So, I love games. I mean, I love them. Always have. And not just video games, although that’s certainly the easiest route for me to get a fix these days. I’m a fan of board games, card games, dice games, role-playing games, miniatures games, and variants of any & all of the above.
I spend unseemly amounts of time not just playing games, but talking about them, reading about them, thinking about them, buying add-ons, reviewing my strategies/misplays, watching tournaments, etc. I am, unquestionably, a “gamer.”
So, a little over a month ago, Jen and I went to PAX South in San Antonio which, if you don’t know, is a huge convention highlighting games of all kinds. You’d think this would be like a trip to Mecca for me. Alas, we…well, we had a decent enough time, I guess.
I say this because neither of us were all that blown away by the experience, and I could even have been classified as “a little disappointed” by Saturday evening. There were very few well-known games being demoed, and those that were there weren’t exactly my thing.
I was much more interested in sitting in on the panels, where I’d be able to listen to some very intelligent people talk about life and gaming for an hour at a time. Sadly, it was nigh impossible to get into any of them unless you showed up an hour in advance.
We did, however, manage to get into the “Gamer Parenting Strategy Guide,” which was rather interesting. Aside from the “gamify all the things!” and “monitor their content!” advice, they also mentioned a few awesome companies with games for children. Like StoryBots, where kids get to add their likeness to online animated stories. And, of course, TocaBoca, who create awesome learning app-games. The panelists also advised us to turn on subtitles in all games, so kids get used to reading along with things. (Which I think is a fantastic idea.)
The trade floor itself wasn’t bad, but it had definitely lost its luster by the afternoon of day two.
Honestly, the most fun we had all weekend was when we checked out games from their “library” and learned how to play them on the “Free Play Tables.” Speaking of which, the absolute best of these was the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, which we purchased shortly after PAX and have played a bit since. (We’re actually planning on running the second adventure this weekend.)
So, for the more gaming-inclined among you, here’s the rest of my “Best of PAX” list:
All of these look quite good.
But the absolute best part of PAX? That one’s easy.
It was simply getting out of town with my wife and doing something that’s odd and interesting together. All the more important since the days of being able to just drop everything and take off for a weekend are rapidly coming to a close. (For a little while, anyway.)
Actually, that’s not true at all. These were the best part of PAX:
Those are Jen’s VERY FIRST set of multi-sided dice.
**beams with pride**