Packed GUNNAR Booth for Pax East 2013
Pax East 2013 has come to a close – a week ago. After three days on the convention center floor, one finds himself feeling like a beaten down bag of potatoes. If that metaphor makes no sense, then you are in the right frame of mind for how the body and brain feel after a convention of this caliber. Three days in Boston, three days at the GUNNAR Optiks inflatable booth, three days of awesome video games and the awesome glasses to help people play those games better. This was another Pax and I’m still tired.
There is a common trend among conventions – people get sick. And while I managed to avoid getting truly sick, many did. This is because when you have 80,000 people wandering through a convention center, there are bound to be germs passing around. Sanitize those hands folks! Health lesson aside, Pax East 2013 explored new ground for the convention and was better than any previous incarnations of the show. The highlights had to have been the expanded Indie Game Showcase, which allowed over 60 independent developers showcase their wares, and the larger aisles. The show was pushed to encompass the entire convention center to make room for the expected larger crowd.
There is something to be said for larger aisles, and the GUNNAR booth was in a prime spot in-between the AAA game producers and the indie developers. Our inflatable booth was a first, and both restricted free flowing traffic and trapped people in the booth. While this may have affected sales, it also made for a constantly busy and packed booth. There was little moving around space – and this is a good thing. The conversations and glasses were flying off the shelf, no-one was leaving without at least talking with someone about the benefits of wearing GUNNAR glasses and showing off the new styles. While I was there as the PR rep, talking to the media, I was also speaking on the benefits of wearing RX GUNNAR glasses, since I’ve worn glasses for 26 years.
I met a lot of great people. Gamers, media folk trying to make it on their own, indie game developers and so on. Pax is more than just a gaming convention, it’s a family. The atmosphere is friendly, people try to help each other out and so on. There was a girl who brought me a pair of plastic steampunk goggles that were being given away at the Magic: The Gathering booth. I didn’t have time to participate in their scavenger hunt, but expressed interest in a passing conversation. An hour later she shows up with an extra pair of steampunk goggles. That’s pretty awesome and that’s what Pax is all about. Of course, in retrospect I should have at least gotten her Twitter handle so I could have thanked her proper, you know – on social media.
Oh, and the cosplay. As you can see from the gallery above, the cosplayers pulled out all the stops to make this years Pax as amazing as they could. Sadly, I didn’t snap any pictures of all the Lara Croft cosplayers, which seemed to be this years most popular costume choice for women. The most popular costume choice for men seemed to be that of Bronies. There were a few to say the least. The best though was Barf, from Spaceballs. His tail wagged!
Pax East is a fantastic show for fans, for gamers and for developers. The fact that they are paying more attention to indie developers than ever before is outstanding. And let’s not forget about the tabletop gaming. The tabletop area was packed with amazing games this year, including one pictured in the gallery above – The Emperor’s New Clothes by Jonathan Liu.
Pax is always a great time, and it was great being there as a GUNNAR Optiks representative, even though it meant not being able to check out all the new games. I didn’t get a chance to play anything new. So, what were your favorite bits from Pax East 2013? What were your favorite games?
All images: C. Silver