The Game Monster goes to PAX East!


This weekend your intrepid Game Monster headed out to PAX East in Boston. This was an amazing and at times completely overwhelming experience and something I was not entirely prepared for. PAX East was huge, much bigger than I imagined for some reason, and the scale was just completely over the top. Fifteen foot tall robots, giant screens projecting all manner of games, incredible hardware and custom mods for everything from xBox 360s to headphones could be seen at every turn, and each booth seemed to be trying to one-up the booth or game before it. It was like an amusement park where each ride was bigger, flashier, and in most cases scarier than the last!

[singlepic id=3369 w=320 h=240 float=right]One big challenge for me was the games that were being shown there. I pride myself on being a family and kid friendly blogger who focuses on family friendly entertainment, and I feel that this is an important part of what I do. The games shown at PAX East – I mean the big, showcase games that everyone was there to see – were absolutely mind blowing in their action and in their detail. Games like Gears of War 3, Duke Nukem Forever, Bioshock Infinite, Darkness 2… these were amazing, detailed, and utterly terrifying to behold – certainly not games I would consider appropriate for discussion here. There are lots of other gaming sites and bloggers that will talk about these games endlessly, I’m sure, so I don’t really need to.

Unfortunately there wasn’t much there that I would consider ‘family friendly’, being an event definitely geared towards the more hard core gamer, but there were a few interesting choices and we checked out a number of them. Of course KingsIsle was there supporting Wizard 101, there were a few different Magic the Gathering online games for PC and consoles, there was a plethora of Pokemon, complete with a gigantic flying Pikachu hovering over our heads, and there were games like Castle Crashers and Swarm that were more cartoon-like, but still seemed pretty violent, so I guess ‘family friendly’ there depends largely on your personal threshold.

I did manage to speak with Brad Borne, creator of the very cute and family friendly (Rated ‘E’) ‘Fancypants Adventures‘, which has a new version/expansion on xBox Live – that was definitely a LOT of fun to play! It’s a platform game where you play a stick figure trying to make your way to the exit while collecting squiggles. It seems like a pretty simple game, but there’s a lot of interesting physics involved too. The multi player is definitely a hilariously fun time for everyone playing.

The MMO games industry was pretty well represented, with current favorites like Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online showing their newest and shiniest at the enormous WB Games booth, Nexon showing off their wares like the very cool looking Dragon Nest, and Faxion making a nice showing with a very enthusiastic group at their booth. Of course the MMO Game that EVERYONE came to see was Star Wars The Old Republic, which had lines wrapped half way around the hall just to catch a glimpse. Storm Troopers, Jedi, and even occasional appearances by Darth Vader himself punctuated the over the top buzz and excitement that this game is building.

[singlepic id=3370 w=320 h=240 float=left]Cosplay. Do I need to say more? From the literal army of Zombie road cones to the cardboard swords and shields to the elaborate and exquisitely crafted character costumes and that legendary Magic Card dress, the cosplay crowd was probably one of the most unexpected things I found at PAX East. Being a furry orange monster I’m used to standing out in a crowd, but at PAX when you’re standing between a Lara Croft and some giant alien robot, a furry orange monster just isn’t that big a deal. That’s an odd feeling, I have to admit.

Overall, PAX East was one of the most amazing experiences of this monster’s life. From my WONDERFUL interview with Fred Howard of KingsIsle to seeing the newest and shiniest the big gaming companies have to offer, to finding those fantastic little games that hide in the shadows between the huge booths, it was an experience I will long remember and an experience made a thousand times better because I was able to share it with all my fans and followers! I’m already planning on making it there next year and spending the whole weekend!


  1. Perhaps, haha, you should take a moment to try to understand Ditto’s focus. It’s not about all the ‘hardcore’, self-satisfied “l33t”s out there, (because there’s altogether enough of those.

    Ditto is about games that *everyone* can enjoy, as a family. Stop trying to make yourself look ‘big and tough’, like you imagine a grownup should be, and try being a more complete human being.

    If everything looks “cut and dry” to you, you’re not seeing the bigger picture, just your perspective of it.

  2. Go Ditto!

    Thanks for being a supporter of family-friendly gaming and for bringing lots of humor to the blogosphere!

    Sad to know that not everyone appreciates Fabricated Americans…

  3. Looks like our favorite monster got us the scoop! Way to go Ditto! Amazing accomplishment for a fabricated American to attend something as big as PAX. And the interview, AWESOME! Amazing article as always, and I can’t wait to see the next one.

  4. Thanks for your experience, interviews, writing and photos (heck, journalist coverage!) Ditto. And getting Fred Howard to tell us about Wintertusk, haha. Keep up the great work :D

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