood gates of my mind, we can now get exponential people in until we overflow the place.

The rest of the evening is a rush of going out to the main area and bringing people back into the VIP area, getting them wrist bands and sending them back out to repeat the process. I got some of the people I saw earlier at some of the contests, some just purely random people, and there were actually a few people that said they didn't want to go into the VIP area.

By the end of the night, I'm laughing with the guards, drinking with people I don't know, and getting lots of people into the VIP area. Oh, and the crazy French guys I met were there too. I got to see the fire dancers up close, I got to see the girls in the inflatable balls in the pool, the guy with the weird fire hula hoop thing, and drank them out of Grey Goose and OJ.

Only a few people questioned me about who I was but never if I was allowed to be in there. I kept all my answers pretty vague, they all seemed to accept this.

Mission Accomplished.

Here's some poor quality pictures I took. My phone camera isn't all that great, I was a bit drunk, and they were moving fast because, you know, fire. 

1 comment:

  1. what you missed was the back walkway where you could just walk in.. but i applaud your effort and you were correctly rewarded with ... different .. free booze.. next time you could just ask ;)


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