The PAX has Come and Gone Again

Sadly, I was unable to attend PAX Prime this year and instead sent a minion in my stead. Being a wonderful minion, he returned with surprise swag and details to report back to you all. I’ll be sharing the comments but not the shirt…its mine hands off! 😉 But I will taunt you with a picture of it muahaha (cough) sorry got a little dark side caught in my throat (Damn their cookies!)

Empire = Evil Goodness

Minions gift of appeasement from PAX

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Published in: on September 5, 2011 at 11:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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Are you a Geek? Just a Little? Geek with me Wesley!

Wednesday I tore up a book like it was a piece of warm pumpernickel bread spread with sweet cream butter. (You know you didn’t see that one coming) But if I told my husband that I’d see the eyes roll and be asked “What’s new?” I have a reputation around the house for devouring the books like candy on…Damn it I must be hungry! All I can think about are food analogies. Hmm 6 hours since I ate last? Yep hunger has taken over.

You may notice that I read it Wed but posted Friday, I had too much to say to fit it into a single writing session and someone shorter than me but infinitely cuter needed help with her homework. I am waiting until she is taller than me to inform her I will still call her my little peach forever and ever just like my mom has a super sweet nickname for me. One cannot escape such names. Ever…I tried…where was I?

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Published in: on October 2, 2009 at 6:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Demo Etiquette

If you are standing at a demo playing a game there are certain rules of etiquette you need to follow. It is a short list and relies heavily on a little golden rule and some common sense for spice. In fact, it is one rule with lots of explanation from me.

DO NOT HOG THE GD GAME! *lets out a long slow sigh* Do I need to explain this to you Mass Effect 2 hogger guy? The fact the guys behind you tapped you on the shoulder to ask you to let them play after the demo restarted again should’ve been clue enough for you. Obviously, I am wrong since you went back to playing again, at which point I walked away.

We all waited in line at PAX to play some game. We all understand the desire to keep playing it since you have waited so freaking long to get your hands on it. I really do get the impulse. I get the desire. But you just became the jerk holding everyone behind you up when you don’t stop when your demo is done. You’ve gone from having my sympathies to having my ire. I’m a short woman do you know what they say about short women and tempers? (luckily I don’t have red hair to just make the whole equation worse)

So remember DO NOT HOG THE GAME! play your demo and then move along. Earn brownie points with strangers because you aren’t a dick. Hog the game and earn ire points because you are the dick. A line system only works when everyone plays be the same rules (and honestly thank the Hub I wasn’t in your ear going ” GET OFF THE DEMO!”  because he distracted me with other booths to keep me from it. He knew I’d have done it.)

Published in: on September 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PAX Part 2 or Schwag me no Schwag me more!

Can you tell this will involve the Exhibitor’s? I want to point out now that I was A overwhelmed by the stuff in here and B am short and honestly I probably missed stuff because I can’t see through walls of bodies well. The guys with me did a good job of trying to get views or info for me if I couldn’t but Exhibitors Hall is really not for those of the short variety.

Left for Dead 2 – As I noted in the previous post I was assaulted by the wall of bodies waiting to get their hands on a test run of this game. To say it is eagerly anticipated is really an understatement by the length of the line and the fact it was consistently really long. In fact it wasn’t until the close of the Hall at 6pm that I got a look at the area at all. And to my both disappointment and relief it seemed like they only deemed to put it on X360 for demo. Disappointment because I am a live and die PC gamer ( btw I do love my consoles but if it is on PC and not some crappy port from console then I’m playing it on PC) Relief because I didn’t stand in the line to demo it. (well really I’d have stood there so the Hub could since he likes FPS more than I do) Still the sheer amount of people waiting to play I think speaks highly of the franchise. hmmm zombies… (btw I ❤ Valve. Just had to throw that in there)

