Wow, what a show! PAX East was simply put the BEST con I've ever been to! There was so much to do and so many people! It was an ocean of geek lore and awesome in the palm of my hands. This is definitely a show that I will be going to every year!
As you can see above, the Expo hall was huge! They had everything from the 3Ds to L.A. Noire, to Duke Nukem Forever! Because I wanted to take in all that I could within 3 days, I decided not to wait in the long lines to play demos of games that have yet to be released. Instead, I walked around the show floor observing others play games. I got to see Crisis 2 in 3D (they had extra glasses so you could watch), Gears of War 3, Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Duke Nukem Forever, Child of Eden, Michael Jackson: The Experience, Brink, Homefront, Swarm, Gatling Gears, and probably a few others that I can's remember. I was a little disappointed because I could not see Portal 2, L.A. Noire, and Battlefield 3, because they had build up walls around their playing area so only those who waited in line would get to see them. Other than that, being able to see all these games was really cool, even if I didn't get to play them.
And the concerts! By Gandalf's beard, the theater was HUGE! It had a proper stage complete with large screens on either side with official video being taken of the event. On Friday, we were late to the concert so I missed the first band, but we did get to see MC Frontalot and Metroid Metal. Both shows were incredible! PAX really knows how to throw concerts! On Saturday, we opted out of going to the concert, but instead went to the Jam Space (small room with various musical guests) because we heard that Powerglove was going to be there. And holy mother of Zeus, they shook the entire room! Even a mosh pit formed in the middle! It was completely crazy and awesome and my legs are still sore from the event!
The tabletop room was almost just as huge as the Expo hall! Boardgames as far as the eye could see. It was a sight to behold. I got to do some gaming with a few friends of mine that included Zombie Isle, We Haven't Playtested This Yet, and Resident Evil: The Board Game. On Saturday night, I even got to meet up with the faces behind GeekNights Rym and Scott to play some Bananagrams! These guys know their games and it was such a pleasure meeting them AND being able to play a few games with them. I also got to see their panel titled "How To Win At Games." They taught you exactly what it says in the title, even if this meant being a total dick to your friends. Rym and Scott always present great panels that are informative and hilarious.
Although I didn't make it to their panels, Scott Kurtz from PVP and Kris Straub from Starslip were also at the show! I'm a huge fan of their webcomics and I suggest you check them out! They also do a podcast called Webcomics Weekly with Dave Kellett and Brad Guiger. Together, the 4 of them wrote a book called, How to Make Webcomics which I have already purchased from Brad. So I was really excited to bring it with me to have Scott and Kris sign the book along with Brad. (Now I only have Dave left!)
Since I didn't want to wait in any huge lines, I opted out of seeing a preview of RAGE and also a preview of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. These were panels designed to show a never before seen demo of the games and get to ask developers questions. I really wanted to go but, there was so much else to see that waiting in line seemed like a waste of time. I did get to see the first round of the Omegathon. The Omegathon is a contest that takes place over all 3 days of PAX. 25 random contestants compete to win the grand prize: airfare and three nights’ lodging at GamesCom 2011, along with $1500 in spending money! The first round was Beautiful Katamari. It looked like a lot of fun and I may enter to be a contestant someday...
Besides getting to meet GeekNights, Scott, and Kris; I also got to meet some of the faces behind TalkRadar: a podcast from GamesRadar.com that airs every week. This podcast is easily my favorite podcast that I have ever listened to! Seeing these guys was really surreal, and I can honestly say that it was my favorite part of PAX East! Not the entire crew was there, but I did get to meet Chris Antista, Bret Elston, Tyler Wilde, and Lizzie Cuevas. Like last year, they recorded an episode of the podcast live at PAX East. I even got to be on it! This wasn't a panel or anything official so it took place near the Sam Addams bar inside the convention center. A bunch of people were all just hanging out with the TalkRadar cast for about 3 hours and it was a blast!
And finally, right before I left to go home, I got to meet fellow blogger Jacob Clark from Gaming In Public. It was really cool to meet someone in person after conversing with them online about our interests. I only wish we had more time to hang out and play games together. I guess we'll have to wait for next years' PAX East to do so. It was a pleasure meeting you, Jacob!
If you are a gamer like me, go to PAX. Either one, doesn't matter, both if you can! PAX is a great convention not only because of its activities, but because of the people. Everywhere, people just like you and I are geeking about games that we all love. The people were all so nice and awesome! The PAX community is the best community I've ever encountered. Do yourself a favor, and join us.
P.S. If you ever get a chance to go to Chinatown in Boston, DO IT! Great food!