The beautiful city of Seattle was taken storm by gamers, geeks, freaks,and entrepreneurs over labor day weekend. This was my first gaming convention and PAX definitely did not disappoint. My picture says it all – a whirlwind of people demoing games, hardware and competing with others.
Here’s a list of my top five experiences at PAX 2010.
Thousands of people swarmed the Seattle Convention Center. Friday wasn’t busy but Saturday was crazy! I was amazed by all the moms who brought their babies and kids. It was really neat to see them very excited about a wide variety of games. The Kinect stations were very popular, but not just with women! I saw lots of men dancing and working out in the Kinect booths.
The Myth of the Gamer Girl
Besides fantastic demos and competitions, PAX puts on multiple sessions. I took in the session entitled “The Myth of the Gamer Girl – True Demographic or Anthropologic hooha?” The panelists were very entertaining and posed questions to each other on the whole concept of the gaming girl. The panelists were esteemed professionals in their fields and were very intelligent and clever! The stereotype that only men game is old and archaic. The men and women who attended the session seemed to get that. One attendee posed the point that it is almost ridiculous to separate women from men in gaming. I tend to agree with this as it was very apparent to me that the audience at PAX was compiled of at least 50% women. Women are a great target for marketers and game developers. Overall, the session was a great place to meet like-minded women and men.
A lot of little indie game booths surrounded the main areas. One game in particular was very sweet. Not so much the game itself, but the people working the booth.
I came upon this booth and stood and watched people play on drum sets, very similar to Rock Band. Instead of making music though, the drum action kills zombies. The kids who were marketing the game were very excited and attentive to everyone who visited. I heard one of the guys say to another, “This is the greatest day of my life!” My heart warmed hearing that they were doing something they loved and it was a dream come true for them to promote their game at PAX. One of the kids(ok I say kids, but these guys were probably in late teens, early 20s) very politely told me about the game and that I should give it a try. They had some really cool t-shirts to give away for just trying the game, so I sat down at the drum pad. The zombies had their own colors and to kill them you had to hit the corresponding color on the drums. I can see little kids really getting into this, but also it was fun for me! I completed my demo and then another one of the young men went and got a t-shirt for me. The pure innocence of the men running this booth was very sweet.
About an hour later, my party had a meeting scheduled with the Civ 5 people. It was a limited showing, so I decided to go sight see around PAX. A bathroom break called me so I found the nearest restroom. As I passed the hall to the restrooms, I saw the guy from the Drum Skull booth who gave me the t-shirt. I smiled at him and continued on my way. The door to the bathroom was wide open and I went into it with gusto. As I walked in, I recognized one of the Drum Skulls’ kids going up to wash his hands…then I saw another guy going up to a urinal! It felt like time slowed down until I realized “OH I’m in the wrong bathroom, not them!” I quickly left before I was seen, but the first Drum Skulls guy was still waiting outside. “Why didn’t you stop me?” I said to him and he gave me the biggest deer-in-headlight eyes I’ve ever seen. At this point, I was lmao!
A media pass has some awesome benefits. One of them is priority demos. I have a lot of reviews to write for the products I demo’d at PAX. Ironically, my favorite game at PAX was Super Hero Squad. This mmorpg comes out this Fall and its geared for 8-12 year olds. It was so easy tho, I’m sure my 3 1/2 year old will be able to enjoy this game. They gave out free card decks that coincide with the game. Marvel must have some marketing genius’s working for them!
Meeting New People
We met so many wonderful people at PAX and in Seattle. All of the presenters, exhibitors, staff, and attendees were friendly and happy to be there. If there were any crabby people around, I didn’t see them! Seattle is amazingly clean and friendly. We are thrilled to go back again next year.
I have so many product reviews to write now! Up next – a first glance at Microsoft Windows Mobile 7 and it’s integration with Xbox Live!