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PAX East

Come See G4 Live and In-Person @ PAX!

You had better get your three-day PAX East 2013 badge soon if you want to go to the show, as the tickets are now listed as "low" on the official PAX site. The tickets went on sale yesterday, October 8, and I doubt there will be any left by the end of the week. To get yours, head over to the PAX East official site and register now. PAX East is going on in Boston on March 22-24, 2013. You've been warned.

If you're anything like me, and you're at home/work during Pax East 2012, do not despair. Twitch TV is live-streaming the entire program from the Main and Naga Theatre of Pax East. I'm talking full on presentations from luminaries like Jordan "Prince of Persia" Mechner, an Uncharted presentation from Remedy and much more. The stream will keep going until 9 PM ET, so keep your browser locked here. Click the "Read More" for the stream's chat window, too, and be part of the virtual convention.

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Watch live video from PAX East 2012 on www.twitch.tv

 

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G4 & X-Play Take You To PAX East 2012!

PAX East 2012 is coming up very, very soon (April 6th-8th) and G4 is ready to take you there! With their annual celebration of all things gaming related for console, PC and tabletop gamers, and their slew of nerdcore music concerts, panel discussions and endless booths from your favorite game publishers and developers, this is one convention you don't want to miss out on.

Here's everything you need to know about, from where to find the G4 booth at the Boston Convention and Exhibition center to our extensive coverage of this prime gaming festival.

First, if you're going to be in there, check us out at the G4 booth (#1133) where you can score cool swag and also meet your favorite X-Play hosts. Here's the signing schedule:

  • Adam Sessler: Friday, April 6th at 1:00 p.m.
  • Blair Herter: Friday, April 6th at 4:00 p.m.
  • Morgan Webb: Saturday, April 7th at 4:00 p.m.
  • Kristin Adams: Sunday, April 8th at 10:00 a.m.

Make sure to stop by the G4 booth an hour before each signing so you can pick up your wristband and line up!

If you can't make it to PAX East, worry not because G4 has you covered:
Starting Monday, April 9th, X-Play brings you three days of full coverage of everything that you've missed, including the X-Play panel on Wednesday, April 11th. Find out the latest on games like Hitman: Absolution, Max Payne 3 and Borderlands 2.

In the meantime, bookmark our PAX East page for all the latest gaming news! See you there.




Pax East Bioshock Infinite Cosplay Meet-Up

G4 and our good friends at Irrational Games are planning the greatest BioShock-themed Cosplay meet-up in human history at Pax East 2012.

Pax East is between April 6 and April 8, and during the show, Irrational's staff will be walking the PAX floor all day Saturday in search of BioShock- and BioShock Infinite – themed cosplayers. If they spot you and they think your costume is awesome, you’ll be given a wristband with instructions on how to attend the meet-up. X-Play will be there, with their trusty cameras, so you'll probably end up famous. Little known fact: This is how Shia LaBeouf  was discovered.

Remember to "bring it" if you're going to dress BioShock -- only the best costumes will be considered.

Speaking of BioShock Infinite, you do NOT want to miss X-Play, tomorrow at 6:30 PM EST. X-Play is coming on strong with an exclusive look at Bioshock Infinite. I can't tell you what it is, but I assure you, it's very, very cool.

Pax East 2010

Some of you might have received e-mail updates yesterday about Penny Arcade Expo East. If you didn't, here's the big news: the dates for next year's Boston-based PAX East have been officially set for April 6-8. The more religious Jewish and Christian folk among you will notice immediately that there's a pretty big conflict here.

The dates for PAX East conflict with Passover, which starts on April 6, and Easter, which falls on April 8, a fact the show's organizers are well aware of. An update on the PAX website offers a brief explanation.

"It wasn't our first choice by any means, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we're working with the city to hopefully prevent it from happening again." If that's not enough to satisfy you, Penny Arcade's Robert Khoo offers a more complete one on the Penny Arcade forums (thanks to Wired's Jason Schreier for the link!).

Source: PAX East website

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Dragon Nest

PAX East saw a flood of exciting news this year. G4 was on the floor with their hands on every demo and preview they could cram in during their time in Boston. In case you missed any of the coverage, we’ve rounded up all the news, previews and reviews that focus on one of our favorite gaming genres, the MMO. Take a look at all of our coverage, and decide which multiplayer realm you're going to dive into.

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Cliff Bleszinski and Tim Schafer are both legendary game designers, and share a deep desire to appear on X-Play. Adam and Morgan caught up with Cliff and Tim at Pax East 2011.

First up, Epic's Bleszinski takes X-Play to task for their 4 out of 5 star review of his Bulletstorm...

Cliff Bleszinski Calls Out X-Play Over Bulletstorm »


 

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I'm not one for unquestioning endorsements (ok, I am), but I unquestioningly endorse Shoot Many Robots. The downloadable arcade shoot-everything-you-see game mashes Metal Slug with Borderlands and ends up with gold. It's both hardcore and light-hearted, and that's the sweet-spot for fun, if you ask me. You'll want to gather three of your friends and try out the four-player co-op.  Here's the video, from PAX East 2011:

Shoot Many Robots Gameplay Preview »



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Adam Sessler got to speak with Chris Rippy, the producer of Orcs Must Die! at PAX East. Orcs Must Die! takes a new spin on tower defense games, putting you right in the action and allowing you to lay traps and cast spells to kill as many possessed orcs as possible.

