Gamers Unite at PAX East

Zac Chan

PAX East, a gaming convention out of Boston, brought together gamers world-wide for an amazing event.

Ever heard of the Penny Arcade Expo, or Pax? The Boston extension of the convention was held just last month at the Boston  Convention and Exhibition Center, from April 11 – April 14. Known as Pax East, the event is one of the two largest gaming conventions in North America (the other being Pax Prime, which is held in Seattle, Washington). Ever since the original Pax held in Bellevue, Washington in 2004, the convention has grown in size each and every year. The Boston branch of the convention was first held in 2010. Resembling E3, Pax stands out by offering more than just game showcases, being open to the general public, and putting a huge focus on indie developers.

However, Pax isn’t just about the games. The event puts on many panels throughout each day, where viewers can have their questions answered by their favorite game developers, companies, youtubers, or webseries creators. The panel topics cover a variety of things, everything from esports to crowdfunding, and even the state of the gaming industry as a whole. There are presentations, such as “From Playtest to 3-D Printer: How to Make, Fund, and Sell Your Own Boardgame”, which was featured at this year’s event. Each year’s Pax event also features a speaker who is at the core the gaming industry as well as concerts put on by “nerdcore” artists.

While Pax is considered great for it’s game displays, it is really much more than just a public showcase for companies to preview or show off new games. The people behind the event (formerly sponsored by the Penny Arcade Expo) make good use of the over one hundred thousand square feet of show floor. With all this space, there are a lot of cool things for attendees to do.

Console Freeplay Area: The latest consoles, the latest games, and a free checkout system so you can play said games on said consoles.

Handheld Lounge: A room full of hundreds of bean bags designed for those with handheld devices such as the Nintendo DS, Playstation Portable, and Playstation Vita.

PC Area: Hundreds of high-end PC’s for your use, games included.

Tabletop Area: Designed for those who prefer boardgames to video games to either play or checkout games, like checking out books at a library.

Interested in attending next year’s PAX? The event is set to be held at the Boston Convention Center from March 6-8. Tickets, which cost $40 per day, or $75 for a three day pass, usually go on sale in October. If you plan on going, it’s best to be wary, as tickets usually sell out in hours.