PhD Candidate in Japan, researching Narrative in Games. Responds favorably to Thrash Metal, Karaoke, and Dungeons & Dragons.
PAX East 2014 Recap
April 15, 2014
I will never forget PAX East 2014 for as long as I live.
With Thomas May III and Jon Padua by my side, we set out to give as kick-ass of a panel we possibly could, and to be completely honest, we exceeded that mark admirably.
I'm very taken with the way the conference organizers decided to hand out lanyards--by just having them spaghetti'd together in a transparent nerd feeding trough. Very apropos.
League of Legends dominating the expo floor. One thing I noticed was that everyone who was working for Riot Games looked buffed as hell. Either Riot Games has mandated gym hours or they were all publicity hires for the day.
King Hippo in the flesh and then some.
FOR CHAOS! I love Warhammer 40,000. I think I've read every single one of the Horus Heresy novels save for Mechanicum.
Thrilled to meet these guys in real life.
I talked with this guy because his outfit was so badass. He told me the heaviest part of the armor was the chainmail, because it was real.
I imagined that all these people were fighting that thing. OR, that thing is one of the keynote speakers.
Taking a breather--FOR CHAOS!
Going over the presentation slides again during breakfast.
This was funny. The day before our presentation, it looks like two people gave our presentation 5 star ratings. I elbow Jon and Thomas thinking it was them, but they freak out because it wasn't them. Totally awesome.
Final rehearsal in the hotel room the morning of the panel.
I had bought this Master Sword replica to take back to Japan with me, but lo and behold, the thing does not fit in my suitcase. So, I decided to give it away at the conclusion of our panel to one lucky attendee...
The line for our panel started forming a whole hour early. We started freaking out after that.
Our friend had told us that he couldn't get in to our panel as it was filled to capacity and they basically closed the room. Per the sign the legal capacity of this conference room was 737 people! Here's a shot of the crowd who came out for the Mythology in and of Games.
As I mentioned prior, I decided to give the Master Sword I bought to one lucky panel attendee. I had decreed finally that the sword go to the youngest person in the room, and the recipient was young Nikolai here. I'm quite happy with this outcome. Happier than if I took the sword home to keep. This was far better.
PAX East 2014 panel on The Mythology in and of games: why the legend of Zelda is just as important as the legend of Beowulf, PACKED FULL ROOM (727 max capacity, people were actually denied access, sorry Levi M. Rubeck), lots of laughs, understanding, and general positivity about the future of myth and narrative in games, ending with enthralling, thunderous applause. Afterwards we had a jamming 2-hour discussion session outside with many of the panel attendees. So many people came up to me and had to say that our panel was the best panel they saw at PAX East this year, and one attendee told us that it was the best panel he has seen in his four consecutive years at PAX East. I'm beside myself. Mission accomplished.
Made it to my connecting flight at SFO without issue.
The last 72 hours have been surreal. I have been reviewing it all in my head repeatedly. I still can't believe that we had a full house and that it went as well as it did. To be honest, if we just had a quarter of a room that size filled with people, we would have been overly grateful.
Before leaving Boston last night, I was talking with my co-panelists and realized that the last two years that I have been doing my masters degree, I have felt considerably alone in my enthusiasm about game narrative and myth. After yesterday, I can no longer afford to waste time on that false feeling.
It's not that I was alone in this quest, it was probably just that, for the first time in my life, I have seen with my own eyes that there are far more adventurers on this quest than I had ever imagined.