PAX 2009

The Secret World Booth

PAX 2009 began on Thursday afternoon for me, where we went over to the Exhibit Hall to supervise booth setup with the rest of the ArenaNet and NCsoft crew. This didn’t end until about 21:30 on Thursday night, so it was a pretty full day for me, and the actual convention hadn’t even started yet.

Friday night after long day of work, I had late dinner with some of my ex-colleagues from Xfire. That was an enjoyable dinner and it was great to see them again. I think after that, I just went home to sleep. I really, really wanted to see Metroid Metal play. Metroid Metal is one of my favourite videogame cover bands, and it claims its place alongside The OneUps and the Minibosses. I did have an event wrist band, but I was way too tired to go. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it in my state of fatigue if I’d gone, anyway. Sadness.

Saturday night after another long day/night of work, I just went straight home to sleep. I was kind of curious about the Saturday night concerts as well. I also wanted to attend the White Wolf/CCP party (I am so looking forward to the World of Darkness MMORPG!), but even more so than Friday night, what I needed was rest. It was a completely exhausting day, and by the end of it I really was not feeling well at all. Luckily, I wasn’t driving home that night.

I wish I had been able to attend the social media and community panel that ran during the peak time of Saturday, early afternoon. I had a spy attend for me, and she reported that it was one of the best, most-organised, and most interesting panels she attended at PAX. Just my luck that it’d be held during the busiest period.

They let me come in at 11:00 on Sunday, since I’d spent 13 hours on my feet working on Saturday. This was quite welcome, and after rest and sleep, I felt a lot better on the Sunday morning than I’d felt the previous night.

I was able to take a break away from the booth for about hour on Sunday to attend the “Murder, Sex, and Drugs” panel. I ate my lunch at the same time, because I knew I wouldn’t have time for a separate lunch break. The panel was interesting enough. It would have been nice if the panel had discussed issues for much longer before opening questions to the audience, because I felt we heard too much of the audience talking about stuff they were interested in, rather than stuff that the panel was interested in.

On Sunday afternoon, just before closing time in the Exhibit Hall, I was also able to steal away another hour to take a quick run through the major booths in the hall. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to linger long at any of them. I was able to get in a quick game of The Beatles: Rock Band, as the queue was very short and the Exhibit Hall was closing down.

The booth I wanted to see the most was The Secret World‘s booth (pictured above), which occupied half of Funcom’s floor space. I’m seriously looking forward to this game, and I’ve been following its development for the past two years. They didn’t have much to show at the booth. Just a puzzle game you could play, but I didn’t have time for that. However, they did have a lot of media interviews during PAX, and they revealed a lot of new information over the past week that really gets me excited about the game. A friend of mine managed to score me a Secret World messenger tote bag because he managed to glitch their puzzle demo machine. Apparently you could win the tote bags in a raffle or something.

I didn’t have time to meet or converse with many of the people from the gaming blogosphere that I really wanted to speak to, but I had a great time regardless. If you stopped by the ArenaNet booth and said “Hi”—thank you. I very much appreciated it, given my lack of free time during the convention.

One memento I received from PAX was illness. This was not so welcome. I usually never get sick after conventions, however I must have really worked myself hard. It left my immune system open to infection. I’m still ill and recovering from that.

I have a few pictures from PAX over on my Flickr. Wish I was able to take more, especially of cosplayers, but I didn’t really have a lot of time for that.

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