My PAX Cherry - POPPED!

My PAX Cherry - POPPED!

Transient

written by Lillian Wong (@lillyums)

Welcome to PAX!

We attended PAX for one day, Saturday, because the 3 day tickets were sold out.  There were multiple day tickets available but we chose to just go one day to check it out and see if we would be down to attend the whole convention next year.  When we got there, it reminded me of like… a mini San Diego Comic Con but w/o the comics.  Like, ALL big name game companies with their logos everywhere and the chance to demo their games.  The only other time I’ve been in the Washington State Convention Center was for Sakura Con.  But at PAX, I felt like I was actually somewhere… cool… it’s a different atmosphere; not a whole lot of buying merchandise (however still available) but free swag and gaming demos, and of course panels.

Game Demos
In one day, my boyfriend and I demoed the following games:

  • Magic the Gathering on the iPad (only available on the IOS platform)
  • Neverwinter (PC, MMORPG)
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us (PS3, XBox, Wii U)
  • Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing (all consoles and handheld devices)
  • LittleBigPlanet Karting (PS3)
  • LittleBigPlanet Vita (PS Vita)

Flash in Injustice: Gods Among Us

My favorite was actually Injustice: Gods Among Us.  I recalled WB having this huge line for a game and thought to myself, “WB makes games?” (if this has always been true, in my defense I’m very sheltered and I don’t know a lot…). WB Games and NetherRealm Studios (Mortal Kombat creators!!!!) collaborated on this fighting game based on the characters of the DC Universe.  Nothing like the DC vs MK that I have… It’s very cool. I really liked it.  I want it. Oh yea – other than RPGs, I like fighting games :) Among my favorites growing up was the Mortal Kombat series (Scorpion is my man).  And I’ve played several “vs.” games.  If I’m not busy being a completionist on an RPG, I’d be off playing fighting game which usually results in throwing the controller across the room because I can’t get Sakura Kasugano’s 4th combo move to work (yes, personal experience).

RAWR! 

Finishing the Neverwinter demo, your “loot” was one of the following: Neverwinter stein, t-shirt, or a dragon beanie.  We all stood 1.5 hours in line just to get free swag… haha and I’m not really one to play this kind of game… yes it’s a type of RPG but it’s… an MMORPG.  The only PC game I’ve ever played was FF7 and even that I still haven’t beaten.  Anyways, it’s a game based on the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms city of Neverwinter.  So think dragons (dur) and orcs and elves and maybe some dungeons (MAYBE)…  Anyway, I played it, and it wasn’t bad.  My loot was a Neverwinter stein and it was pretty cool! Nice quality beer mug. That I drink tea in. Yea.

On the other side of the hall, there was another Neverwinter booth but it was smaller. There my boyfriend demoed the SAME GAME that he demoed at the main booth... haha we did that first, but what was REALLY cool (and something I even I recognized) was that after you demo, there was large statue of Lolth, the Spider Queen.  I've read some of the Drizzt books... so.... I KNEW WHO THIS WAS!!! :)

Statue of Lolth

With that being said, there was tons of really good quality free swag.  PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies handed out free little plushies and a knitted hat that I would totally wear come this winter. I’ve never played Plants vs. Zombies before, but I was happy to take their free stuff and play with their photo booth :)

I also suck at karting games. Really bad. I couldn't win the cool free pins for the Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing game. I had to beat the course in under 4 minutes or something; I beat it in 6 minutes... :( 

Panels
We attended three panels:

  • For the Love of Making: Geek Arts and Crafts
  • What do gamers want from social games?
  • An Evening with Scott Kurtz

In the “For the Loves of Making: Geek Arts and Crafts” panel, the title pretty much explains the majority of the content within.  The panelists are all well known Deviant Art/Etsy artists specialized in various types of crafting including crochet/knit of blankets/amigurumi/clothing, quilting, plushies, and sculpture.  Some not necessarily were considered “crafting” but tasteful yet comical art, such as Googly Eyed Magic Cards, and just sticking googly eyes on random shit that just makes it even more comical.  Each panelist presented their work and provided useful advice on business (selling your stuff on Etsy and similar), as well as sewing, crafting, etc.  I thoroughly enjoyed this panel not just because these panelists had such great work to show, but people within this panel brought their own knitting/crochet work. To my left, a guy (yes, a guy) was finishing up his crocheted Cthulhu.  The room was at max capacity – it’s amazing that there are so many geeks and gamers who are in to crafting! I mean, even I started crocheting geeky stuff, like Link, Bullet Bill, and SackBoy to name a few (visit our G33K:P&DG to see the others!), and it’s kind of neat that crocheting really isn’t just for old people =P If you are involved in these type of activities, embrace it! Here are a few of their work:

“What do gamers want from social games?” was actually really interesting – something I’ve never really thought about.  This consisted of panelists whom are current developers making games for Facebook, Google+, IOS, and Android.  They discussed how these games became addictive, particularly Facebook games (think Farmville, remember when that blew out of proportion?), to how everyone felt about social games implementing in game micro-transactions purchase in game items or currency using real money.  Sure they are developers, but they were also there to listen to our opinions and suggestions for improvement.  At some point, people do get a little annoyed and discouraged from playing certain games, for instance, especially when you have advanced so far into a game and you can’t continue until you purchase something for the next level.  What makes people love these games? What makes them hate it? What makes you keep playing and why? In fact, one pet peeve of one of the panelists was all the notifications and “requests” from Facebook players.  That was definitely one of my pet peeves too.  Too many Farmville requests...

We ended the evening with “An Evening with Scott Kurtz.”  In case you don’t know, Scott Kurtz is a webcomic artist for PvP (Player vs Player), who has also been working with the Penny Arcade guys on another webcomic called The Trenches.  Scott Kurtz was actually quite hilarious – while the title of the panel did remind us of the SDCC “An Evening with Kevin Smith,” it was a little different in terms of interaction with the audience.  People would just yell out comments and responses and Scott would actively interact with them and would start talking about random shit. Like uteruses that fall out. And what you’d do if that happened during sex.  It was an evening of storytelling and comical random shit. Then I was so tired, I passed out…………….so I don’t really know how the evening with Scott Kurtz ended. -_-

My Two Cents

8 bit glasses!

I liked it.  Though I’m not a huge gamer and that I’m very selective with my games, I almost felt like one day was enough for me… but then I realized there are all these tournaments, panels, and tons of games I probably didn’t have time to play.  Plus, offsite PAX events would be super fun to attend.  I did attend the 25th Anniversary Final Fantasy offsite event across the street on Friday, but we missed the big news at the end when we left for dinner and tried to come back for it; the line was so long the room reached max capacity :( It's ok, I saw it on YouTube!  There weren't a lot of cosplays either, and I was going to dress up as Sakura Kasugano, but I forgot my wig :( However, I ended up buying cutesy 8bit glasses at the booth selling Level Up Studios merchandise and I had compliments left and right!  I didn't even have to dress up ;)

Big news for next year – PAX is extending to a 4 day convention from a 3 day convention! So we will be planning on attending for all 4 days next year. Other than that, it’s great to finally have my PAX Prime cherry popped in 2012.  Please enjoy the rest of the photos I was able to take while I was there :) Logging out!

Epic Win - turning your daily tasks into an RPG

Epic Win - turning your daily tasks into an RPG

30 Days With the Nike+ Fuel Band (review)

30 Days With the Nike+ Fuel Band (review)