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PAX: Day 3


Whew! My head hurts! Last night we went to the concert and saw Johnathan Coulton which was awesome. The guy is really funny and I am going to buy his CD. He has some great songs including the infamous Big Butts remake. This morning we looked for him but his booth was cleared. Sad face. His show was followed by MC Frontalot. The sound was possibly a bit off, instruments too high maybe but his songs still filled me with child-like wonder. I especially liked the PA Theme / Katamari Damacy medley.

After the concert I met up with Lee and he claimed to have a party going on at his hotel room and that the bands were coming over to drink. I am shocked to report to you that he TOTALLY pulled through! Members of The Neskimoes and The Minibosses showed up followed by MC Frontalot and his crew. Much drinking and much Guitar hero, got home at 6am. Very cool! I was convinced that I should be an Enforcer next year and Steve has offered to put me up at his place if I wanted to skip the hotel room.

One ting I must bring up: Scott was the coolest person for coming with me to PAX. I was really afraid it would turn into another Vegas trip where I was alone and cold and hitting myself with a shovel to make myself feel alive. Scott made it really a great experience and I’d like to thank him. Thanks Scott! He also said the funniest thing I heard the whole weekend. We were in the hotel room and hearing a “thump, thump, thump” from the room next to us. I made some comment about it and he said, “They’re just making horse shoes.” Brilliant! I took a shower and the sounds were gone. I asked, “Do you think they’re done?” He answered, “No, they just keep turning the horse shoe over.” I was rolling.

We missed the Two-Headed Giant game due to a late start (*whistle*) and it looks like our plane leaves earlier than I thought. No biggie. This event was so fun, I am really beside myself. One last word to seal the deal…

Woot!

-Aaron

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PAX: Day 2


Day two started with a sealed deck game of Magic: The Gathering. Interesting. You get five booster packs and build your own 40 card deck out of them. I did pretty badly. Lost three matches in a row before giving up and in those matches I only won 2 out of 6 games. Good experience though and got some cards out of it. Scott did better, winning one match. Might play a different game tomorrow where it is 2 vs. 2 teams.

After that I browsed around the exhibit hall. Some neat things: There is a 4th edition D&D rule set being made that is supposed to be simpler than 3rd edition and doesn’t have that terrible THAC0 system from 1st/2nd edition. Sounds neat! They are also creating an online service that allows you to create dungeons and play D&D online with your friends in them. I am less entused by this and suggested that the have a method to be able to create the dungeon and be able to print out the dungeon with an extensive legend describing all of the traps, monsters, etc… They also have a character creation utility that appears to be even more extensive than City of Heroes (that MMO that everyone creates characters on but nobody plays). This also was interesting and they allow you to print out a little character on paper with it. I think this would be much more compelling if they could offer 3D printing of the characters. They should just pay me right now for that idea. Thanks!

Still really excited about the Pirates of the Burning Seas, but they were out of Aaron sized shirts today.

I went and said hi to Wil Wheaton who is the best keynote speaker in the universe. Bought his second book which I never got to read. Not much more to say about that. Scott got a picture but I’m too lazy to make him mail it to me right now.

We got a flier from some model chick thing about this game promotion across the street and they said , “Free drinks, open bar”. We went there, $7 drinks, lies. Looks like they spent a LOT of money on all the models, WWII equipment, decorations, rented space, ice sculpture and 100″ plasmas, it would have been nice to get a drink ticket so they were at least not lying to me. The game they were promo-ing? Oh, WWII. I know we don’t have enough games filling THAT gaping genre.

Now we are back at our computers. Concert is in an hour. Lee (Earenhylle) is here and said MC Frontalot is hanging out in his room tonight after the show, so we’ll see.

I am determined to stay up late tonight so I am waiting for my second wind.

-Aaron

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PAX:Day 1


Well, the first four hours were really adventures in lines. We made the best of it though with various hand-helds, pictochat involving phallic drawings and conversations with far more geek cred than me. We even fit in a full game of Warcraft 3 which was quite thrilling! My opponents were very kind players and it was great to be able to do that in the middle of the doldrum of the waiting.

After finally being able to set up our computers we floated around the exhibit hall which was excellent. I would imagine in an exhibit hall like E3 it is likely more shill and shwag, but here you really felt like they were there to let you play. Things like demoing a TCC and letting you keep a whole deck of the cards. It was neat! I also got a beta key from a developer for Pirates of the Burning Seas which I have wanted to beta forever. Quite excited about that!

After that, we saw the keynote speech by Wil Wheaton. This was one of the most amazing speeches I have ever heard. He wove a story of his experience of his childhood with games into all of the troubles and concerns in the modern day concerning video games. Concerns like anti-social behavior and violence which contradict the experiences we have all had with games. He also had some choice words about people who play online games and act like dicks. Throughout the entire speech he made hundreds of well placed references to gaming experiences and our geek culture at large and tied it all together in such a way that it made me feel proud to be a gamer. That guy is fucking GOOD!

There was a Q&A with Jerry and Mike that was really funny. Some good questions and some silly ones. There was a really odd moment when this guy, who must have been really stoned, was accusing them of something and then remembered that he had not asked them a question. Bewildering. Then they had a surprise speaker, Uwe Boll. Lots of boos and everything. It was really embarrassing for me to see half the auditorium get up and leave, half of those left ridiculing him. I really thought it took brass balls to fly from Germany to stand in front of that. Very few people had genuine questions about how he planned to do better movies in the future and he did well to answer them. Also, the clips of his newest movie “Postal” didn’t look terrible. Maybe a little editing but I thought some of the jokes were good.

Right now I am hanging with my computer, might play a lil StarCraft and then head down for some dinner before the concert. Till next post!

-Aaron

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PAX tomorrow


I leave in 30 minutes to go to PAX. I’m really excited. I think my head is about to esplode. Did you know the convention center is going to be open Friday and Saturday till 3am? That’s pretty cool. It’s the biggest LAN party on the planet! I am anticipating a lot of StarCraft games going on due to the recent announcement of StarCraft 2. I am also looking forward to some good MTG games and some board games like Puerto Rico.

Also, Wil Freaking Wheaton will be there. Also a bunch of nerd bands making nerd music about nerd thins which should be pretty cool as long as it doesn’t get too crowded.

I plan to be blogging throughout the expo so if you are interested in living vicariously through me, or you are stalking me, you should check out my blog every once in a while this weekend.

-Aaron

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Update on the drive-in

We went to the drive-in again recently. Here is the word on the street. Next Summer will be the earliest it could be gone, pending some due diligence of paperwork and whatnot. That’s pretty good news, I thought we only had three months!

We saw the new Harry Potter movie and The Simpsons Movie I enjoyed them both a lot, and the “extended fig leaf” gag in the Simpsons will live as an immortal would as the absolute height of penis jokes.

I am also reading the new Harry Potter book. I remember I ran out of gas once and this lady picked me up and took me to get the gas. She had just bought probably the third book in the series and it was beside her in the car. She started driving really slow to talk to me about it. I thought she was a crazy cat lady for wanting to tell me about a children’s book. I later learned that I was the dumb-ass for not reading it. It is the best fantasy fiction since Lord of the Rings and that is no boast. I’m almost sad to see the series come to a close.

In other news, this is the funniest thing I have seen for a while.

-Aaron