Friday, April 29, 2016

Insight - Geeks run amuck in Boston at PAX East - By Michelle Libby

I have never said I want to go to a gaming convention. However, this past weekend, I found myself being dragged over a mile in the rain to wait outside for half an hour to have my bag searched before being lead inside to a convention center half the size of Windham filled with every imaginable type of game from VR (that’s virtual reality, for those in the know), board games, video games, PC games and card games.

When we arrived at the Boston Convention Center and Expo on Saturday morning, my children had already been there a day and knew where to go and what to see. Luckily my husband had to go back to the hotel room across town and I was able to leisurely be shown the absolute chaos that was PAX East. 

I was under the misconception that I would be able to sit somewhere and do a little writing, but man was I wrong. There was no time. Too much to see. Must keep moving. My son and I played a soccer game with cars on a Surface computer. I was more interested in the Surface, since I had just been told that it changed a woman’s life. The computer was there for gaming and I got locked out of the programs I wanted to see. Moving on.

The place was mobbed and the lines were long for some of the most popular attractions. My son is interested in game programming and I scoped out the college booths and we stopped by most of them.
There were also panels for those who wanted to publish their board games or those who want to be in the biz. We sat in on one talk given by the man who writes the Foxtrot, Bill Amend. His comic strip is riddled with Geeky language, math and gaming jokes. He is also an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouting, which impressed me. 

"Booty", a Mayfair Game
My daughter waited in line for two and a half hours to play 10 minutes of a VR game that has yet to be released. Oculus. She loved it. I did two and a half minutes of a VR game, an older generation and spent the next hour sick to my stomach with motion sickness. 

There was so much visual stimulation that I’m still a little amazed at how quiet things are in my house. 
I’m not a gamer, I like Mario Kart (I won one game), and that soccer car game we played on the Square (I scored), but I’m not going to be a VR fan. Give me a Mayfair Game any day. 

It was an amazing experience that I don’t need to repeat anytime soon, but I will for my children. Oh, and the lines for the women’s bathroom at a gaming convention…non-existent!

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