Blizzard – Truth be told I made like a bee to this area dragging the Hub behind me who I am pretty sure was pondering getting into the L4D line. I took a look at Star Craft 2, promptly remembered that I don’t do RTS games, and can thus only tell you that it was very pretty. I mean it looks GREAT but it is still an RTS pretty or not I’m not torturing myself with it.  Diablo 3, oh how I have longed for you, and the game looks stunning. I honestly thought I was going to get to spend more time in the Hall so I didn’t jump in line immediately and missed a chance to play the game. But from watching on the screens over the players head I can tell you that while yes it is brighter than the previous games it looks stunning and bad ass. I certainly wasn’t disappointed and eagerly anticipate D3…ok more than I did before at least. WoW: Cataclysm watching people play as worgen and gobbies was cool. I know the game play of WoW already so I wasn’t all eager to get in it myself. I really do think they did a great job making the goblins feel right. Seriously, people have wanted to play them for ages and I think Blizz got them right on the money with it. The worgen looked good as well, the atmosphere for them is very nice dark and brooding which I think fit really well with what we know of their story so far.

Where did Blizz go wrong for me? Schwag. (What I totally warned you in the title it was going to come up) I dunno call me greedy (because I am) or a demanding consumer (because again I am) but hand sanitizer that says Blizzcon on it wasn’t what I was hoping for. Is it weird of me to say I would’ve wanted a keyfob or something more. I mean I get that flu season is upon us and the fear is constant but…it just I dunno Bliz was the first booth I hit and given that I got an…wait I can’t tell you that yet!

Warhammer – A step over and around a bit sat me down playing WAR again. Sadly there was no eager crowd honing in on this booth. Which really is a shame given that I still love this game (even though I quit it because of the end game) Their schwag made the Hub giddy (if such a thing is possible). We scored cards with ingame items on them, niffty buttons, and a poster. Given that the Hub is a HUGE Warhammer fan (he plays fantasy and we both play 40K wargames) it was a treat of goodness for our house (he is still deliberting on where to put the poster).

Dragon Age Origins – Ok big line to get the hands on demo of this game. And honestly I totally am there. I mean it is Bioware makers of my beloved Neverwinter Nights (and who didn’t make the accursed NWN2 which shall not be mentioned in my presence) and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Now while I didn’t get in line (remember I’m lazy and don’t wait for things) I DID get their schwag…a blow up SWORD! YES an inflatable sword! I dunno maybe it is just me but that was a great play to the kids in us all. However, I did sit back and watch people play…very promising.

Ubisoft – Let me start by saying No More Heroes 2 looked KICK BUTT! I mean it is more of the same in the first game but the first game was good and this is just more good! Now you get two swords instead of just one! I mean I’m excited. (no link to their site since I can’t find an official one yet) Now as I’ve established I am not a huge shooter game person (with some notable exceptions) so let me inform you of an upcoming exception…Splinter Cell Conviction. I mean it isn’t really my genre but watching the demo on the huge screen (kudos to the guy playing because I watched two demo and he did take downs different each time which was pleasing) I was jazzed for the game to come out (the Hub is likely secretly pleased he won’t have to slip it by me since it is on my list to get now).

Alienware –  Man I am still miffed I missed the Plants vs Zombies tournament. The set rigs they are looked nice and who wouldn’t want to start their morning off killing zombies? Someone brilliant put an energy drink give away with them too. Proving some people in marketing understand that gamers put in long hours at their computers and need a way to stay awake.

WotC – WOOT! Honestly you knew I was going to go there, admit it. Soo they had a book where you could look at upcoming products *wiggles eyebrows* (btw NO they did not or at least I didn’t see art for the new  Paul S Kemp book…YES I did look…twice…and made the Hub look too…shush I’m a book addict I will go to treatment never.) Where was I? Oh so walking into their…booth. Tables were set up and had people running and playing D&D. They had a register and were selling the 4th ed books. A guy was showing the new shoes and shirts but you couldn’t buy them. Of course they had Magic going on. (Had to keep the Hub away. I don’t need him restarting that obsession ;p) I got to watch some of the new Magic game coming out on Xbox, which only reminded me I still don’t own an Xbox. They had more booths but I kept my distance…again little time and keeping the Hub from rekindling his Magic romance seemed like a full timer there.