Orcs Must Die! PAX East 2011 Preview »


Orcs Must Die! is coming out on the PC and Xbox 360 this summer.

PAX East always has some amazing discussions and panels about what it takes to make a great game, and this year was no different. Inspired by these conversations, Adam decided to take a moment and get on his Soapbox to discuss why he thinks world-building is one of the most important elements of video game development. Is it the universe that drives you? Or do games motivate you in other ways?

Sessler's Soapbox: Give Me a World I Want to Save »



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Call of Juarez: The Cartel First Look Impressions -- Bad Night at the Club

Call of Juarez: The Cartel has quite a bit of buzz surrounding it, partly because of the minor controversy its announcement caused due to it being partially set in a real world urban war zone, and partly because it’s the latest sequel to the surprisingly solid Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. Needless to say, we were quite anxious to get our first look at the game at PAX East. Kevin Kelly did the honors, and while there were a few rough patches in the demo, the game appears to be staying true to its gritty, morally ambiguous roots:

“Up in the VIP section of the club, complete with totally nude girls grinding on poles, a gunfight erupts that soon spills onto the floor of the club. You'll be able to take cover behind most objects, and work on flanking around your targets. You'll also be able to mow down innocent, dancing civilians at will, although if you kill too many, you'll fail the mission. So, there's some morals in there somewhere.”

For more, be sure to read our full Call of Juarez: The Cartel PAX preview.

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Gamescom 2010: Guild Wars 2 Hands-On Preview

It seems every time we see ArenaNet’s massively ambitious MMO Guild Wars 2, we come away more and more impressed and intrigued than we were before. As you’d expect, this happened yet again during PAX East where we attended ArenNet’s panel presentation that was, for the most part, devoted to answering fans’ burning questions regarding one of the most talked about MMOs around. Our own Leah Jackson was in attendance, and here’s a snippet of what was discussed:

"One thing that the developers heavily focused on was the game's combat. We got to watch the Thief profession video that was released at GDC, and Game Designer Jon Peters explained that combat in Guild Wars 2 is extremely important to the developers.

'People are pretty tired of looking for groups, not being able to dodge missiles, and monotonous healing,' he said."

Check out our full Guild Wars 2 PAX preview for more.


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By Dennis Scimeca

PAX East Panel: It's Not The Length, It's The Mirth - Game Length Versus Value

With so many platforms and mediums on which to purchase and play our games, how do we decide how much a game is worth anymore? Lord of the Rings Online is an infinite experience which is entirely free to play. Limbo only takes three to four hours to complete and actually costs you money. AAA titles with ten-hour-long campaigns cost $60 while an iPhone title like Angry Birds, which for many gamers is the gift that keeps on giving, only costs $0.99. Is there any coherent math by which we can make determinations of value anymore? 

According to Christopher Grant, Editor-in-Chief of Joystiq.com, and moderator of the panel, time-per-dollar metrics break down very quickly. Compared to Tetris, Dragon Age is a ripoff, he jokingly suggested. Grant cited websites like Gaming Age and Cheap Ass Gamer who complained about the short playtime of Limbo, which was also a title that won a slew of awards. In this case, the time-per-dollar metric doesn't seem to make sense versus a quality-per-dollar analysis. So what does make sense? Read on for more.

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By Dennis Scimeca

The Hidden Value of Punching Trees

 

Alex Leavitt, a researcher of Comparative Media Studies at MIT and Microsoft Research, wants us to view Minecraft as a lens through which to view the current state of game culture, but first we have to tackle the question of what "game culture" actually is.

Game culture can be eSports fans hanging on the edges of their seats while they watch a Starcraft match. Or the wonders of the Nintendo Power Glove. Or a skilled Dance Dance Revolution player with one leg, on crutches, rocking out a score that most everyone else could only boggle at. Game culture could be hanging out with friends in World of Warcraft, or breaking our television with a Wii Remote. 

The fact that most of you reading this article will, in all likelihood, be familiar with one or more of the things I just spoke about underscores Leavitt's proposed definition of game culture: "A shared understanding of our cultural interaction with games." Or, to put it another way: game culture is the way people interact with the medium, mechanics, design, and narrative of games. So, what can Minecraft tell us about this culture? Read on to find out.

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By Dennis Scimeca

PAX East 2011: Legal Issues In Gaming

This session at PAX East consisted mostly of Q&A from the audience, but IGDA Director Tom Buscaglia wanted to open up with a discussion of Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association, the court case that centers around fines for sales of violent video games to minors. Seth Krauss, Executive VP and General Counsel for Take-Two interactive, said, “The Supreme Court case is indicative of the challenges we face in this industry.”

Political figures, said Krauss, use the video game industry as an easy target due to misrepresentation of the industry and who it represents. Take-Two is based in 22 countries and according to Krauss, “We face these sorts of issues of 'opportunistic individuals' everywhere.” And there's more. Keep reading to see what legal issues in gaming still loom large.

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