I just got back from PAX East, and boy are my thumbs tired.
There are three main attractions at PAX: There’s the show floor, where all the major video game companies show off their latest and upcoming products, the panels where guests discuss different video game related subjects, and the game rooms where you can play almost any game imaginable past present. Some people only care about one or two parts of this. In fact, most people seem to go home at 6pm when the showroom closed, even though the panels and game rooms go on for another seven hours.
Here’s my summary/review of the things I did.
First up, the panels I attended:
Future of Online Games – This panel was presented by MMORPG.com and had numerous developers from major online games such as Everquest and the upcoming MMOs Neverwinter and Elder Scrolls online.
So what is the future of MMOs according to this panel?
1) Mobile functionality so you can still interact with the game from your phone even when not playing.
2) The ability to play by yourself instead of a group, I guess in case you like to play online but not with other people.
3) And player created content, because why pay someone to do work if you can get players to do it for free.
Streetpass Network – I mentioned StreetPass yesterday. Outside of PAX it is hard to get AStreetPasses. Here the panel discussed how to set up playdates between 3DS users. I did wind up joining a local street pass, although they only seem to meet when I’m working… sigh, I’ll never complete that Luigi’s Mansion puzzle.
It’s Dangerous To Go Alone – Take This Panel – Despite the name, this had nothing to do with Zelda. Rather it was about a community of gamers who suffer from anxiety and depression. It’s actually a pretty cool idea. You can get more info here.
Super Radio Free Nintendo 64 Line Panel U and Mii – Presented by the members of the podcast: Radio Free Nintendo. I mentioned StreetPassing one of the members yesterday. This was similar to a regular episode of their podcast, except now I could see them. Of course, none of them looked like I imagined. My world is shattered.
Classic Video Game Panel – Five people who worked on Atari games and one guy who worked for Midway discuss the early days of gaming. This is the type of panel that would only appeal to the nerdiest of video game nerds, in other words: I loved it.
The Worst Apps Ever Made – This one of the best panels in my opinion, second to the Who Wants To Be A Nintendoaire? panel (see below). The AppJunkies hilariously presented some of the worse apps ever made. Included was an app where you smack Russian people with random objects for no reason. An app with a guy with a Butt for a head who plays the Sax. An game where the point is to kiss a guy without a teacher noticing. And a whole bunch of other crap.
Violence, Video Games, and Children – Psychiatrist Dr. Tylker Black preaches to the quire about how video game violence isn’t bad. Just like how conservatives only watch FOX News and liberals just watch MSNBC, we just want to confirm that we are already right in our opinions rather than be challenged with conflicting thought.
Video Game and Ethics – Somewhat similar to the last panel I just mentioned, this panel was about the responsibility of bother the gamers and developers when it comes not only to violence, but gaming addiction. Very informative and thought provoking.
Who Wants To Be A Nintendoaire? – In this send up of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, attendees competed in the game with just Nintendo questions. Why was this one of my favorite panels? Well, one, because I’m a Nintendo junkie and it was fun to play along. But most of all, because it was fun watching adults get schooled by the 10 year old kid that won.
The Concerts – Okay, concerts are not a panel. But I’m including it here anyway. Only Friday night I saw Video Game Orchestra. Although I had heard of them but never seen them before. These are some talented people. There cover of the F-Zero theme blew the roof off the place. Amazing.
On Saturday, we got MC Frontalot, Jonathan Coulton and Paul and Storm. That is about as nerdy as a lineup you can get. All three were great and well worth the price of admission just for that.
Tomorrow, I will post about the games and showroom aspects of PAX East. Don’t miss it!