Star Trek Online – I really did try to stand in line to play this…but seriously long lines, short time, and no patience do not make for a demo played. It looked good while I stood there. So it looks pretty but I really couldn’t stand that long when I didn’t have enough time to hit all the booths I wanted in the first place.

Mass Effect 2 – This was another one that had a huge line that I actually wanted to get some time wit. (btw there will be a demo ettiquette post coming Friday…grrrr) It looks good, people who played it seemed happy The people playing in my line pissed me off and the people behind them off enough that…grrrrr Where was I? Oh yeah…I didn’t get to spend much time here because of anger issues…Moving on.

Brink – This one is by beloved Bethesda (yes beloved). The boys caught the demo of it and said Wow. And immediately followed with…tedious. Basically missions will give different bonuses to different classes all of which you can switch on the fly. They all said “Yeah switching every 2 min because you can and why wouldn’t you to take get the most advantage? No thanks” Which really impressed upon me that sometimes less is more. But I am at this very minute wearing a Brink shirt so obviously the schwag factor worked.

There was a lot more going on with the Bethesda booth but I got easily distracted by Aion next door.

Aion – OMG PRETTY!!!! I have an awesome picture with me sporting black wings out of this booth and I love them for that alone. They also had a nifty model of their game world in a case that actually caught my eye walking around. But obviously my first impression of the game is pretty. Man People were getting on this MMO and just staying put. Part of this is because of the sheer amount of options for character creation. But seriously when I walked around to watch and try and get on the demo people weren’t budging. Which is really good for them but bad for me 😦  (Also this week is the open beta but you have to have a beta key fyi. Don’t be like me and think open beta dl means truly open)

Champions Online – Man I didn’t even bother after walking by this area. Visually it is VERY unappealing to me. My initial reaction was, “ARRGG MY EYES!” Followed by, “Skip it and stay with CoH/V”  Seriously, it was awful to my eyes, the jarring aqua colors have stuck with me this long and haven’t diminished my rejection of the game.

Darksiders – All I can tell you is that they had a mechanical horse (instead of bull) for people to get on and ride. I can’t tell you anything else because it was jammed packed, but that horse was so big even shorty me could see it. And of course I remember them because of it.

Peregrine – Yes! Someone came up with a better design for the game glove. My only downside is for MMO it might impede my massive chat fests if I bind macros to the tips. But still super interesting. They gave out shirts and lanyards and some other stuff…and yes they gave out hand sanitizer in niffty flat black squirty things that people guessed were us ports because they looked so unlike hand sanitizer actually.

*sighs* ok that isn’t even everything! But I mean I didn’t get to play Resident Evil but I did poke my head in the box people were playing it in and get an eye full of how good it looks. And I never did find the freaking Razer booth. I want want want to get my hands on the new mouse and see how it feels before I put money down on it ya know? I figured if anyone had a sample to get my hands on it would be them…and never could find them even though my friends swore they were there…somewhere. (Come on a Silver Hand player did the video announcement how can I not want to play with one?)

So in closing? If you are going to hit PAX try and make it for all 3 days. I didn’t hit all the booths I wanted or panels. Never mind the gaming that was going on the different floors. I totally dug they had open gaming going on, movies and concerts. One day was enough to make it an experience and cement that next year it will be all 3 days.

Again much love to the guys at Penny Arcade (special grats again to Jerry for the new baby) and all the people that worked on making that a super blast! *hugs*

Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 7:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PAX Part 1-Impressions or A Celebration of Geek Culture

Let me back this up and share with you my Labor Day weekend plans. The Hub wanted to go to PAX. (If you don’t know what PAX is go read the link and come back to me) So I planned to ship him off with a friend on Sat to enjoy pure immersion into our gamer geek culture. (He only got a Sat ticket because they had already sold out of the 3 day when he ordered) Friday rolls around and Wil Wheaton is on a local morning show informing people PAX is sold out. Ah my plan to have an entire day alone and to myself is perfectly in motion.

