Imagine a place where you can be yourself, free of judgement. Where you can talk, laugh and play with thousands of like minded individuals. A place where you can be in a state of child like wonder, previewing and sampling the latest offerings in gaming culture. A place where you can have a beer and get down with your nerd self listening to some Nerdcore. A place where you can meet – take photos with or possibly take home – some nerdy girlie, or geeky guy dressed up as an iconic character. Ultimately, a place where everyone is drumming to the tune of “lets play”. This my friends, is a little slice of nerdy heaven, and it is called PAX.
For the uninitiated, PAX is the great American gaming experience, held annually on the west and east coasts. It’s an event for gamers, by gamers. 70,000+ congregate to play to their hearts content (console, PC, or tabletop), peruse an E3 style exhibition floor (Publishers and Developers showcasing their latest wares), attend informative/entertaining panels, and rock out with their joysticks out at one of the many evening concerts. It’s truly an experience like none other.
So, anyway, PAXEast happened this past weekend in Boston, MA. This Nerd Bastard, along with my friend Phil, were in attendance, albeit briefly. A 3 day event, and our schedule only permitted us to attend a few hours on Saturday. Regardless, I took in enough to comment. I’d like to share my journey into gamer paradise with you, and discuss what juicy reveals are worthy of you’re attention.
For the majority of the year, the most serious nerds among us are shut away in dark rooms or basements in front of computer screens and games of Dungeons and Dragons. But every once in a while, the mothership seems to call them all home, at least for the length of a convention or other kind of meet-up. You’ll see Star Wars characters and gamers in a trance, flocking to event sites. Now, we’re not going to delve into the differences between geek and nerd culture. If you want to argue about it, we can probably assume that you fall into one of those two categories and will find a gathering you’ll love below.
Having bought the screen rights to Mel Brooks’ World War Z back in 2007, the production company owned by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt — Plan B productions — has started its production of the film adaptation. Filming began earlier this week in Malta, doubling as Israel, where Pitt plays the fictional Max Brooks, an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission, who is gathering personal accounts 10 years after the “Great Panic”. On-set photos are finally popping up as shooting continues until the 9th, when they move the set to Glasgow, Scotland.
The sets have been really well thought out by Pitt and his company, creating a border crossing complete with dozens of extras, both playing the living and the dead.
Pitt, himself, was also on set filming along with his near reflection — known as his stunt double. Look at those two and be amazed! Being a responsible father as well, Pitt even brought sons Maddox and Pax to watch a few explosions. Best. Dad. Ever.
Finally, for those of us that don’t usually play fighting games anymore, we now have a reason to get back into the realm of punches and kicks that actually mean something, violence. The game that made mother’s pull their children away from the arcades and replace any with a C to a K is back. Mortal Kombat 9 or just Mortal Kombat has hit the demo circuit for consoles everywhere and it isn’t disappointing anyone right now (check out Luke Gallagher’s PAX EAST 2011 Recap). When you grow up on character’s like Sub-Zero, Milenna, Liu Kangit’s something stays in your mind. The game isn’t officially on sale till April but it’s well worth it to get your practice in now because with fatalities making a comeback it’d be a shame if you didn’t get prepared.
(Warning the following video is rated NSFW, as in your not 18 you shouldn’t be watching this.)
Test Your Might.
When you’re showing off moves that cover the player’s character in blood it’s simply a treat. As soon as you hear the all so familiar “Fatality” voice it all comes back to you, hours of practice and defeat. So get downloading and start trying out Mortal Kombat today, because it’s just humiliating to watch your ass get beat with your actual ass (not a real move).
Mortal Kombat, on sale for X-box 360 and PS3 April 19th in North America and April 21st in Europe.
Give me a P. Give me an A. Give me an X. What does that spell? PAX…you dyslexic sucka duck! YES, the much-anticipated, annual, nerdfest PAX East (a la Penny Arcade) in Boston came, went and totally took advantage of the prime real estate that is my body. I need a breath mint, deodorant and massage from a small Vietnamese woman with mighty – yet gentle- hands (and is up for expected happy ending). For those of you scratching your heads wondering what the hell is PAX East?! First, I’d like to slap you upside the head for being an ignorant douche-canoe. This is our culture. How do you not know about this?!?! OK, here’s a quick run-through: PAX East, is like a smaller E3, but intended for consumers rather than developers. See, they get a bunch of video game hot shots to show off their hardware, software and um…in some cases hot chicks in tall boots
"These boots are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do, one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you."
Then, they invite the public to hang out and fall in love with all kinds of the latest, greatest gear and games on (or about to enter) the video game scene. Attendees can play games, attend panel sessions about all kinds of cool stuff, see live music and even compete in video game tournaments! Exciting, right? YES! Especially if you like shiny bags of SWAG, the occasional hot chick in costume, new technology, and inspiring speeches.
So now you have a pretty solid idea of what goes on in general. What might not be entirely clear to you is the feeling of “home”. *cue the violin for sappy time* Let’s face it, we as gamers are strange and weird. We typically don’t mesh well with the world outside our own. The acceptance in ordinary society is growing quite rapidly, but how many people in your life truly appreciate and understand your pleasure, your obsession, your escape? While we’re predominantlyhaving too much fun to care, wouldn’t it be nice to be embraced by a collective mutuality? After all, you know gamer friends are the perfect circle of people you always want to hang out with. Why not a sea of thousands, all singing to the tune of “Let’s Play”? Simply put, PAX is your haven. Your heaven. Your home.
PAX East 2010 had a wonderful lot of Cosplayers. Seeing folks dressed up as their favorite characters from gaming certainly added to the flavor of the epic, gamer hangout. However, it’s one thing to dress up and head to a convention like PAX, it’s another thing to entirely commit to a character.
Looking great as the Witch from the “Left for Dead” video game wasn’t enough. No, this girl wanted to play the part. Like the character from the game she would sit in a corner and cry profusely. If you know the game then you know that you DON’T startle the witch. When approached buy an unwitting cameraman this girl lunges at him, screaming and proceeds to pursue the poor bastard through the convention hallways.
His captured video is hilarious as it is terrifying. OK, maybe it’s not that terrifying but try to imagine being in his position. It’s scary shit to have someone jump up on you like that.
If this experience teaches us anything it’s to always keep your flashlight off and always keep a Molotov cocktail on you at all times.
It’s another year and TIME magazine is doing another round of the 100 most influential people and two unlikely duo is now in the Top Ten as of this writing. The duo I’m talking about are Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, the creators of the Penny Arcade comics are on the poll and so far, people believe these two are more influential than President Obama but not as much as Lady Gaga. Penny Arcade if you didn’t know is a web comic that follows the life of Tycho and Gabe of their views and comments of video games. Now why would these two be on the list you ask? Well, when E3 became strictly business, these guys decided to throw their own expo, known as the Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX for short for regular folks being able to play and view games that were in development like at E3 and with this years debut of PAX East, it’s pretty awesome for a web comic site becoming something this big. Not to mention that these two created the charity Child’s Play, in which gamers and game websites donate money, games, and toys to sick children in hospitals all over the world, and as of last year, the event has gather over 6.7 million dollars in the last 7 years, pretty good for once a year event.
No doubt that it will be awesome if these guys can surpass Robert Paterson and Adam Lambert to hit the top 5. Other people feature on the list is Conan O’Brien, Neil Patrick Harris, James Cameron, Stephan Colbert, Jeff Bridges, The Lost creators, J.J. Abrams, and Seth MacFarlane are just to name the 200 people that are in it. People can start voting here to go through the list of 200 people and ranging their influential ratings from 1 to a 100.