Hopefully these pictures will tide us over until PAX Prime 2015 (or at least until PAX South).
In a lot of ways, PAX Prime is the most important gaming event of the year. Sure, E3 is where the industry’s biggest announcements are made, but gamers can only experience E3 via live streams and media coverage. The Penny Arcade Expo, on the other hand, gives gamers the opportunity to speak directly with developers and get a little hands-on time with a huge library of unreleased games.
Plus, even though video games are PAX’s central thrust, the organizers have done an incredible job giving attendees the ability to tailor the convention to their own interests. If you’d rather spend the entire convention playing board games with your friends or dress up in an elaborate costume, PAX is for you. Or, if you’d rather play Burger Time on an original arcade machine and take a nap in a gigantic beanbag chair, PAX is also for you.
Where geekery is concerned, PAX is everything to everyone
If you didn’t get a chance to experience PAX Prime 2014 for yourself, we’ve put a little photo gallery together. And if you did attend this year’s expo, feel free to tell us about your experience in the comments.
League of Legends Championship Series
Whenever I try to explain the explosion in popularity that eSports have experienced over the last few years, people instantly label me a truth-stretching fanboy. It doesn’t matter how much evidence I have on my side, non-gamers will never understand.
But when I actually witnessed the massive collection of screaming fans that filled the Washington Convention Center, I realized that I never truly understood just how huge eSports have become.
Flash Mob DeLorean
On Saturday, a Seattle-based crew of flash mobbers called Mob The World threw an impromptu, 80’s-themed bash in celebration of Michael Jackson’s 56th birthday. As soon as the DeLorean made its grand entrance, the sound system cranked “Beat It,” and the party was officially underway.
BattleTech: Alpha Strike from Catalyst Game Labs
Sometimes tabletop gaming involves adorable little Mechs. And when it does, the world is a much cooler place.
Dance Central Spotlight stage
I didn’t even know the Dance Central stage existed until the very last day of PAX, which is sad because the world is more fun with choreographed dancing.
Kelly Sullivan poses with his ridiculously large Magic card
The folks at LoadingReadyRun raffled off a few of these massive Magic cards, and Kelly was lucky enough to get his hands on one. Though, he wasn’t exactly sure whether or not it would fit in the overhead bin on his flight home.
The Duke by Catalyst Game Labs
I have no idea how this game works, and I probably never will, but The Duke was a popular little distraction at PAX Prime. The American Medical Association is probably crossing its fingers that this kind of upright, exercise-oriented gaming catches on.
Cylon combat in Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
Just because there’s a convention happening doesn’t mean that you can ignore the threat of a cylon invasion. This table of gamers was keeping their cylon-fighting skills sharp.
Throughout the convention center, there were neighborhoods of beanbag chairs whose residents all pursued Pokémon mastery.
Magic: The Gathering is a helluva drug
A huge chunk of the convention center’s real estate was dedicated to Magic: The Gathering, and it was almost always heavily populated.
Foraging for Magic: The Gathering cards
The sadistic bastard who ran this table would punch a stopwatch and make people rifle through the pile for a very specific constellation of cards. If they successfully located their cards within the time limit, they were awarded a single raffle ticket and sent away.
LAN Gaming will never go out of style
Anyone who wanted to take a break from walking the show floor, tabletop gaming, cosplay, beanbag chairs, or panel attendance was welcome to hang out at the LAN Center and participate in one of the many tournaments.
Ziggs The Hexplosives Expert
This statue of Ziggs (League of Legends) greeted PAX Attendees every day, but they wouldn’t let me hug him.
Virtual Reality with the Oculus Rift
A lot of gamers still haven’t been able to try out any of the new virtual reality technology, but the folks at Oculus were funneling people into their booth for a little hands on time with the Rift.
Assassin’s Creed Outfits
Ubisoft gave people an up-close look at some of the costume designs within the Assassin’s Creed universe.
Evolve’s life-sized monster
2K Games was showing off a humongous model of the monster from Evolve.
Honey Badger Vs. Bear
Ubisoft’s booth was equipped with a cage-fighting ring that served as the stage for a string of plushy rumbles. This particular match was a honey badger vs. a bear, but there were a number of costumes to choose from.
GameTrailers, GameFront and The Escapist – The Massive Q&A
Left to right: Greg Tito [Editor in Chief, The Escapist], James Heaney [Panel Host and “Expert Gamer” at GameFront], Janelle Bonanno [Editor in Chief, GameFront], Joshua Vanderwall [Managing Editor, The Escapist], Kyle Bosman [Senior Editor, GameTrailers], Brandon Jones [Editor in Chief, GameTrailers], Andrea Rene [Senior Producer/Host, GameTrailers], Phil Hornshaw [Senior Editor, GameFront]
Hyperion Corporation sees all
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was playable on the show floor, but it was hard to concentrate with the Hyperion Corporation constantly looking over your shoulder.
Groot would just walk into people’s personal space, press play on his phone, and start cutting a rug. At one point, someone handed him a Hershey’s kiss and he handed it to me and asked if I would put it in his pocket.
Everything I just said is true.
Brains and Barbed Wire
The folks at Bethesda were handing out boxes that would turn your head into an Evil Within billboard. Plus, if there’s an award for creepiest booth design, Bethesda has it on lockdown.