Thursday, April 1, 2010

The what comes next part

So the other post was getting too long, so I decided to make this a separate post. My really big news is that after 3 long months, I have a new job! I start April 12th, after a short vacation next week. Woohoo!

PAX and what comes next

So, so much has happened in a very short period of time! Last weekend I enjoyed about 32 hours of pure geekiness that is PAX (East.) I don't know if I can even do it justice here, but I have to share my experience.


I arrived later than intended to Boston, and so I was fairly behind in line and as such did not make it into the keynote or the first Penny Arcade panel. This was not a good start, as I was *very* much looking forward to the keynote by Wil Wheaton. Nothing I could do about it though, so I wandered around and tried to get my bearings. I explored the expo, and checked out the gaming areas. Eventually I ended up back outside the main theater, where the keynote had ended and the panel was proceeding. It was then that I noticed there was a table for Wil. (I also spotted Dr Who (aka crimsong19) whom I had run into earlier in the day.) A few of us formed a line, not even knowing if Wil would be doing a signing after the keynote, but really hoping he would. He did! We waited for nearly an hour, but eventually there he was, in all his geek glory.

I have to say I conducted myself pretty well when it was my turn. I had brought Just A Geek with me for him to sign, so I promptly handed that to him. I was wearing the shirt he had designed, and he commented on how the shirt looked familiar, the book too, and I replied with a not-so-witty "I thought you might recognize them." *Groan* Anyway, after he signed the book, I got my picture taken with him, and then, because I was part of the Cookie Brigade, I asked if he wanted a chocolate cake ball (not knowing then, *sigh* that he hates cake.) He politely declined, and although I also wanted to purchase Memories of the Future, I was so nervous and shaky by that point that I just thanked him and left. (I would spend the rest of the weekend trying to get a chance to buy that book. In the end, after waiting in line again for an hour, I ended up buying Sunken Treasure because I was just $5 short on cash. Plus side is, I have 2 signed books by Wil, and I didn't get all nervous and shaky the second time. Then again, I didn't say anything other than "how much are your books?" *sigh*) He was really cool though, and genuinely spoke with anyone willing to speak with him.

I honestly don't remember what I did immediately after Wil's signing. I think I wandered around again. I did go to the Nvidia panel at 6 - that was the next thing I was really looking forward to, and I LOVED IT! Made me wish I had waited a few more weeks before upgrading my gfx card. Oh well. CRANK THAT SHIT UP! That's right, Nvidia.

After the panel I stood in line for the Girls and Games panel. I met some really nice people. The panel, sad to say, was a complete let down. As bad as I felt for doing so, I ended up walking out.

Next I went and hung out in the Rock Band lounge until they closed up for the night, and moved on to the concerts. The Rock Band lounge was awesome, and the highlight was watching the game developers (maybe drunk, maybe not - I can neither confirm or deny) play their own game.

I missed Protomen, and the beginning of Anamanaguchi, but watched the rest of the concert. It was a great time, but I was definitely tired when 2am rolled around and I went out into the cold to try to catch a cab. Unfortunately, fighting a bunch of other geeks and drunks for a cab was a battle I was quickly going to lose. Enter Knight in Shining Armor. A friendly passerby stopped and offered me a ride. Got back to the hotel and fell asleep sometime around 4am.


Boy 8:30am came awful early. I also realized that I had been totally overwhelmed by everything the day before and hadn't eaten anything since breakfast! Saturday was much more relaxed - I knew the layout of things now, and made sure to take time for eating. I decided enough of the taxi business, and drove to the convention. Parking just down the street wasn't too bad - ended up being less than roundtrip taxi fare.

I started out with the Kotaku and Croal panel - another really great panel. I spent most of the day just wandering around and checking things out. After lunch I spent some time in my Codex costume, getting my picture taken and hanging out with some other cosplayers. Eventually though, my feet were just too sore and I ditched the costume. I didn't catch any other panels, but still had a great time in the expo and in the Rock Band areas. At 6 I thought I would go get dinner at P.F. Changs. After waiting for an hour (!) for a table, I was joined by a couple of fellow PAXers. (I hadn't met them before - they came in for dinner and upon hearing the wait time, they were going to leave, but I offered that they could eat with me.) Although we ended up waiting yet another hour for a table, we had a great time just talking about games, PAX, and technology. Turned out we all work in IT. Dinner was great (I'm using that word alot, but it was) and I got back to PAX in time to walk into the concerts for the evening. Bed was slightly earlier this time - about 2:30am.


Up at 8:30am again. Started off the day with brunch at Charley's with a group of fellow female gamers. Only 16 of the 30+ gamers showed up, but it was a good brunch anyway. I was feeling slightly ill though, so I didn't manage much of my breakfast. Ironically, the mimosa at the end of breakfast made me feel better.

I had absolutely no plans for Sunday, so I just did whatever struck me. I checked out League of Legends in the PC freeplay room, and played a few demos in the Expo. I discovered a veritable treasure trove of used games and had to exercise serious willpower to not buy a bunch of games I really didn't need (given that I had just purchased 6 new games prior to PAX.) My willpower was not so there when I went back to Bandland and purchased MC Frontalot's new cd, Paul and Storm's new cd, and a dejected pirate shirt for Justin. I spoke a bit with MC Frontalot and Paul and Storm, but (regrettably) did not take a picture with them. In the end I watched the finale of the Omegathon, and then, sadly, PAX was over.

So, boring play by play over, here is why PAX was so great:

1. It's gamers from all over the world getting together for one thing: games
2. I didn't go with anyone, but came away with several new friends
3. Developers, musicians, Gabe and Tycho, and special guests were all just there, in the crowds, hanging out with people. They were completely approachable, and so friendly. These are the type of people who I would never dream of meeting, and yet here they were! (One of my best memories is of Gabe and Tycho playing Rock Band in the freeplay area.)
4. The concerts! My friend Justin has talked about MC Frontalot, and Paul and Storm before, but I had never seen them. They were fantastic! I had a wonderful time at the concerts, and can't wait for VGO to release their cd.
5. Gaming, gaming and more gaming. If only I had more time for gaming!

Next year (yes, there is a next year) I will bring my PC with me so that when I need a break to sit and relax for a bit (and game) I can do that in the BYOC room.