Get your game on.
PAX East. You knew it was coming, you just didn’t know it would be here so fast. This gigantic gaming convention at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center will be taking over this weekend, bringing in thousands of enthusiasts to a sold-out marathon of demos, panels, concerts, and other indulgences.
The problem with PAX East, though, is it’s almost too big. There’s so much stuff going on and so many people packed in that you have no idea where to start.
The convention has a full schedule on their website, but if you want a quick rundown on some required events, check out our list.
INDUSTRY PANEL | WORLD OF CAPCOM
Despite the vastness of PAX, it isn’t nearly the hub for industry that it is for consumers. One of the big companies represented this year is Capcom, eternally loved for creating immensely popular franchises, but hated equally for having the worst marketing team in existence. A couple of weeks ago, the company revealed that they would be announcing two new games at the convention, along with discussing upcoming titles Remember Me and Resident Evil: Revelations. Some lucky participants will get free swag. So even if you don’t like the games that Capcom puts out, at least you might have something new to talk about now that DmC turned out to be good.
CULTURE PANEL | GEEK PARENTING
Most people I know say that when they have kids, they’re going to introduce them to the fun of Magic: The Gathering so they can grow up to be just as nerdy as their wonderful parents. That said, you don’t need to be a parent to attend this panel, which discusses the intricacies of geek parenting, because it includes issues you worry about everyday. Should my young child play Mortal Kombat? What should I read them first, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter? What if my child doesn’t even want to be a nerd? The panel is moderated by the writers from GeekDad.com and GeekMom.com, and it creates a very unique space that raises some actual issues without being too overbearing or serious.
GAMES | INDIE MEGABOOTH
There are going to be so many game demos in the exhibition hall that you won’t be able to get to all of them. However, if you’re going to check out one section, be sure to visit the Indie Megabooth. This is a collection of 50 developers, including some local favorites, and over 60 games that you’ve probably never seen. Additionally, for the first time, there’ll be an Indie Minibooth, which showcases seven more developers rotating out over the weekend.
The high quality of each of these concert acts makes it difficult to choose just one. It’s like choosing between a bunch of nerdy children when all are equally adorable. For big names, you have Jonathan Coulton, probably the king of geek music, and Video Game Orchestra for the classier folks. There’s also the highly theatrical Protomen, the always funny Paul & Storm, and MC Frontalot, nerdcore extraordinaire. If you don’t know what nerdcore is, or have never heard your favorite video games come to life in song, then the two-hour wait for some of these is worth it.
THAT OTHER INDUSTRY PANEL | GET HIRED IN VIDEO GAMES MARKETING
Getting into video games is a smart move. It’s a rapidly-growing industry, and it’s always changing, so it’s going to keep you on your toes. Trust me, I would know. So now that I’ve given you that pitch, how does one get hired in video game marketing? Well there’s this panel hosted by big names in the industry, so if you want to take a break from the fun and actually learn something why not have it be from the public relations guru from Bethesda?
INTERNET CELEBRITY PANEL | THE ESCAPIST MOVIE NIGHT
The Escapist is more than just an online video game magazine. It’s a hub for creative minds, comedians, and nerds with a message. Some of the producers of The Escapist have broken into the Internet mainstream, such as sketch comedy group LoadingReadyRun and Boston’s own Bob “MovieBob” Chipman. Many of them are at PAX East hosting their own panels and events. To see them all together though, you can go to the Escapist Movie Night, where you can ask them questions, watch past videos, and just hang out. The fact that they’re a funny, interesting bunch is an understatement.
PLACE TO HANG OUT | HANDHELD LOUNGE
Do you need to get away from it all? Maybe meet up with some friends, play some video games, and fall asleep in a beanbag chair? Yeah, I said it. Beanbag chairs.
TOURNAMENT | THE PAX EAST GAME
Okay, so it’s not a game or tournament in the strictest sense (fine, it isn’t at all) but the convention itself is full of obstacles, difficult boss battles, and grinding quests. You can take on a variety of different characters and choose your own path for the ultimate experience. It might as well be the next RPG for the Nintendo 3DS. If you want some cheat codes you can attend the panel hosted by Metagame Theory. For actual tournaments you can check out the PAX East schedule. There are too many going on to name off. They range from the typical Halo 4 to the seemingly random Beautiful Katamari, along with tons of board games. Whoever makes it out with the most exciting drunk/swag story wins.
FRI 3.22.13-SUN 3.24.13
BOSTON CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTER
415 SUMMER ST.