Little did I know that my good friend who was going with the Hub was a net hawk and circling the PAX website incessantly waiting for more tickets to be released. (there was another friend they wanted to take with them) 8:30am the hub is getting the car ready to head up to Seattle; while I snuggle down in my blankets more intent to stay there until noon just because I could. Time passes (don’t ask how long I was dozing) all I do know is that the hub came into the room super excited and informed my bleary eyed self to get dressed ASAP I was going to PAX.

Good-bye sweet sweet ultra soft blanket. Auf Wiedersehen fluffy pillow. Au revoir snuggly bed.

So I dressed myself (swiftly), packed my Trinity Blood messenger bag and proceeded to PAX! *queue the epic ride music of your choice* (mine was Mindless Self Indulgence)

Wow,so the last I heard 72k people attended PAX. This numbers was thrown at me during PAX by an exhibitor so don’t trust me that it is true, but I’m sharing it none the less. Spread across 6 floors of the WA Convention Center in glorious sunny downtown Seattle! (btw it was sunny and pretty all day, managing not to rain Sat until of course when we left!) But the 6 floors really helped spread the crowd out and kept it from being too overwhelming (have I mentioned I am barely 5’4″ and crowds tend to walk over me?)

This was my first PAX and first game con (no I have never made it to Blizzcon or E3 for that matter) Let me tell you something, I am a LAZY gamer. (notice I capitalized that right and added bold for emphasis?) I’m sitting in a panel and people are talking about coming from whole other continents to go to PAX and here I am thinking “I am sooo glad this is just a 30 min drive for me!” I mean I used to live 3 hours from DragonCon and never made it out there. So while people from say Victoria, BC didn’t shock me so much. The Aussies and Danish, well they shocked me (that and I loved their accents during panel Q&A). So serious props to them for coming out to the con, you are WAY more dedicated than I am.

I attended two panels the Penny Arcade: How to Draw a Comic. Let me start by saying, Jerry aka Tycho wasn’t there because his wife gave birth to a baby that morning! And I was so proud of the gamers EVERYONE in the audience gave that collective sigh if understanding and aww baby. I sat in the back and didn’t hear a single person complain that he should be there. Mike aka Gabe had…shall we say prolonged technical difficulties with the computer to get the program up and running so we could watch him make a comic. Scott Kurtz stepped up and helped the panel stay lively 🙂 He is a very funny guy btw. And then…Jerry appeared on the stage to the adulation of the crowd (applause and standing ovation no less) which poor Mike endured semi well 😉 I really have to give props to Jerry for showing up to the con after his wife gave birth to his baby. Just…I’m not sure I’d make it in (of course I’d be the one doing all the pushing so go figure why 😉 )

Btw the stalker girl follow these guy and the Rooster Teeth guys (the second panel I attended) was waaaaay creepy. I find it strange people go out of their way to be creepy like that. Just…odd to me. Back to RT it was nice to see that they are branching out of just the RvB stuff and getting a look at it I liked what I saw. And was funny watching a panel of guys all wearing shirts that spelled out Bb On Nn Ee Rr. If you don’t get it, stop now 🙂

Let’s fast forward to the good stuff. Exhibit Hall? OMFG!! *squeals with gamer girl delight* Walking into the hall was like taking a kid to a candy store and telling the kid to have a sample of everything and don’t worry you can touch anything you want. Oh the sweet gamer goodness. This is where I got overwhelmed. I will give a full review of what I took in for Part 2 of the post.

Seriously, it was SOOO much to take in. My biggest regret is only having one day to try and do it all. One day just isn’t enough time in that Exhibit Hall. And never mind that I totally missed Friday’s concert MC Frontalot OR Wil Wheaton’s panel. *sighs* So much to do and see and no time (or badge really).

Published in: on September 6, 2009 at 10:39 pm  Comments (4)  
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