PAX, PAX, More PAX
That’s right, PAX is once again upon us, and this one will be my fifth. PAX 2008 was my first, and while I did miss one Prime (thanks a LOT friend who got married on Labor Day weekend), I made it up by hitting the inaugural PAX East.
Overall, I’ve had a great experience at PAX, and I still look forward to it every year. The fact that the scope of the thing has continued to expand so much every year is really crazy. It’s gotten to the point where it’s actually hard to see all the games that are there, even on a full three-day badge. That might also be a product of the fact that I’ve started going to more panels and doing things like being on a live podcast recording on Saturday (from 2-3 PST), and thus spending less time exploring the back corners of all the floor space.
There are a few less-than-great things about PAX (and Liore’s post here does a good job of explaining some of those), but to me, they remain mostly tangential to the actual experience at the Expo. Certainly, a good portion of that is my being less tuned-in to the specifics – or possibly just less directly-affected. I am absolutely sympathetic to the underlying issues, though, and I’d like to see PAX become a place where everyone can feel welcome and at home. Leaving out any women-focused panels this year is a huge oversight (and can certainly be cast in a poor light), but it’s good to see the inclusion of several LGBT-friendly panels and events. Hopefully, going forward, there’s room for more of both of them. It sure would be nice if we gamers – who take enough shit just talking about video games – could stop pushing out other people who want to join in on the fun.
Aren’t there GAMES at PAX?!
Why yes, yes there are. Here are a few of the things that I have heard about going into PAX that I’m excited to see:
- RIFT news! (This one seems obvious, since I’m playing RIFT a lot and have pre-paid for a year.)
- Defiance – Also from Trion, this is the MMO that will have an accompanying TV series on SyFy. I don’t know much more than that, but it sounds intriguing!
- Borderlands 2 – Yeah, I am a huge Borderlands fan. I have already pre-ordered this, and will get it in a couple of weeks, but it’s hard to stay away from it. Last year, we got a sneak preview AND t-shirts. Of course, my friend picked up a copy of the game once they ran out of t-shirts, but I think we came out better since we get to have both…
- WildStar – I don’t know too much about it other than what I read on TenTonHammer from Gamescom, but it looks intriguing.
- Guild Wars 2 – I didn’t buy it, and I have been avoiding it for various reasons (including a burning fiery pit of hate for some of their Cash Shop practices – like chest keys), but everyone is talking about it and a lot of people I know are playing it, so if they have a big booth (and I’m sure they will), maybe I can get a chance to jump in a little and see if it’s fun.
- Other random games. Every year I come back with a list of games I want to buy. Some of them are major ones that I hadn’t heard of before (Borderlands was like this, so was Darksiders). Others are small ones – Orcs Must Die! was a highlight of last year.
I’m also on the list for the Curse.com party, Notch’s super-secret party, and will be trying to get on the list for the Trion party. There’s also the podcast to do, lots of friends to see, and I hear that Seattle is even nice! (I confirmed part of this last year when I lost my badge for half a day… Luckily, the Enforcers are awesome and found me a new one!)
How about you guys? What are you interested in seeing, and what should I look out for?