PAX East 2020 – Day one, the Corona Virus, and Fred deals with shame

There is a large queue of posts in the admin of this website that I have written and queued up but never published. I won’t do it now because it is so far removed from relevancy but at least 2 of those posts were about prior PAX Easts (2018 and 2019). I talk about a wealth of things in those posts including:

  • PAX moving to a 4 day schedule
  • PAX basically becoming a B2B convention since everyone is an “influencer” now
  • A sudden glimmer of light in the otherwise dismal track record the concerts have had for the past 5+ years
  • Large breasted cosplayers and how unequal application of decency rules against them betrays some of the unprofessional behavior the administrators of the convention can undertake
  • Video games

I feel a great deal of personal shame for not finishing those articles, but I have decided to try once again and get back on this horse and ride it until it submits or I shatter my coccyx bone. So with that, here is some of the stuff I saw at PAX East 2020, Day One.

COVID 19

People are scared of getting the Corona virus. I know for a fact that there are people and companies who would not come to PAX out of fear of it, and as evidenced by the number of respirator masks seen on the floor this year not related to cosplay, it is on peoples minds. Allow me to both remind and assure you that (A) this fear is overblown and stoked by the media and (B) the things you could catch at PAX in at any year prior were already far worse than Corona. Wash your hands, don’t be touching all the display keyboards, people will be fine.

That being said, the day that cancer or AIDS becomes airborne it is going to be 100% because of someone at this show.

The Show Floor

Because of the sudden yet inevitable betrayal Sony perpetrated this year, the show floor was actually much more open than in years past. You had space to breath and to observe, and this year, bucking the trend of the past few more austere years, a handful of the vendors went ham with their displays. In early years of PAX you could expect giant dinosaurs you could ride and Duke Nukem’s living room, but that was when people hadn’t quite figured out how to right-size their efforts.

This years stand-outs included Fuser, which is some sort of DJ rhythm game ala Guitar Hero that I almost certainly will not care about but which had a very large and eye catching art-deco inspired stage, and for some reason I cannot understand Animal Crossing, which to my understanding is the same game it was for the past 4 iterations but now you can plant more seeds or some crap. Nintendo. Whatever.

There were a number of things you could mount and have your picture taken this year, including Clouds Motorcycle from Final Fantasy 7 and a Mind Flayer statue (mounting discouraged but, you know, it happens). None were that compelling as to want to wait on line as we had done in years past, but even less compelling was Apples promotion for it’s Apple tv show Mythic Quest. It really just stinks of pandering to nerd stereotypes and we need to stop allowing that to happen.

Also, one of the booths off to the far side of the convention had a game called “Farming Simulator 19” which is good because the advancements in farming technology since the travesty that was FS18 really needed adequate representation.

Panels

I only went to a single panel on day one, because as usual I heard the sirens call of fresh Magic packs being torn open, but the one I went to was better than I thought it would be. The “Gamification in the Workplace” panel featured a few industry leaders in this space, and specifically the space around AR/VR, discussing the push towards utilizing these technologies in the workplace in a human-centric way. It was a surprisingly grown up panel for this audience and I am always pleasantly surprised when I stumble into one of these.

Games

There are plenty of them on the show floor and all of them had lines. This year I decided I would bite the bullet and actually wait in a few of them, partially for swag but also because I always think I will spend my time better not waiting in line and then just aimlessly wander the floor looking for something to do.

Because it is relevant to my personal interested, I tried out Magic: Legends. It’s Magics attempt at an MMO that is based around the IP but not specifically card slinging. The show demo did not really reveal much to me about the online features or the long term gameplay, most of the mechanics of the game were glossed over in favor of cycling people though the demo stations. Right now if all I knew was that demo I would tell you it’s a visually polished but ultimately boring Diablo clone, but I know that cannot be the final state of the product so I will wait and see.

AND THEN THIS

Gamer Chow

Gamer Chow

FUCK YOU, YOU STUPID NOBODY GAMER TRASHBAGS. EAT YOUR FRIES OUT OF A DOG BOWL LIKE THE ANIMALS YOU ARE. YOU DON’T DESERVE ANYTHING BETTER THAN THIS. THIS IS THE BED YOU HAVE MADE AND NOW YOU WILL LAY IN IT, YOU PILES OF STINKING REFUSE. BARK BARK.

That’s all for day one. See you tomorrow.

Protoaddict
Linguist, Archeologist, Musical Savant, Robot, Asshat. Only one of these apply to this guy. The host of the show, who also sometimes writes and makes videos!