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Sam Hart in Concert

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I don’t know this guy at all, but great thoughtful acoustic songs (with a geeky bent). Hearkens back to JoCo from five years ago.

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Empty Expo Hall

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Wish I could play with the demos now…

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Full Expo Hall

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PAX was crazy busy today. I stuck to the tabletop area mostly.

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PAX East 2012 Indie Megabooth

Intro

Early this year, I made my fifth PAX pilgrimage, this time to PAX East 2012. Even though we only attended two days (because of Easter Sunday and impending travel), we managed to fit in a mix of activities, including the keynote from Jordan Mechner, the Saturday night concert featuring JoCo, a few panels, and some good tabletop gaming. I also spent a fair bit of time on the expo hall floor. An interesting twist this year was the creation of The Indie Megabooth, for which a bunch of small independent developers pooled their resources to secure one large booth.

This is where I ended up spending most of my time, because to me, this is where the gameplay innovation is happening. Also unlike AAA games, many of these games were going to be available much sooner, are generally more affordable, and are more likely to be available on my platforms of choice (Mac and iOS). Another bonus was that the lines were short, so you could get a demo of many of these games without having to wait a couple of hours in line for a preview video (which in my mind is a total waste of your PAX ticket).

They also did something fun: they created a little achievement card, called the Indie Mega Passport, with silly activities or game actions that you had to complete at each booth. Pictures of my completed passport, plus a review of the games I was able to play, are below the cut.

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PAX East 2010

Best. PAX. Evar.

PAX East was my third Penny Arcade eXpo, and in many ways my best… but as others have addressed, also an unfortunate reminder of how hard it is to manage a convention hall full of geeks, nerds, dweebs, and all the rest. The whining has been handled by others, and I have a positive attitude and had a great time in spite of the logistical problems, so I’m not going to talk about those problems much.

For me, the two huge differences were location (that the event was local to me, in addition to not involving a visit to my parental units in Seattle) and people (in addition to more random run-ins, I spent most of the con with my old roommate Fritz and my girlfriend Andrle, as well as bringing my Little Brother on Sunday). Since it was a much more social event for me, I didn’t enter any gaming tournaments (as I did both of the last two PAX Primes, even placing in RoboRally last year and winning a PAX medal), nor did I attend any sessions (in part due to line issues).

As per my usual, I caught Paul and Storm and Jonathan Coulton in concert (the 6th time I’ve seen them play live!), as well as the opening act with the Video Game Orchestra. Like last year (but unlike my first year at PAX ’08), I watched the keynote by Wil Wheaton and the final round of the Omegathon (the third round of which was in this case was the opening for the Saturday night concert).

As always, amusing nerd-watching, interesting demos, tons of free crap, and good times gaming. A few pictures, some game and product comments, plus my concert videos, below the cut.

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Nicolas Ward

Software engineer in Natural Language Processing research by day; gamer, reader, and aspiring UltraNurd by night. Husband to Andrle
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