It’s always a good idea to follow the laws established by governing bodies. Even if not strictly enforced, laws were made to allow the preservation of peace. How about rules requested by organizations? They’re usually more codes of conduct that range from specific requests that keep areas safe and sound to suggestions that keep polite society comfortable. How about strictly prohibited photography policies at shows? Is there any situation when it’s acceptable to be disobedient?
Vendors at Renton City Retro told me about Seattle’s hidden collecting secret for the last twenty-two* years: Lake City Toy Show. Unlike the more mainstream retro show that had videogames, action figures, and other fun activities, this was where you’d find anything more obscure. Cool for serious collectors. How about for everyone else? If you were in the area for the car show, or happened through town in the early afternoon, was there anything worthwhile?
I avoided Sakura-Con for years out of shyness over what seemed like an overwhelming sense of fanaticism toward anime. After attending videogame expo PAX twice at the same venue, it was time to experience the industry’s ninth largest North American convention. Even researching newer anime releases, nothing could prepare me for the underwhelming confusion and disorganization that awaited. It wasn’t like stepping into another world so much as temporarily peeking into a very exclusive club.
Let’s finish an old draft covering last year’s Penny Arcade Expo, partially to compare against a recent smaller videogame convention, along with preparation for an event this weekend also hosted at Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center. PAX is the industry’s second largest convention. Everyone’s passionate about their newest project and digs what they’re selling. That’s great if you want to play the absolute newest videogames. How about everyone else? Would the casual gamer enjoy attending?
“I’m sick! This is the worst time to get sick!” A buyer said this to a seller as I was looking through a bin of action figures. While there’s something to be said for staying the course and pushing through minor adversities, once you forget your sickness responsibilities of taking care of yourself and not exposing others to your contagions, that’s when it’s selfish. Though isn’t blaming others when you get minor illnesses playing the victim card?
I became distracted shortly after writing my concert and lecture reviews of videogame expo PAX in September. While eventually writing a preview for 2064: Read Only Memories, which may drop later on this month, the rest still lingers in my “get around to it” backlog. With animation expo Sakura-Con coming up in April, if I conclude any thoughts and templates now, I can be more timely with these features. Why not start with the highlight?
Read Only Memories piqued my interest with a grimy futuristic city that could have been a lost Sega Genesis classic. I forgot about it after a bargain bundle in May, until a chance September meeting with the game’s developers at their PAX booth, and it is still collecting digital dust. The MidBoss crew insisted that I shouldn’t play Read Only Memories!
Dropping into a lecture about edutainment games might sound more like an assignment than a highlight of videogame expo PAX, and yet teacher Ashley Brandin presents valuable context to where videogames can grow in “You Have Died of Dysentery: Meaningful Gaming in Education” because we should demand better quality videogames that can provide educational experiences and expect more from videogame developers in terms of how they can use videogames as tools to educate beyond historical facts and typing tutorials.
Videogame expo PAX hosted two nights of concerts over Labor Day weekend. The Friday night line-up consisted of opener Martin Leung the Video Game Pianist, nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot, and headlining the evening was Minibosses-tribute band Bit Brigade. I skipped the Saturday night line-up of Triforce Quartet, 1UPs, and Super Guitar Bros., although with more planning, rest, and effort, I probably could have enjoyed it as much as Friday’s festivities.