Category Archives: PAX

So long and thanks for all the nerdiness

The Pax East Logo

Dear Jerry and Mike,

And here we are: the gamer blog; the obligatory PAX post. This time it’s different though, because the one thing I realize we’ve never done is to thank you for PAX.

So this time, that is what I’m doing.

Jeff and I have never been to Boston before. So the thought was, what better time to see this glorious new city, but crammed into a convention center in front of a screen?

So in a stark modern building nestled amongst some old-world charm that we quickly hurried past, there she was: PAX East. And she was a beaut. Brimming with excitement and anticipation. The camaraderie of witty T-shirts, buttons and badges.

Day one was filled with the essentials. The PAX Q & A of course. There is nothing quite like a show that makes you laugh, cry and a feel little insulted at the same time. The ever-sharp wit of Jerry and Mike, the endless stream of gifts that were laid at their feet are always the best to see/hear. Amongst the fun though, there’s got to be something ever humbling, listening to the stories of those lives touched by this Childs Play and this very event.

But enough of beautiful and on to the tragically magical: the games. Oh the glorious onslaught of expo hall games, free play games, games that you brought yourself, because why the hell not?

I didn’t check out too many of the bigger titles this year. Though I did stop to ponder in front of the Far Cry 3 tattoo parlor, imagining the rampant diseases of a tattoo piercing my skin in this open air, probably germ filled expo hall.

Oh wait, we’re safe. There’s a health inspector here, and looking ever excited to be here sir!

Of all the games I saw I was most drawn to Quantum Conundrum, a plucky game about being able to switch dimensions in a room to solve puzzles. I will most certainly be getting it. Well, if I can get over the humiliation of being told that I could win a prize if I didn’t die during the whole trial, then feel the immediate sweat to my palms and shortness of breath that can only come with such high-stakes conditions. Let’s just say I promptly died more times that that bewildered expo-prize wielder would probably see all day.

The rest of the show passed like a dream; the happy, plump dream of a fat kid frolicking a field of hot dogs.

Of course enjoying one type of nerddom wasn’t enough for a trip of this caliber. Between the table-top games we were discovering, swag we were grabbing and maybe a happy hour with some Star Wars Nerds (Lucas Arts TM I’m pretty sure), I couldn’t quite quiet the journalism nerd in me.  So you have it. A picture from the guys from the newly founded polygon.com

We may have asked them to take a picture of only Jeff and I first. Please don't hold that against us.

and t tweet I’ve been drafting and redrafting thanking @BenKuchera for a great panel on long-form game journalism.

“Thanks @BenKuchera for a great panel”

…No that’s lame

“@BenKuchera’s panel on long form journalism was my favorite part of #PAX. Second to the Q&A, which I think he’s obligated to be ok with”

…maybe he’ll find that funny…

So … anyway thanks Jerry and Mike for another great year. See you next…

Oh right. I forgot, we maybe seeing you later this year as we are going to PAX Prime too. Hope that’s not creepy.

Sincerely,

Just some Northwest Gamers

PAX Prime 2010 – The Welcome Home Edition

PAX Prime 2010 WsctcAnother year, another Penny Arcade Expo passed. The panels are over and the exhibitors are packed and gone, but the excitement and energy that is PAX are tough to fully process right away. Still lining Seattle’s famous pike street are PAX banners, featuring various statements of nerd humor, such as “why your IT guy is out sick”. But one banner in particular caught my eye, containing a message that why the 72-odd hours of PAX make up the absolute highlight of many gamers’ year (including mine).  “Welcome Home”.

In last year’s PAX, I was fleeting familiar with the sense of community one finds at such an event, but it wasn’t until this year’s convention that I was hit in the face with this fact. As I’ve noted previously, much of my time last year was occupied pursuing swag and spending hours in line for a few minutes playtime of the latest titles. While I certainly spent my fair share of time in the expo hall this year, my experience with PAX 2010 was profoundly different than the last, and one of ultimately more enjoyment. Continue reading

Pre-PAX Thoughts

Less than 17 days until the largest event in the world for gamers begins– right in my backyard. I’ve always felt very fortunate to have such an important event in the gaming community so close to home. When it comes to big events, Seattle feels a little cut off at times, so its events like PAX that make living in the Pacific Northwest just a little more worthwhile.

Seattle Convention Center PAXGiven its occurrence on such a pivotal weekend, Labor Day, last year was the first time I was able to attend PAX. I had an absolute blast, but I still felt like I missed quite a bit of what the convention had to ffer.  For one, I spent most of my time on the exhibition show floor. When I was younger, I used to dream of going to E3 (back when it was closed to the public), so the exhibit hall of PAX was my small way of making up for all those times I missed E3. While I got to play plenty of great upcoming games, I regret not branching out more – the panels, meetups, etc.

This year, I hope to fully make up for last year’s shortcomings . PAX isn’t just about exhibiting the latest and greatest games, its about gathering with 60,000 other gamers, playing a game or two, and making a few friends along the way.