Another PAX East has come and gone, and even after three days of gaming awesomeness, I still find myself experiencing what JayRain and I came to call “PWS,” or “PAX Withdrawal Syndrome.” So what made PAX East epic this year?
Friday morning started off with me riding the bus down. Shout out to C&J Trailways, with their awesome buses, friendly drivers and free on-board wifi! That was great!
Got to South Station, walked the 1.2 miles to the BCEC and BOOM! Gamers paradise, right at my fingertips!
One great feature they have in the building is baggage and coat checks, so, if you’re like me, and travel in, but can’t check into your hotel until later, you have a safe place to keep your stuff. And, the price is good – it was $3 per item to check them for the entire day.
Friday morning I started off some of the panels I went to by attending one of the use of games in education. Specifically, Steve Swink talked about how the education system in the United States is beyond messed up. A veteran game designer and educator, he and his team have created two games (The Doctors Cure and Taiga) that incorporate the fact that kids really like playing games, and that research has shown that people remember facts better when they are learned in a game, rather then they are recited by a teacher. “We teach kids like they are memory sticks,” he said during his presentation, and JayRain (a high school teacher) and I both agreed completely. What he went on to show was that kids who were not “writers” were writing because of the games he had developed and implemented in some of these classrooms. And what’s more, was they were learning the information better than those who weren’t playing the names. “The five paragraph essay is bullshit,” he said. But when he showed a story, written by a sixth grader, who didn’t even speak English as a primary language, Swink was so proud, because that kid was actually learning – and not just how to put together a sentence or an essay, but learning how to think – about making ethical decisions in the game, the consequences of his choices, and what was going to happen.
It was a totally fascinating talk, both because the idea made complete sense, but also because Swink was an exceptionally charismatic speaker. I am hoping to locate a video of his talk, and I will share it here if and when I do.
I spent a lot of the afternoon walking to the surprise Elder Scrolls Online Food Truck, which was awesome, though cold. The food was good, though, and free food at the con was a huge, huge plus.
Many thanks to the Le Cordon Bleu students who were running the truck. I also really like my ESO cup. =)
Spent more time on the floor and picking up swag and various other goodies. I will wrap up this post with some photos from the floor, and will post about my Friday night panel another time.
What did you do the first day of PAX East 2013? What did you think of this year? And, most importantly, can I meet up with you there next year? Leave me a comment below!