Blessings of PAX be upon ye, if you were among those fortunate enough to have purchased a ticket before they were all snapped up by a horde of nerds and their ilk. Better luck next year.
For those of us attending, there’s a lot to look at. PAX takes a wide-angle lens view of gaming, and manages to make cohesive all strands of gaming into a single identifiable culture. The big time electronic game booths dominate the main hall, but there’s still room for the cardboard or paper & pencil crowd. Other rooms for handheld or console free-play exist.
Some things I’m looking forward to seeing:
- Panels on indie game design. The best knowledge you can get on creating successful and breakthrough games.
- Kickstarter. It’s had a huge effect on the above, and there are several panels featuring game designers who’ve successfully navigated their game through Kickstarter with great success.
- A resurgence of old-school paper & pencil RPGs. Dungeon World by Sage LaTorra is a great example—the growth of the independent game designer has meant more games designed around simplicity and fun.
- Pax 10. Some of the most innovative games being developed.
- A look at gaming’s impact on our broader culture. Gamification, achievements, iPads; games have seeped into our everyday life and changed the average person’s perspective on gaming.
- Gaming growing up. Panels on adult issues, like sexuality in gaming or how we can shape a more responsible, mature gaming community.
PAX is an affirmation of all gaming. Even if you don’t choose to play war games or Call of Duty, they’re here together and they share a common bond with everything else on display; competitiveness, reward for brainpower, socialization, and story.