PAX East 2014

On the weekend of April 11, 2014 the crew of AnimeJamSession once more ventured to Boston, MA for PAX East.  As we did last year, we trekked up to Boston on Thursday to be able to relax, get our game plan situated, and meet up with friends.  It’s nice to be able to just hang out and have dinner, and seeing MC Frontalot eating in the same pub doesn’t hurt.

Friday was spent wandering around the expo hall.  This year we took our time and tried to find more of the indie games.  I found a game called Cupcakes and Critters and became instantly addicted.  The game involves saving a cupcake from bugs using the touch screen to squish them.  It’s cute, fun, and silly.

We also walked around the panel rooms and found the diversity lounge.  It was an interesting combination of companies and convention tables promoting gay rights, women’s rights, and showing of game ware for the disabled.  It was an interesting concept, but it also seemed to lack depth.

We went out to dinner in China Town, grabbing some Dim Sum, and hanging with some friends that were at the con for the weekend as well.  However, even though we got back fairly early, we missed out of the Cards Against Humanity panel.  Even an hour early to the line and they were turning people away because it was obvious that many wouldn’t get it.  Next year they really need to do something about that.  Instead we got an epic game of CoH started and played into the wee hours of the night.

Saturday we were back down to the expo hall and walking around to see what there was to be had, for more of the same, looking, searching, and trying to find anything that seemed interesting.  A few more games were located, including Ranma and I attempting to win a tournament from one of the games on display, in which we epically failed in.  I played a few more rounds of Cupcakes and Critters while Ranma went to some of the raffle callings.

That night, Ranma went to one of the after parties and I hit up the handheld lounge.  I had a lot of fun just sitting around playing on my 3DS and collecting street passes.  Got into a great convo about Sailor Moon with my neighbor, this had us both fangirling over the Sailor Saturn figure which the color prototype had just been released.

Sunday we did our usual of cosplay interviews and trying to get last minute stuff.  Our yearly venture to Mega Ran’s Hip Hop panel, with MC Frontalot and Hip Hop Gamer was nice.  It was based on game music mostly this year, and I love that while this is the third time I’ve gone to the panel, it always has new and interesting information.  I guess that’s what you get when the panel host has so much teaching experience.

Anyway, after that we attempted to hunt down a specific game in the expo hall.  One of the ladies we interviewed told us about the game Blast ‘Em Bunnies.  Having a weakness for cute games, I had to find it, and I’m so glad I did.  The game is fun and pretty amusing.  You have to shoot bunnies with the food they eat.  So ninja bunnies and flying bunnies have to be shot down with carrots.  Amusing!

Overall this was the best PAX I’ve been at so far.  There was definitely a noticeable increase in the crowd size, but luckily there is also a little room in the expo hall to open it up and cut back on the crowd squeeze a bit.  However, while there was an increase in the variety of panels. Many of them dealt with diversity and not, to me, an interesting concept.  Women in gaming, which wasn’t really about women gamers, but about those in the industry, and while they may be gamers, I want a panel hosted by hard core women gamers about the games they play and the flack they get. Not women in the industry telling me how they got in the industry and how hard it is to work in a male dominated industry.

There were quite a bit of a psychology theme to the panels, but again, it was mostly diversity driven and “how to deal with normies” type panels.

Diversity is a good thing, and I’m glad they’re trying to open the concept up, but there was WAY too much of that type of thing.  I want fun panels about psychology.  Something along the lines of the DnD meme and figuring out which other game characters may be true neutrals, or chaotic lawful, etc.  I want to see Briggs-Myers personality tests and if that affects the type of gamer you are.

I look forward to next year, and hope that things work out well enough to be able to get badges again, since scalpers are going crazy buying them.  Hope to see some of you there.



Pro: Because some of the big name companies were not present, there were more indie games and it was pretty easy to play them.

Con: Too many panels trying to ease the diversity debate which seemed to make it “diversity con” instead of having exciting panels.

Overall: Still my favorite year so far.  Just have to remember to wear something more comfortable on my feet so I don’t miss the after party again next year.


Mako-chan isn’t just a writer and co-host… She’s also the resident baker and chef of all things yummy. Mako-chan has been working behind the scenes helping out where she can for the Podcast. Officially joining the team in November of 2011, first as a writer and editor, and later as an on air personality for the show, and now Assistant Editor, Mako-chan embraces the five main sureties in life that make a person great; Beauty, Intelligence, Talent, Creativity, and Honesty. ^_~

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