A non-gamer visits PAX-east

I magically acquired (from a troll if you must know) a valid ticket for the sunday session of the ginormous independent video game convention. This event had been on my that’s interesting radar since I guess the first east coast event but not being a gamer of any intensity paying good money let alone allocating actual weekend time for video game booths what just not going to happen. As a software developer at one point looking at algorithms and interesting code I’d thought that game development would be pretty interesting, then I began to notice discussions of the gamedev world and with every blog post rant both on how cool, rad and intense, through comments about how hard it was to enter that sub-field through to the discussions of employee burn out and even abusive practices the probability of actually doing that was halved. The issues and achievements of that industry continue to fascinate.

I get to differing events at Boston’s convention center, while not as huge as Vegas it’s a pretty big venue. Most things I’ve attended either used only half the space or shared with a similar organization. PAX east did fill fill the entire place and every meeting room had events. I did notice a huge area in the back was filled with tables and chairs, may filled, but that’s just a little over half the space was actual exhibits. There was a somewhat obscured space large enough for a dozen regular sized booths that was empty and some aisles were pretty wide, but the building was very full of gamers. Fewer cosplay costumes than I’d hoped but it was the last day.

As for games I was disappointed in a global too high expectations way. I noticed too many very sophisticated systems that I immediately recognized. Different but as a non-gamer I was expecting the big cutting edge convention to have some unique kinds of stuff that I hand not seen before. There was a huge booth with a fight competition game on huge screens with amazing clarity and rendering and big scary characters that were doing a spin flip kung fu kick dazzle. But even as a non-gamer I’ve seen that movement.

Heading to the edges where the small booths held indi-developers would there be rough around the edges but new ideas in game play? Well “Zombie Vikings” was a title that really quite amused me and some of the art was quaintly horrific in a cute kind of way but the glimpses of the action seemed like levels and twitch that seemed familiar. The designer or studio that finds an alternative to discrete levels will revolutionize the industry.

The bean bags were great, we need national legislation to require bean bag areas at every software convention. Do you hear that Mr Trump?

The lines to play 20 minutes of a random game were absurd, perhaps the folks were tired but I’d’ve thought that there would be more impromptu gameboy tournaments while waiting. Battery life?

I went past a swag bag line that was moving fast, going through the coupons I actually saw one game with great images of water gods fighting that I considered downloading even with the layers of framework that was needed and my limited gpu would have made it way slow, but the beta key was good for maybe two weeks.

Fun and interesting for a couple hours for a NON-gamer. glad I got to it, but glad it was free.

 

 

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