Friday, March 29, 2013

PAX East 2013: Gunnars, Games, And Good Times

It is hard to believe that this is the second year in a row that I have attended PAX East. It does not seem like a year has passed since my first event as a Frag Doll Cadette at PAX East 2012 (technically, it has not been a full year because last year's PAX East was in April). It is amazing to see how things have changed for the good. Since last year's PAX East, I have met so many great people. This year, I have established relationships with my industry friends, making the event all the more enjoyable.

During the PAX East weekend I worked with GUNNAR Optiks, showing PAX attendees the many different styles of gaming and computer eyewear that the company has to offer. Despite losing my voice late Friday evening after the first day of the event, I learned a lot and had a great time working with Gunnar.

My fellow GUNNAR ladies!
There were many great games on the show floor this year. Most of these games included playable demos or exclusive footage such as Elder Scrolls Online and Marvel Heroes. The convention also included some of the very first glimpses of certain games such as Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. My favorite game and what I was most impressed with at this year's PAX East was Watch_Dogs. While I have already seen footage of the game at E3 2012 and the PlayStation 4 conference last month, the footage shown at PAX East gave a better idea of the main character, Aiden Pierce, and what the game is going to entail. I am looking forward to seeing the development of Pierce as a main character -- he does not seem like a hero, nor a villain. But I have many questions about the motives behind the actions that can be taken in the game.

Watch_Dogs on the show floor at PAX East 2013.
 I was able to get my hands on a few games during my breaks throughout the weekend. I got my fill of 3DS games; because I do not own a 3DS, I thought playing different 3DS games this weekend would help trick my mind into making me purchase one faster. I played Fire Emblem: Awakening, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Gates to Infinity, and Castlevania. I also managed to play a bit of Marvel Heroes, the MMO that had a huge hype at this year's PAX East. However, my favorite game that I was able to play was Metro: Last Light. Being such a huge fan of Metro 2033, I was ecstatic to see this game available to play on the show floor. It did not have a large display or big attraction, but despite that, I was happy to play the game. The demo brought me back to the days when I first experienced Metro 2033, which was a frightening and suspenseful experience.

I met many notable figures in the gaming industry this weekend. I have also reaffirmed my creeper status. No, really. When it comes to meeting famous individuals in the gaming industry, I turn into a complete creeper. For example, on Thursday evening I went out to dinner with the Gunnar team. I happened to notice Cliff Blezinski and his wife, Lauren, walk into the restaurant. I did not see where they went, but I knew they were in the building. I was determined to see them and grab a picture with them, so I tweeted to them both about seeing them in the same restaurant. Cliff happened to see my tweet, confirmed that he was in the restaurant, and acknowledged that I could find him and take a picture. When I found him, he happened to be having dinner with Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Software, another big name gaming individual whom I had already met a PAX Prime (another creeper story for another day).

Lauren, me, Megu, and Cliff
 On Sunday, I happened to notice that Major Nelson of Microsoft had visited the Gunnar booth. At the time, he was modeling some of the newer Gunnar styles, and I contemplated for a few moments if I should introduce myself to him or not. Apparently while I was contemplating, my friend Megu managed to capture a picture of me looking like a complete creeper in Major Nelson's picture. I finally did decide to walk up to him and say hello. He introduced himself, and I found out that Major Nelson is actually an extremely friendly guy. In addition to that, he is a great figure in the gaming industry.

My infamous "creepy" picture.

Yes, there are other creeper stories from the weekend that I could share. But I think I will stop there. In the past, I have been creeped on at conventions, such as my incident at San Diego Comic Con 2012 with an individual nicknamed "Creepy Creep". But this convention made me realize that I am just as bad as the person I deemed "Creepy Creep".

What an epiphany to have at PAX East.

While many of my friends in the industry are debating over sexism and female presence after a series of events at PAX and GDC, I am discussing how much of a creeper I am in my personal blog.

I hope this lighthearted topic and recap of the weekend adds a nice change to what most blogs have been bringing to light after the recent incidents this past week in the gaming industry.