A Newb at PAX West

Every year, Seattle has a video game trade show called PAX West. I’m not much of a gamer, but maybe I’ll game a couple of hours a month – if that. Still, I do own a Nintendo Switch and enjoy playing games once in a while. Normally, this show isn’t even on my radar, but I ended up buying a ticket anyway since I figured it would be fun to go at least once.

Traffic getting into the city as well as around the convention center was horrible! Parking was equally as bad – I ended up parking on the roof of a nearby building. The hoards of people trying to get into the convention center poured onto a whole city block where the line snaked the line back and forth like at Disney Land. There were many people outside also trying to scalp their weekend passes to PAX. Once inside, it was elbow to elbow throughout the entire gaming floor.

While i was waiting to get into the building, I noticed quite a few people with folding stools. I thought that was odd, but didn’t understand why until I was fully immersed on the main floor. All of the newest games were there for people to play, but the lines were immense. People got their early and scheduled time to play. If you didn’t get there early – tough luck, no games for you. Other games took people walking up to their booth, but they had very long lines and people waited upwards of an hour to play certain demos. Personally, I played a few games that weren’t big time attractions, but interested me nonetheless. At most, I waited 5 minutes to play.

  1. Castle Crashers for the Nintendo Switch
  2. BattleBlock Theater – this was built into an arcade machine and that’s how I played it. Since it’s not coming to the switch, I’m just not interested.
  3. Mortal Kombat 11 via Stadia on an android cell phone with a controller – Pretty cool experience. Stadia is a Google gaming platform. The demo I played was actually local to that phone, and not streamed, so I’m not sure how it will really be in the wild, but it was quite impressive to play a game like that on the phone with a full wireless controller.
  4. Steel Battalion – an original Xbox game played via a LAN. Very fun!

Would I ever go back? Nope! It was neat to experience, but a madhouse! If I wanted to see those games, I could hop on to any number of internet sites and even download demos of a lot of them. If I were to do it again – scratch that. It’s not worth the hassle.

Of course, I had to bring along my camera. The portraits I shot were all with the person’s consent – including the lady gaming in the coffin. I used a Nikon D850 and Nikon 28mm f/1.4E lens. Everything was shot at f/2, and the photos are straight out of the camera – I customized the Neutral picture profile as well as used active D-lighting.

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