PAX Day 1

Hello folks,

And welcome to PAX 2011!

Chris, my brother, and I started the day in the exhibit hall. We’ve learned thru the years of attending PAX that you’re better off checking the exhibit hall for free swag the first day (Friday) before the crazy Saturday crowds show up and make it much harder to play demos and win free stuff. So as I said, this morning we walked around and barely saw half the stuff. Briefly. Man this place is huge!

My brother and I tried the not-so-popular Nintendo 3DS, their 3D handheld. I really enjoyed trying it for 3 minutes for a round of Mario Kart, but was very glad to stop playing. Man, feels like your eyes are getting a beating, I really don’t get what the whole 3D fad is all about.

I love the name for this game: Shoot Many Robots. I don’t remember, what’s the objective of this game again?!

Ok, this thing below was actually pretty cool. Cool enough for Chris and I to give each other The Look. The Look in our gadget-loaded marriage means “I want one but I’m trying to be reasonable, please tell me that we obviously need one so I don’t have to feel guilty”. It is a laser projector the size of an IPhone that you can connect to your TV/computer/iDevices/etc. It is always in focus “because it’s LASERS!” the booth dude kept telling it’s LASERS! He was excited about LASERS! The name of the company (or product?) is MicroVision. These gadget run between $200 for the lower end version and $350 for the HDMI version. In the demo they had a movie from an iPad projected to a wall (instant theater anywhere!), and also a game playing on an iPhone projected to a wall for a more TV+console experience (cool!). And it’s small enough to fit in your pocket!

Can you spot what doesn’t belong in this picture?

…Look at the guy in a suit sitting in the hot pink bean bag under the Kirby poster on the right. Important business phone call, surely!

Another huge part of PAX are the panels and the Omegathon. There are many many panels about all kinds of subject: geek parenting, how to break into the video game industry, fact vs fiction of the effects of video games, how to become a video game story writer, etc, etc. Lots of choices to interest just about anyone! Today we attended a panel about User Interfaces and it was pretty cool to hear these 4 guys from Warner Brothers talk about the user interface design and implementation process for their video games.

The Omegathon is a 6-part game competition. Every year they choose 20 contestant at random from all the registered attendants. Every round is a different game and someone gets eliminated. Games vary from video games to board games to arcade games. The first round this year was Mario Kart Double Dash on the GameCube! It sure is so entertaining to hear a crowd hundreds strong, yelling “throw the shell! Now! Turn! Oh nooooooooo!!!!!” to these poor 20 contestants!

Round 2 is Bananagrams tonight (sort of like Scrabble, apparently) but we won’t be going because we’re at the hotel with a sleeping Gabby!

Talking about Gabby, she really enjoyed her first Serious Pie. Serious Pie is a pizza restaurant my brother saw on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” show. It is seriously the best pizza I ever ate! Thank you food network!


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