The GAW crew at PAX South

The GAW crew at PAX South

The first big gaming convention of 2015 has finally come and gone, and while PAX South may not have made an enormous impact on the industry, this awesome event still resonated with me and raised my hopes for this new year. For me, these events are about more than the games themselves. The heart of these conventions is the community of gamers, developers, publishers, and media coming together because of the passion and love that we all share for this incredible industry and entertainment medium. This event was the perfect place for indie developers to shine and fans to share their excitement with one another. PAX South may have been short on mega-booths and big, AAA announcements, but it still had what matters most, an awesome community of incredible people.

 

Don Thacker: Designer/Writer/Director for Starr Mazer

Don Thacker: Designer/Writer/Director

Events like E3, Gamescom, and Tokyo Game Show are always incredible experiences, but there’s something special and more intimate about the smaller venues. The first thing that people noticed coming in to PAX South was the lack of big-name developers. I love it when my senses are overwhelmed by the massive booths and grand spectacles that we have come to expect from the bigger conventions, but sadly, the smaller development and production teams are often overshadowed by these grand displays. This is one reason that PAX South was so special to me. As soon as you stepped out on the convention floor, it was the indie teams that took the spotlight. It wasn’t the multimillion dollar projects that fans were talking about, it was the smaller, indie projects like Starr Mazer, Adventures of Pip, and Rebel Galaxy that were all the buzz this time.

Besides the incredible assortment of fantastic indie titles that decorated the showroom floor, there was also a particularly wonderful set of panels that were available to attendees this year. What I found most encouraging is how many of the panels weren’t there to simply push a product or media outlet, but rather they were there to promote positivity in the video games industry. With all the negativity that surrounded video games last year, I was incredibly thankful to see other industry members working hard to change people’s perspective on the industry we all love. Discussions on why the gaming industry is still good, the acceptance of gaming in modern society, and the bright future for indie developers all inspired me and strengthened my resolve to continue trying to make this industry even better. I love this industry with all my heart, so to be surrounded by others with the same enthusiasm and goals as mine was truly intoxicating.

As if the indie smorgasbord and great panels weren’t enough to power up people’s passion for gaming, the multitude of jaw-dropping cosplayers was truly galvanizing at PAX South. I’ve always been good at staying calm and keeping my composure in public, but when I saw Red from Transistor pass me in the hallway, I practically screamed with delight. Ok, so maybe I actually screamed. The next day, I was leaving the Gearbox room after an interview, and I ran into Kasumi Goto and two beautiful Asari and instantly lost my mind. It was just too much for my little nerdy heart to handle. The fans at these events aren’t just attendees anymore, they really have become a integral part of the entire experience.

(Check out more awesome cosplay pictures below)

With everything there was to see and do at PAX South, I had an absolutely wonderful time. However, the one thing that meant more to me than all of this was the great friendships that I made along the way. There’s nothing quite like being at a conference full of thousands of people with the same passions and dreams as you. What’s even more amazing is when many of those people are other industry members that you’ve been looking up to for a long time. The video game industry has always meant the world to me, but over the past few years, my love for gaming has grown exponentially with every conference I attend and every new friend I make.

The Pixel Poetry panel.

The Pixel Poetry panel.

Video games conferences are something that can always be enjoyed from the comfort of your home, but there’s something extraordinary about attending these spectacular events. If you’ve never been to one of these conventions, I cannot encourage you enough to do whatever it takes to attend one close to you. Whether you’re simply a gamer for life or you want to turn video games into your career, you cannot deprive yourself of this glorious experience. You will never look at this industry the same.

 

Interview with Adam Sessler and Andrea Rene

About The Author

Derrick D
Editorial/Reviews Writer

Derrick has been an avid gamer since before he even started kindergarten. He is a video games enthusiast first and foremost and has a unconditional love for the gaming industry. His fun-loving personality, wide array of experiences, as well as his background in gaming and the film industry have helped him to develop a unique perspective that is always thoughtful and invariably entertaining.