So this is the first actual video game convention I’ve ever been to. I’m used to attending anime conventions and totally did not know what to expect walking into this aside from “lol video game convention, there should be games amirite?”. Originally, I wasn’t going to be going, but a group of friends that I play a certain arcade game with convinced me to tag along, and who wouldn’t? These things are better with friends right? So I nabbed some badges at 30 bucks a day, since the Three Day badges were sold out by now.
I left Thursday via Megabus from Penn Station in NYC, the ride was 4 1/2 hours but there was Wi-Fi on the bus along with sockets above every seat. It was pretty awesome actually since I’m used to taking airplanes to my destinations! We arrived at 2:30 and took a cab to the convention center since it’s connected to the hotel we were staying at. It was relatively fancy and they even had a Starbucks in the lobby! (Though I don’t ever buy anything from there aside from tea.) The hotel room had a cool view too.
Day 1: Friday – “Welcome to PAX East”
Friday was interesting, everyone wanted to see the PAX Keynote because Wil Wheaton was giving it, and to be honest, I don’t know much of anything about the guy aside from him being in Star Trek. I have never watched Star Trek so I felt kinda like a dumbass. I was in a queue line for the keynote at 11:51AM (much later than I should’ve been) because my friends didn’t try hard enough to wake me up to take me with them to stand in the line, luckily, they held a seat for me when they made it into the theater, and by that time it was already 3PM. Pretty crazy, it wasn’t a boring wait or anything, they had two giant screens setup with someone using a command line-esque interface to talk with the crowd while people in the back blew up three beach balls and tossed them all around the line for a good while. I had fun.
The keynote itself was pretty fucking awesome – I had no idea what to expect from this guy, but he was very personable and quite a nerd, which isn’t a bad thing at all! All of us in the room could relate I’m sure. He made a lot of good points about using these conventions as a medium to meet new people and enjoy your hobby the way you want to, because at the core, we’re all gamers, and he couldn’t have been more right. There’s probably a video of the keynote floating around the web somewhere and I do highly recommend that you watch it if you didn’t make the keynote. -> Keynote Link via YouTube
After the keynote, I took some time to roam around the other floors of the convention center. There wasn’t much to see, given a Friday, they’re never packed on Fridays. But there was a couple interesting displays. Splinter Cell Conviction, Red Dead Revolver, All Points Bulletin – all in playable demo form. There were also indie gamers on the floor as well, notable yyrGames who made a nifty game for the Xbox 360 called “Snake 360″ – this is a pretty awesome game to play with friends, do check it out over at yyrGames and get some suffocation battle going! Nvidia also had their GTX 470 & 480 graphics cards in rigs all across the floor. All in all, it was a pretty easygoing day.
(More on days 2&3 on the jump)