The time is almost upon us, friends. Time for masses of nerds to flock to Boston for the Penny Arcade Expo. A few days ago, the official schedule of events was released and since Lynsey and I are about to burst from excitement, we thought we'd post the info of the sessions we're definitely attending via the official PAX East site:
PAX East 2011 Keynote: Jane McGonigal
Main Theatre - Friday, 10:30am - 11:30am
You may know her work from the I Love Bees ARG that launched with a little game called Halo 2. You may also have seen her speech or read her book ("Reality is Broken") where she describes gamers as being uniquely equipped to save the world. She's super smart and has a lot of really interesting things to say about gaming, and we're super excited to have her here.
A Live Demonstration of RAGE
Wyvern Theatre - Friday, 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Join Design Director Matt Hooper and Senior Producer Jason Kim for a live demonstration of RAGE, the groundbreaking new first-person shooter from id. Set in the not-too-distant future after an asteroid impacts Earth, you emerge into a vast and ravaged wasteland to discover humanity struggling to survive the deadly threat of bandit gangs, mutants, and the Authority – an oppressive government regime that has a special interest in you in particular. Featuring intense first-person shooter action, breakneck vehicle combat, an expansive world to explore and jaw-dropping graphics powered by id’s revolution.
Interactive Drama: Dialogue as Gameplay
Cat Theatre - Friday, 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Do narrative games provide dialogue choices that enhance gameplay? Is it important to develop relationships through interactive choices between player and non-player characters? How are interactive conversation choices designed and how important is the user interface? What does it mean to experience Interactive Drama in a gameplay mechanic of dialogue choices?
FRAG Movie Screening
Naga Theatre - Friday, 9:30pm - 10:30pm
As a documentary covering the lives of pro-gamers, FRAG sheds light on the world of pro-gaming. Pro-gamers, referred to as cyber-athletes, face the same problems that professional athletes face, making decisions that can affect them for the rest of their lives. As gaming spreads not only as a hobby, but as a profession, FRAG reveals some of the secrets behind one of the biggest sports industries in the world that many know nothing about. Judd Saul plans to be on hand after the screening to sell videos/answer questions as well.
Females on Female Characters
Wyvern Theatre - Saturday, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Join Susan Arendt, Senior Editor of The Escapist; Kathleen de Vere, star of LoadingReadyRun; AJ Glasser, News Editor of GamePro; and Lisa Foiles, star of Lisa Foiles Top 5; as they discuss what they embrace in female fictional characters and why these attributes are important. They will identify their favorite characters and how they would like more heroines with similar attributes integrated into Geek culture. This fresh, positive approach to female characters shouldn’t be missed.
The "Other" Us: If We're All Gamers, Does Our Gender Matter?
Naga Theatre - Saturday, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Abbie Heppe's review of Metroid: Other M prompted a wave of backlash across the gaming community. Words like "feminist" got thrown around in comments sections of popular gaming sites as if it were the new "f" word. But what is really feminist versus what is perceived as feminist by virtue of the fact that it comes from a woman’s perspective? Using these reactions as a jumping off point, a panel of gamers, journalists, and members of the industry will look at the ways gender is treated in gaming culture at large. In our debate and discussion of Abbie's review, we'll be looking at the larger question: "As our industry becomes more progressive and, arguably, gender-blind, is geek and gamer culture regressing?
One of Us
IGDA Dev Center - Sunday, 12:00pm - 12:50pm
Are people surprised to learn that you're a gamer? Do the clerks at the Local Generic Game Retailer ignore you when you shop? If they do talk to you, do they assume you're shopping for something with more pink on the box? Or worse, ask you if you're buying a game for your son or boyfriend? Gamers who do not fit the stereotypical image of the hardcore gamer often feel left out in the cold. Our panel of game writers and hardcore gamers discuss the obstacles to acceptance they've faced and their strategies for coping with them.
What'ca think, guys? Sound good? Are we missing something you're excited for?