There's a saying about the "me" generation that says we're
"absolutely terrified of someone, somewhere, trying to sell them something." I
disagree, but it's hard not to see how frustrated people can get when a company
reduces their passionate involvement to a number on an accounting sheet. To the
dismay of gamers everywhere, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo - also
known as E3 - has done just this.
If you think
spending hours playing a computer game is nerdy, try going to a convention like
PAX East 2012. And if you think that's nerdy, try showing up dressed as
one of the video game characters you play. I couldn't think of a better way to
spend the weekend. A variety
of virtual warriors came to life and competed for the top prize in the League of Legends booth's cosplay contest, including Caitlin, Ezreal, Jax, Malzahar and
East has come and gone. With panels, PC and Console freeplay stations,
tabletop tournaments and over 100 show floor exhibits all
happening simultaneously, the biggest challenge of my one day at PAX (Sunday) was figuring out
what darned thing to do. I chose to stick to the main exhibition hall and get
as many game demos under my belt as possible.
Above, watch the illustrious JoCo play his best-known song, "Code Monkey". It's an anthem for the nerd proletariats stuck in dead-end IT jobs with managers who lack web savviness. Especially those of us who are too shy to talk to people we have crushes on. Also known as, almost everyone who attends PAX East.
Aw, were Paul and Storm bitter about having to play right before that great bastion of nerd-rock, Jonathan Coulton? Probably not, because they got quite the crowd on their own, rendering this tongue-in-cheek song about openings acts a bit out of place. The Main Stage was at capacity for the Saturday night concert on the PAX East mainstage, so there were 4,000 nerds rocking out to Paul and Storm, happy to throw pieces of their Portal 2 cosplays at the pair, if not pairs of panties.
Kris Keyser rocks PAX East's Boston 8 Bit showcase with his cover of Guile's Theme from Street Fighter II (it goes with everything, after all). He apparently has never played this cover live before, but had to at this showcase, "because it's PAX." Aw, thanks, Kris.
PAX East's Friday night concerts featured Supercommuter, Minibosses, Metroid Metal and the Protomen, in that order. I went to see the middle two bands.
The show floor with video game demos closes at 6 PM, and even the jamspace closes around 7 PM, so there's not much to do at PAX during the night-time besides get drunk with your gaming group at City Bar or rock the fuck out to nerdcore rock music.
This weekend, what is perhaps the nation's most rabidly anticipated gamercon invades the South Boston waterfront -- once again, PAX East returns for another three-day stretch of overstim goodness, as thousands of vidjagame fans pack the BCEC to demo new titles in the jam-packed expo hall, blister their thumbs in all-night LAN parties, watch industry luminaries drop science on everything from gamer gender politics to the Future of Dungeons & Dragons, and maybe see Gabe and Tycho draw random dongs on a giant screen.
Nothing like the sound of chiptunes in
the morning. PAX East 2012's jam space kicked the concerts off early
this year, with chiptune artists performing from 11 AM to 2 PM.
As Danimal Cannon bragged in his chiptune panel later in the day (5:30 PM at the Wyvern), he "plays a mean guitar" - and
chips a mean tune, as well (that's what the kids say, right?).
Following the trail of cute was like a secret pass to the best games of PAX. From the tiny undead samurai of Skulls of the Shogun, to the chipmunk-headed weirdos of Slam Bolt Scrappers,
we got a showcase of everything indie and quirky and new by avoiding
the overblown ad budgets of the center floor. Our best stop, however,
was to Warp, tucked away in a corner of the convention floor.
So PAX East has come and gone -- and left behind a trail of broken hearts. One has only to check out the "Missed Connections" section of Craigslist to sense the palpable longing of nerds who almost -- but didn't -- get laid.
PAX East tf2 female engineer cosplay - m4wI was dressed up as Monkey D Luffy from One Piece, we posed for a
picture together (which is completely awesome and you have to see it).
So how's your March of next year looking? Well, block off the 11th through the 13th, because that's when PAX is happening. Next year's version will be at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. That's bigger than the Hynes Convention Center, where the 2010 model took place, but at the same time, it's probably smart to register now
Don't ask me why Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik (author and artist of the webcomic Penny Arcade) chose to back their dramatic entrance with Katt Williams' "Every Day I'm Hustlin'," because they didn't tell the audience why, and no one asked. However, they did explain the origin of the fruit fucker, advised those of us with new-to-gaming parents on which games were "appropriate," and unwittingly advertised sharkbanana.
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