This Week in Gaming

This year, I was fortunate enough to make it to at least one day of Pax East. However, one day wasn’t enough to discuss everything awesome that was there, so I will mention some quick thoughts about the event. One, it has grown to be more massive than it was last time I was there, which was about 6 years ago. I was disappointed that they didn’t have the classic arcade there this year, something that my youngest was really excited about. He wanted to play games like the kids from “Stranger Things”. I love that Blizzard and Warcraft had such a huge presence there, especially as an admitted Blizzard fangirl like myself. I do wish I wasn’t too exhausted for the Overwatch photo area, but you can’t win them all.

One surprise that I was really excited about was that Frostpunk was there and on demo to play. I have been dying for this game to come out since I first heard about it months and months ago. From what I saw of the demo, I was not disappointing in anyways. I love the feel of the game as well as the play style of it. It comes out in a few weeks and I will stream the play of it when I get it.

I always love seeing the tabletop freeplay area, but was always disappointed in how small it was. This year it was massive and I wish I had more time to checkout the games, including Thornwatch. But we did get to enjoy some time in the classic console freeplay, which my youngest child really loved.

I was surprised that the Uprising didn’t have a booth there to sell merch. I would have easily blown my entire Pax spending budget on stuff specially if they had those hoodies like the one Striker wore during their match against the Houston Outlaws. It could have been a missed opportunity to make a fortune.

Speaking of the Overwatch League, teams played hard this week and I was very shocked but excited for the destruction that Uprising brought down on Houston. As much as I like that team, I like my home team and love to see them win. There were no other huge surprising during league play this week. I do enjoy looking at the standings list for Stage 3 and seeing the Uprising in Stage playoff position as well as league playoff position. Not bad for a team no one thought would amount to anything.

The news with their star player DreamKazper is more than disappointing. There really are no words at this point to describe the situation. It is disturbing to hear the detail of this incident and I hope the Uprising can still go out and do their job.

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More Pax: Belated Day 2 and 3 Post

Note: I wrote this last week and failed to realize it never posted. Now it is.
When you get that much geek in one spot, trying to get online anywhere is difficult and why one reason this post is so late. The other reason was that I was afflicted with a minor case of the “Pax Pox” or “Pax Flu”, the general illness we all know we’re walking into when you pile 75 thousand or so people into one space. Worth it though, it was really worth it.

With day 2, our first mission of getting a Jonathan Coulton autograph for our son was more simple than we thought. In the ever popular “Bandland”, he was already seated and greeting fans. My husband bought a “Skullcrusher Mountain” shirt and asked if he would sign the starry-eyed 9 year old’s Pax badge. He nearly fainted and spent a good hour later excited about this, and making the evening’s concert even more exciting for him. “See that, that’s JoCo. I met him and he signed my badge.” The autograph thing joined another level of excitement for both my boys, when in the expo hall we saw Tycho himself! I’m not sure who was more excited about the signature, it was a proud moment on my son’s badge.

Day 2 was the big concert for our son, he was so excited. Despite many attempts to fall asleep, he made it the entire time. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend going to YouTube and checking out the Paul and Storm and Jonathan Coulton parts of the concert. Especially the Paul and Storm part, you’ll never look at Game of Thrones or those ASPCA commercials the same way again.

Day 3 was less eventful, we did a last tour of the expo hall and demoed some more games. For all people who want to attend for the first time next year, my advice is simple: demoing games and the lines are better on Sundays. Our son’s favorite game was Primal Carnage, a multiplayer game where you play a dinosaur and eat people. What about that game isn’t for a boy to love?

My closing thoughts were that personally, it wasn’t as good as it has been. I blame that on the general interest of my taste in games, only 3 video games caught my eye and the remake of the Game of Thrones board game wasn’t as thrilling as I’d hoped. I did see an interesting board game called “Zpocalypse” that I’m sure will end up in our board game arsenal. The Secret World looks like a really fun mmo, which is another game worth mentioning. I will note that I didn’t mention Borderlands too, as with a 9-year-old, demoing it wouldn’t have happened, however the game play looked fantastic and I can’t wait for that either. As for something new, our family has found a new hobby that interests us and we can’t wait to start: painting figurines for board games and the idea of making our own little adventure set.

Pax East, day 1

I learned something important today. When you’re 5 months pregnant at a huge convention, a problem exists: you’re 5 months pregnant. Toting around swag and walking for hours straight doesn’t feel so great. After only a couple of hours, my feet and back feel like they want to run away from my body. Don’t even get me started on my OCD and public restrooms. This made me realize how I should approach my weekend special for Pax: no one talks about being a parent at a gaming convention nor does anyone mention being pregnant and walking around swarms of people.
This is mine and my husband’s 3rd year here. This year, we decided our 9-year-old was old enough to appreciate this experience. This posed a problem for us, as now we had to adapt a new plan and accept that there were certain things we would have to miss that we enjoyed. (I miss you “Make a Strip” panel.) Certain things aren’t kid friendly.

I just rocked the old people's socks off.

This gave us a new perspective on this event. We kept our eyes opened for things our son would enjoy. Then, we saw the “Paint and Take” booth. Perfect! My husband and our son sat there together painting happily together. When they were completed, they proudly showed off their work.

My figurine is awesome. This is my proud face.

Look what I can do!

