PAX East 2017: The Pre-Game

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Last time I posted, I had just reviewed Catherine back in November (still stuck on that game, actually). But with PAX East 2017 looming large, it’s time to shake off the winter hangover and get ready for three days of con coverage.

In anticipation of this weekend, I’ve taken a look at the con panels to map out a rough schedule. I’ve compiled the list below:

Friday, March 10
11:00 – Before the NES Classic Edition, There Was the NES
12:30 – Hate is the Hobby: How did we get here?
01:00 – “Gitting Gud” at Video Game Movies
03:00 – Hidden Gems: Discovering the Undiscovered at PAX East
05:30 – Awesome Video Game Data 2017
07:00 – The Wii-U-Logy: A Look Back at Nintendo’s Sixth Home Console

Saturday, March 11
12:30 – Going Retro 2017: The Challenges of Yesterday and Today
03:00 – Video Games are Dumb, and We Love Them for That
04:30 – Nostalgia: An Enemy to Progress
08:00 – Podcasting: From Amateur to Pro-Caster
09:00 – GiantBomb Presents – The Giant Bomb Panel

Sunday, March 12
12:00 – Surviving in Freelance
01:00 – Forgotten Franchises: Gaming Gems in Need of A Comeback
03:00 – Streaming 101: Starting your Quest
04:00 – +1 to Journalism: Becoming a Better Writer

This doesn’t mean I’ll make all of these panels – in fact, I won’t make all of them if I plan to spend a good amount of time on the con floor. Entries in italics are the ones I will definitely go out of my way to attend. The rest I’ll try to sneak into if I’m desperate to sit down or update the blog.

You’ll notice that Sunday is dedicated almost entirely to panels, which is a good way for me to wind down the weekend. I love the journalism talks, naturally. I’ve heard the game data panel on Friday is supposed to be really interesting, but I’ve missed it two years in a row now. The Wii-U-Logy simply sounds like an amusing panel to attend.

The GiantBomb panel is on Saturday, and it’s been a tradition to attend with the crew (especially Andrew). I believe I skipped it last year to go bar-hopping, however. I’d like to try and make it there again this year, barring other plans. If the line for it winds up being too long, I will try to make the podcasting panel instead.

Second, some lessons from past cons that I’ll be carrying over this year:

  1. The final half hour of the con floor is the perfect time to sneak in some last-minute demos once the lines have emptied out.
  2. Showing up to a panel 10 minutes after it starts is a great way to find a spare seat and avoid the massive queues. People frequently leave panels early, and the Enforcers usually don’t care as long as there’s a chair open.
  3. There’s a Dunkin’ Donuts behind the con that sells better food at half the price and a quarter of the wait (there’s no line getting back into the con, either). I know the food trucks are back there too, but the lines are long whenever I go and it’s supposed to be in the 20’s this weekend.
  4. Don’t drink so hard on Saturday night! I spent my Sunday morning last year napping off the ol’ brown bottle flu on a beanbag chair in the handheld lounge (admittedly, you really couldn’t ask for a more comfortable place to do it than a Sumosac).

Lastly, a quick shout-out to Game Revenant, who will be showing off their game Where Shadows Slumber at the PAX East Indie Showcase this year. Game Revenant consists of fellow Stevens alumni Jack Kelly, Frank DiCola, and Caroline Amaba (whom I just bumped into at the Switch launch last Thursday).

The game has already won a ton of awards, and their demo passed 100k downloads last month. With all of the additional attention they’ll be getting from PAX East, they’re probably going to sell enough games to retire. That’s my guess, anyway. Just remember me when you’re all filthy rich, okay guys?

See you in Boston!

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