Archive for September, 2010

My PAX was lovely; how was yours?

This was the fourth year in which I attended the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, and you’d think I might have gotten tired of it by now. I’ve always been at least a little bit at odds with “gamer culture” as many of us know it: the big-budget console fetishism, the hyper-masculinity, the bright lights and booming noises of convention floors — you name it, I probably can’t stand it. Still, in spite of all that, there’s always been something new and exciting for me to experience every year at PAX, and this time around proved to be no exception.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I spoke on a panel called “Making Stories Worth Playing, organised by the interactive fiction community. My fellow panelists were modern IF legends Andrew “Zarf” Plotkin (whose games I need to play more of) and Robb Sherwin (whose games I need to, uh, actually play!) as well as cRPG designer Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda (who I spoke with previously on last year’s Women in Games panel), and we were we were moderated by Dan Shiovitz (whose games I also need to actually play). We discussed all manner of topics from the role unpredictability plays in interactive stories to genre in stories vs genre in games to accessibility and tutorials in story-based games… all to a completely packed theatre where they actually had to turn people away at the door, which is both very cool, a little bit nervewracking, and unfortunate for friends who tried to get in but couldn’t — sorry about that!

But wait! There’s more…