We also remembered a joy when our son discovered the Classic Console room. While we proudly showed our old age talking about how “the NES was our first game system as kids” and explaining the evolution of games to get to the Wii and Xbox he enjoys today. We showed him how Golden Eye 64 was far more awesome than his Wii version, and then watched him beat us at it. Yes, we were proud. I have a feeling we’re going to spend a lot of time there this weekend.
Another room was also a place of great awe and amazement for our 9-year-old adventurer: the ACAM too. It was filled with classic arcade machines that were free to play. The room was dark, with laser stage lights like arcades should look like. With a backdrop of 80’s music, our son looks at this pinball machine like he’s never seen one in real life, asking “wasn’t Tommy a pinball wizard?” My poor husband’s knee though, he crouched down using his legs as a step stool so our short son could see the screens. This is another place we’ll probably end up spending our weekend.
The agenda for tomorrow is simple. First, we must track down Jonathan Coulton so our son can get an autograph and meet his beloved JoCo. Then more family friendly activities including another visit to the painting booth and classic consoles. Finally, the Saturday night concerts so we can enjoy Video Game Orchestra and Jonathan Coulton.
For you expectant mothers, I do have advice: granola bars or the like are your friends, as are bottles of water. Also taking breaks as often as possible makes you not feel so dead, you know your body. Lastly, a pair of comfortable shoes and airy clothing prevents the overheat and just makes you feel less discomfort.
For now though, we’re calling it a night. My feet have swollen up to a freakish size and my muscles feel like giving up. Tomorrow I’ll know better. Have fun Pax people who are still partying down.

You know you’re _____ when ____.

Just a quick reminder to keep up with me and my family while we’re enjoying the sights of all that is geek at Pax East next weekend. Follow me on Twitter as well for up to the minute musings of the weekend as well.

My first comment getting into the core of today’s post brings me to a man getting arrested for reading the bible aloud in public. I don’t care that he was reading it loudly in public and I won’t argue whether he should be arrested, because honestly I don’t know the entire story and the news never tells us the whole story. My quick comment to this is that I bet if it was a Muslim reading from his holy book, he’d be lucky if he was just arrested. The more more likely consequence for him would be a one way ticket to Guantanamo with a terrorist label and a public cry of sleeper cells in Smallville. You know you live in an hypocritical and racist society when that is the first thought that crosses your mind.

Last night, I had two very weird dreams, which I’m told is a common side effect to being pregnant. Lucky for you, I’ve learned something from both, so you get to read about both of them. My first dream has me at Home Depot, waiting in line to buy one item. Behind me is no other than Republican Nominee Mitt Romney, who proceeds to try to cut me in line. I know, first hint it was a dream was that Mitt Romney would never be inside a Home Depot. I ended up calling him an unpleasant word, and he said “That’s why I never wait in line behind a Roman Catholic.” I then pointed out “Then how come Santorum keeps beating you?” You know you’re watching too much political “news” when you have dreams about the candidates.

The hilarious dream seems to fall into a series of interesting food dreams. Last week, I had a dream that I went out for ice cream, and the Glee cast were the servers. A few days ago, I imagined waking up to an unlimited buffet of Chipotle tacos. Last night, the dream lead me to dreaming of pickles, glorious and delicious pickles. I remember very vividly how delicious all the treats were and remembered how I didn’t care the Glee staff served me ice cream, I just remember how awesome the ice cream tasted. You know you’re fat and pregnant when you dream endlessly of various types of food.

So keep those interesting stories in your mind to laugh at me for later. Also remember, Pax East next week.

Reeses

Before I begin with the post, I’d like to tell my readers of a format change for next week. My usual attempts at a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday blog will not exist next week. However, I will be enjoying geekdom in Boston, as I attend Pax East as I have since it started 3 years ago. What does this mean to you, my readers? This means my 3 days will occur Friday-Sunday, (the 6-8). Even cooler than that, if you happen to be fans of everything geek as I am, I will be covering my weekend with videos, blogs, and live tweets from the event. I may even consider running live streams for certain events, but I’ll revisit this before my leaving. I hope that you enjoy it, because I know I’ll enjoy sharing it with you.

Now, the post. The embarrassingly and true story of Reeses.

Shortly after graduating college, I had a bit of a battle of just not feeling right. I didn’t have a place, as I had decided I’d rather do anything but teach and I had a degree almost as useless as one in philosophy or liberal arts. I felt alone, out of place, and I didn’t feel good about myself or anything else. My boyfriend (now husband) had ignored me as I had a rule that no food was allowed in my room. I hate crumbs in the bed, and it ruined my disorganized “feng-shui”. He didn’t listen of course, they never do, and left the bag of Reese’s Cups opened and prime for mouse fodder. And mouse fodder it was.

At first, I was scared of the mouse. The OCD me only thought of the germs and bacteria this mouse and its feces probably carried, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Then, I named him Reeses, and refused to have him killed. I had grown attached to that diseased and disgusting little rodent, and he was my only friend. I talked to this mouse, this ugly little thing as if he were a person. I didn’t care he was a diseased little rodent, and I would probably scream if I saw it and refused to touch it if it came near me. But he was my closest and dearest friend… ok, I can’t be sure it was actually a he, but I’ll just go with it. I look back in shame though, I had actually gone so low in my sadness I had befriended and personified a house rodent. Either way, he was almost as comforting as the crazy little squirrel who threw acorns at my window to prevent me from sleeping the sad away.

Reeses’ story didn’t end well, he ended up in a mousetrap baited with a Reese’s Cup. I learned my lesson too, I don’t think I ever want to feel that alone that I befriend a diseased and ugly rodent. That’s why I’m glad I have dogs, Zoey might eat poop and Tank might have perpetual “derp face”, but at least they aren’t house mice. Somehow it’s more acceptable to become friends with poop eating dogs than peanut butter cup eating mice, but at least I can cuddle with one of my cat sized mooshy dogs when I feel like I’m about to make friends with a rodent. And remember readers…. People can be rodents to.