Are you ready? (* Assumes Triple H voice *) I said, are… you… ready?
You’d better be, since PAX East begins today. The east coast offshoot of the original Penny Arcade Expo is the largest gaming event on the right side of the Mississippi. That’s right as in the way it appears on a map, not right as in “correct,” though since I hail from Pennsylvania, I do think that too!
What makes PAX East exciting is the way it celebrates all kinds of gaming. So while the show floor will have booths from some of the biggest companies in the video games industry (though not Nintendo or Sony this year), it’ll also shine a brighter spotlight on indie games than events like E3.
Along with chances to go hands-on with upcoming console, PC and mobile games, PAX East features a wide range of panels, console, PC and handheld freeplay areas, tabletop gaming tournaments, concerts and more. I’m going for the first time, and I’ve already resigned myself to the idea that I’ll only be able to see and experience a fraction of what’s being offered.
In case you’re headed to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and don’t have a firm grasp on what you’d like to see, we thought we’d highlight what’s going on in the Main Theatre and assorted highlights from the rest of the Friday schedule. Consider it a public service of sorts. You can also see the full schedule for all three days right here.
(Note: You can follow @pax_lines on Twitter to find out about the lines for any specific panel. The Guidebook app for iOS and Android is also likely to be very handy.)
PAX East 2014: Day 1 (Friday 4/11) Main Theatre Schedule
10:30 am – Storytime with Alex Rigopulos - PAX shows always kick off with a speaker of some notoriety, and this guy qualifies. He’s the CEO and Co-Founder of Harmonix, otherwise known as the company responsible for turning video game based on music into a thing. What stories does he have to tell? And are they, too, set to music? You’ll have to show up to find out.
12 pm – Rooster Teeth – Do roosters even have teeth? It doesn’t matter, because this is actually a panel with the minds behind Rooster Teeth Productions, makers of cool videos, podcasts, websites and probably other forms of media I don’t even know about. They also have a booth on the show floor.
2:30 pm - WildStar: $#!& Just Got Real - I think there’s a swear in there! Carbine wants you to be fully prepared for the launch of the upcoming MMO WildStar, and this is the place to learn about all aspects of the game. Or at least all they can fit into an hour-long panel.
5 pm – NVIDIA. The Way It’s Meant to be Played – Yes, it’s an advertising slogan, but NVIDIA products really do help PC gamers get the most from their favorite titles. If you’ve got questions, want to see demos of the company’s latest tech or have a chance to win prizes, this is your panel.
8:30 pm – Friday Night Concerts - Bit Brigade, Metroid Metal and Anamanaguchi take the stage. I mean they’ll appear on it and entertain you with their music, not that they’ll actually leave with it in their possession.
PAX East 2014: Day 1 (Friday) Assorted Highlights:
10 am – Dragonfly Theatre – Game Devs: The Next Generation
10:30 am – Albatross Theatre – Heroes of the Storm – The Ultimate Blizzard Mashup
11 am – Tabletop Tourney – Dominion Friday Tournament
11:30 am – Dragonfly Theatre – Kotaku’s Incredible Fantastic Panel Extravaganza XVIII-2
12 pm – Console Tourney – Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Tournament
12:30 pm – Queue Room – Autograph Session: Gabe and Tycho, Part 1
1 pm – Badger Theatre – Why No One Will Game With You
1:30 pm – Bumblebee Theatre – The Sports Video Game Crisis
2 pm – Condor Theatre – Land My Job! Inside Advice on Getting Into the Game Industry
2:30 pm – Handheld Tourney – Mario Kart 7 Tournament
3 pm – Console Tourney – Towerfall Ascension Tournament
3:30 pm – Condor Theatre – Omegathon, Round 1 – Perfection
4 pm – PC Tourney – Bastion Tournament
4:30 pm – Queue Room – Autograph Session: Polaris Minecraft Superblock!
5 pm – Condor Theatre – Pitch Your Game Idea
5:30 pm – Dragonfly Theatre – Live On Three: The Last 5 Years in eSports and Competitive Gaming
6 pm – Albatross Theatre – Square Enix Presents Murdered: Soul Suspect
7 pm – Badger Theatre – Gamers With Jobs Saves Gaming
7:30 pm – Albatross Theatre – What You Can Do to End Bile and Hatred in Games Culture
8 pm – Console Tourney – Super Smash Brothers Brawl Tournament – Part 1
8:30 pm – Dragonfly Theatre – Game Show Night: Blankety Blank
9 pm – Console Tourney – FIFA 14 Tournament
9:30 pm – Condor Theatre – Cards Against Humanity
10 pm – Console Tourney - Super Smash Brothers Brawl Tournament – Part 2
10:30 pm – Albatross Theatre – IGN Gane Scoop! Live Podcast