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I admit it, I’m addicted to FB Live for going to cons. First, I’m terrible at remembering things so I’m going to need some kind of video or something anyway if I’m going to be writing something. Secondly, it’s like bringing you all with me which feels a little less lonely. Thirdly, well, GeekMom Shiri gets past her introvertedness by doing some amazing cosplay and panel disussion moderating, and I get past it by feeling like I have a purpose for interrupting the otherwise busy lives of people working the floor. (True story: I either feel like an epic cosplay failure because no one likes my costume or I freak out because I’m terrible at posing for pictures… I’m basically a gigantic freak of introverted socially awkward cosplay nature.)
This means that I’ll take any opportunity to do interviews or meetings with people as long as they don’t care if I FB Live them. This means I can do a nice little summary for each one and post some videos all as a wrap up. With no more introduction, I give you the lineup from PAX East.
The Games From PAX
Obviously, this is going to be the starting place. After all, if you’re not covering gaming at PAX then why are you even bothering going?
I loved Earth Night. I loved it so much that when GeekMom A.J. asked for my two favorites from PAX for the roundup? Earth Night was one of them. A video games whose young Black female protagonist is based on one of the designers’ little sisters? Sign me up for coverage. When I got there and found that the other designer was playing guitar in the booth? Excellent. The game itself is amazingly fun. I’m a terrible gamer. Just plain awful. When you watch the video, you get to see just how bad I am because they have to explain to me what to do because I’m functionally incapable of making it happen in the saddest way possible. However, it really doesn’t matter because the hand painted game is so pretty, you could just turn it on and watch it.
Another game for the 10+ crowd (although it’s totally something I’d probably let my 8-year-old play) was Full Metal Furies. Based on the Greek furies, the game lives in a world overtaken by titans where the four girls have to brawl their way to success. Being based on female Greek mythological characters, the protagonists remained female. In addition, one of them is a person of color. Each of the girls is pretty kick a** which matches our desire here at GeekMom to have some strong female characters for our girls to play. On top of all those great social reasons to buy the game? It’s a great cooperative game that looks like a ton of ongoing fun. As we explained at our GeekMom PAX Panel, killing and shooting up bad guys has positive benefits when done cooperatively. When Full Metal Furies comes out, be sure to get your geeklings copies, and for sure get those femme geeklings copies.
For those of you who are Fallout or Elder Scrolls fans, you’re going to be looking forward to Prey. As a game being put out by one of the biggest FPS open world companies, Bethesda, Prey‘s E3 2016 announcement created quite a bit of buzz. Although partially based on the 2006 game by 2k Games, the May 2017 release version has no connection to the original. Although I didn’t get a chance to sit down with anyone at Arkane or Bethesda, I did manage a few minutes of the developers’ play through and discussion for all of you.
I loved this game. So very much. As you’ll see in the video, I am, again, very terrible at it. In Semispheres, you control each of the little neurons using the two different thumb controls on the PS4 (not sure how you do it on the keyboard). The two have to go in different directions to get through the mazes. Sometimes, they cross from one side to the other to help each other; sometimes one side has to send things to the other side to help its parallel buddy. As a huge fan of Portal, I felt that the problem solving in Semispheres felt similar to one of my favorite games. Unlike Portal, however, there’s no long narrative arc. That being said, the game is super pretty.
The Non-Profits at PAX
I’m a sucker for a good vibe. Considering I’m generally a cranky person, I mostly feel that if I find some cool people that need some help getting out a good message, then I’m putting something positive back into the world to make up for my grumpy. PAX had two really great organizations hidden in between all the really cool games.
Always looking for ways to promote women in gaming, Girls Make Games struck my fancy from the name. I introduced myself and was treated to a lovely conversation with their representatives. In a nutshell, Girls Make Games has expanded to twenty-two locations in eight different states. The three-week day camps are pricey, but scholarships are available.
Stuffed in a tiny corner on the equivalent of an endpin, Stack-Up.Org stood out to me because it had a .org. Like I said, I’m a sucker for putting a little good back into the universe. This 504c organization has three different missions. Their “Get Supplied” mission sends geeky gamer boxes to on duty overseas military. The “Air Assaults” prong finds deserving veterans and sends them to video game and geek culture events. Finally, “The Stacks” connects veterans and non-veterans as a community to promote geek bonding. Seriously? They’re pretty cool and were awfully lovely people. Go check them out. They won me over, and most people would say I have a heart of stone.
I only checked out the one, really expensive ($10k for those of you specifically curious) gaming computer. If you want some better coverage of other computers, check out GeekMom Corrina’s post about Samsung and MSI. In fact, I’m going to just leave this here. The wonderful Acer rep explains everything in words I only barely understand. I admit to not knowing much about gaming computers, so you should really go read Corrina’s post. Talking to one of the guys from a well-known PC website, I got the generalized sense that the Predator might be much more expensive than it should be. All I know is? It’s cool, and cool comes with a price tag.
The Gaming Furniture at PAX
I really love cool things. Walking around PAX, I found some amazingly excellent stuff that I would want in my house. The gaming furniture topped that list. If I could find a way to secure an extra $2ooo-$5000? One of the tables from one of these two companies would be in my house.
Brenda, the very nice lady who walked me through Geek Chic’s booth, is a ton of fun. Her sense of humor and mine meshed perfectly making this a particularly enjoyable interview. These tables are gorgeous. The wood colors are complimentary to pretty much any aesthetic. The manufacturing is of amazing quality. These aren’t just tables to use for gaming, they’re furniture to use for life.
Geeknson comes from the UK, which means if you like a good UK accent, you’re going to love this video. Geeknson’s quality matches that of Geek Chic. However, the UK brand distinguishes itself from other furniture by also incorporating electronics. The sound system and LED lights that can be added to personalize these tables made them a special level of amazingly cool.
The Other Amazingly Cool Stuff
Look, part of the reason I love covering cons is because I get to see things and meet people I normally wouldn’t have an opportunity to work with otherwise. This last category pretty much sums up “all the stuff that was uncategorizably cool.”
The lovely Lise from Shapeways described the business model as, “Etsy for 3D printing.” Part marketplace, part community, part place to get stuff made, Shapeways is one of those businesses that has so much to offer the interview ran long. I totally admit to working with them originally because they reached out on Twitter, and I didn’t want to be a jerk. I ended up hanging out with them for about a half hour because the company and the people are fabulously fun and interesting. Once we all got home from PAX, I spoke to GeekDad Matt and GeekDad Will about Shapeways. I think it’s safe to say that there are a bunch of different things we want to share with all of you over the next few months.
Dude. Kilts. Like really cool, everyday wear kilts. I feel like that’s ’nuff said. Besides, the fun dude in the kilt can explain the kilts way better than I can. Kilt.
Everybody loves excellent clothing. Walking past Volante Design, the quality of the gamer-inspired clothes said high fashion, not sweatshirt hoodie. The well-made clothing might be a bit pricey but that cost brings quality. The materials are heavy enough to withstand wear, and the craftsmanship shows attention to detail.