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PAX East 2010 Countdown: 7 Days Away!
PAX East Logo

PAX East is only 7 days away?!? I'm back in Cambridge and GDC is but a memory to me now; I vaguely remember having a great time in San Francisco. I haven't been able to process any of the great talks, panels, and parties I went to, I've got work to do!

If you weren't already aware, PAX East is the East Coast edition of the Penny Arcade Expo, a 3-day long gaming convention, that is being held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA on March 26-28, 2010. Over 60,000 people from across the nation will converge to play together: video games, board games, tabletop roleplaying games, LARPs (Live-Action Role Playing games), card games - basically, anything that has 'game' in the description is fair game.

The Lab is going to have an amazing presence on the Expo Hall. We'll have students, staff, and a few special guests at our booth and at the Boston Indie Showcase booth during each hour the Expo Hall is open.

Boston Indie Showcase

Boston Indie Showcase Logo

Two of the games made at the lab this summer by our students will be demonstrated at the Boston Indie Showcase booth: Dearth and Waker. I don't think there's a link available to the official press release yet, but it's been reported at DIYGamer and Bytejacker so far. We'll post the official link when it's live. Current MIT students who worked on these games will be at the Boston Indie Showcase booth to talk about the process of making games based on research, and how (or if!) their studies at MIT prepared them for it. Two of the staff members will also be present to talk about the challenges they gave the student team and why they were so mean to them.

Special Guests

Special Guests? How special are they? We are featuring five other independent game developers at our booth: Dejobaan Games, Firehose Games, the Learning Games Network, MacGuffin Games, and Pangea Online! Two of these companies, Dejobaan and Firehose are also in the Boston Indie Showcase for their games AaaaaAAaa... and Slam Bolt Scrappers. How exciting! But why are they at our booth? We at the Lab pride ourselves in collaborating with the local game development scene in Boston and New England: everyone from independent developers to larger companies, individual academics and researchers to other institutions' departments, labs, and centers (that's DLC's for all you MIT people out there).

Our booth will be the place to be if you want to see how people in the research and education sector (faculty, researchers, students) can collaborate with the game industry. Each group that we've given space to in our booth is different from the rest and collaborates with us in different ways.

Featured Games

We will also have a number of our games featured and playable at our booth. I'll be posting about them in the days that lead up to PAX East. You can play them all from home today:

Carneyvale Showtime Dearth Shadow Shoppe
Snap Escape Waker Woosh


PAX POX logo

We are also going to be playing a live-action 'big game' during the convention called PAX POX. We've teased about it in a previous post and will have more information about the game (and the live website) in the next week. If you love booth swag, playing this game will be the only way to get ours! (Don't worry - it's fun and it won't hurt a bit.)

It's going to be an exciting three-days and I can't wait for just get it over with! While I was at GDC getting my nails done and enjoying myself, three of the students on my PAX POX team were plugging away making badges for use during the game. We'll have pictures of their travails in the future, but for now, feel my pain. I've been locked in a room for the past week with various people coming up and yelling at me all while I've been trying to set up all of the computing equipment we need for the booth:

Rik Working Hard Setting Up Computers for PAX East

Rik says 'HALP?'

Generoso, our outreach coordinator and otherwise loveable guy, has been driven to beating up on defenseless Mass Art students like Garrett (see picture below). True we've got a great amount of video footage that we'll be featuring in our booth as well as in our Research Video Podcast, but that's no way to treat starving students!

Gene Threatens Garrett With Bodily Harm at Rik's Request (it makes for an exciting photo!)

Generoso and Garrett in a Bonding Moment

Please come by the booth and visit us! We'll be in booth 1119, right next to an admittedly odd (but kinda awesome) crew of exhibitors: Disney, Alienware/Dell, and AMD. Unlike the rest of the exhibitors, we aren't looking to sell anything - we just want to get the word out that Boston is the place for innovative game development and game studies.

Be sure to check out the Boston Indie Showcase on the other side of the hall (booth 117), where another friend of the Lab, Marc ten Bosch, will be demonstrating his IGF-nominated game, Miegakure!

The Expo Hall hours are Friday, 2pm to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 6pm, and Sunday 10am to 6pm.

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