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  • A PAX East Low-Def Photo History

    Posted on April 5th, 2012 Shawn No comments


    Gamers Gaming - Expo Floor

    Gamers Gaming - Expo Floor

    Mr. Pope - Rock Band Lounge

    Mr. Pope - Rock Band Lounge

    Rock Band Lounge

    Rock Band Lounge

    Open Chord Rhythm Game Prototype - Expo Floor

    Open Chord Rhythm Game Prototype - Expo Floor

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Do Not Become a Zombie at PAX East

    Posted on April 5th, 2012 Shawn 1 comment

    PAX EastThis weekend marks the 3rd annual Penny Arcade Exposition East (better known as PAX East) at the Boston Exhibition and Conference Center (BCEC) on the Boston, MA waterfront. There are some basic guideline’s to think about before traveling to such an event.  First off, tickets are sold out. Don’t expect to buy a ticket at the door. 70,000 (or so) tickets are sold for this event on an annual basis.

    For those going to PAX East this weekend, I’d like to give a few tips to help you stay safe, comfortable, and avoid the highly toxic PAX flu (which generally invades your body 2-4 days after closing day of PAX).

    PAX ZombiesRandom tips for those attending PAX:

    1. Wear comfortable shoes. The BCEC is huge, and you will walk several miles throughout the weekend just traveling around the convention center.
    2. Have cash on hand. Not for the muggers, but for cabs (if you want to explore the real side of Boston, which is about a 2 mile walk), and food. Credit cards are welcome just about everywhere, but cash will be handy for those times when it’s the only accepted option.
    3. Dress in layers. It will get warm indoors, but outside will likely be windy and cool as the BCEC is right on the waterfront.
    4. Bring a backpack. To carry your layers, and all the swag you will pick up each day. Trust me, you will get a ton of swag, like it or not.
      Read the rest of this entry »
  • E3: Harmonix Reveals Dance Central, Gaming Becomes Too Expensive

    Posted on June 14th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Towards the end of the new Xbox 360 Kinect unveiling today at E3, the MTV Games logo popped up on the big screen, and a purple bubbly HARMONIX logo followed. No, it was not for Rock Band 3, but instead the first new game out of Harmonix in several years, Dance Central.

    It’s very easy to describe the game. It is Dance Dance Revolution without a dance pad. But wait, there’s more. Since it uses the camera of Kinect to identify your dance moves, it also challenges you with full body dancing. No longer are we limited to the positions of our feet. Arms, hips, head, you name it, is all involved in this.

    SOURCE: www.1up.comThe game concept is not revolutionary. Once again, Konami is missing the boat on its own invention and Harmonix is jumping all over it.

    Now, like many others, I’m a Harmonix fanboy. I’m also a DDR closet addict. This game may initially look like a must have for me right? Wrong.

    It simply comes down to money. Gaming has become a very expensive hobby. For 99% of us gamers (unpaid bloggers too), it’s just that, a hobby.

    Rock Band 3 Pro GuitarKinect will be available this November for $150, and I’d expect Dance Central to be the standard $60. $210 to get this new experience is unbelievably steep. Fortunately, I have a decent paying job, and could likely squeeze the cash to get this.

    Now, let’s look at the biggest crux for me. Rock Band 3 is slated to be released one week earlier. This is a guaranteed pre-order for me. There is going to be a bundle which includes the game and new keys peripheral for $130. There will also be an Xbox 360 MIDI box for pro drummers to directly connect for $40. I will no doubt be pre-ordering all of those for $170.

    Are you starting to see the problem? To add to the Rock Band costs, there will be two new guitar controllers. One for $150 and the other is TBA (but I will make a bold prediction and say it will be $300). The good of that is, I’m not much of a Rock Band guitarist. The bad of it is, I do play the real 6 string guitar on occasion. This makes these new guitar controllers (likely the $300 model) very appealing to me.

    After I have dumped $470 into Rock Band 3 gear (and wife wife throws me out of the house), I’m not going to be able to consider Kinect or Dance Central for a long time. It’s all about cost-benefit analysis for my financial friends (That’s you @RockBandAide).

    To keep this tirade going, as a former real world DJ (back in my yout’) and a lover of hip-hop, I have yet to pick up DJ Hero. Primarily, because I have been holding out hope that Harmonix would make support for turntables in the Rock Band games. I’d still like to pick up DJ Hero and now DJ Hero 2 has been announced coming….of course, this Fall.

    So, please tell all my family and friends that I need some Amazon gift cards before October. I will return the favor by moving in with you when I get thrown out of my house.

  • E3: Xbox gets Slim, Kinects with us & Rock Band goes Pro

    Posted on June 14th, 2010 Shawn 1 comment

    E3 2010There is likely to be some of the most amazing gaming news in history made this week. Let’s kick off with some of what we already know.

    • Xbox 360’s code named “Project Natale” was unveiled Sunday night, and renamed Kinect. This is the camera-based controls, which allow game play and other cool Xbox uses without any controller in your hand. I’m expecting this to be a huge family hit, but not a big deal with hard core gamers. This should hit the Wii crowd below the belt. It was unveiled, and definitely is focusing on kids, especially with the Webkinz like, plush stuffed animals (Kinectimals) that unlock in-game content.
    • All signs point to an Xbox 360 Slim being fully unveiled this week. Many already at E3 early, have confirmed the unconfirmed Xbox 360 Slim. That’s great news to anyone with a red ringed (or E74’d) Xbox 360 that’s well out of warranty. Maybe Microsoft got the hardware engineering right this time, and we will see an end to the more than 60% console fail rate.
    • Harmonix people are in L.A., and stating that the Rock Band booth is amazing. They will be showing the world all that is Rock Band 3. See Rock Band Keysour other posts for nitty-gritty details, but expect professional new controllers (i.e. real 6-string guitars, full size electronic drum sets, real piano/keyboards) with major advancements to the software.
    • In more Harmonix news, there are solid rumors floating around that the game developer has created a dance game, dubbed Dance Central, for the new Microsoft Kinect.  If you are like me, Harmonix could release a pile of poop and I’d still buy it. [thanks @RockBandAide for the tip]

    There should also be many other announcements, which we will post about through the week. Stay tuned for Shawn and Simon’s coverage (from afar).

  • Green Day Rock Band Detailed by Chris Foster

    Posted on April 15th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Green Day Rock Band

    Here’s a wonderful interview from Gamespot of Harmonix lead designer Chris Foster, talking in great detail about Green Day Rock Band. There is a ton of in-game content demo’d as well, plus a lot of Green Day goodness not previously seen in the commercials or PAX demos. If you are interested in seeing a big glimpse of the upcoming game, check this out.

    [Thanks @RockBandAide for the tip]

  • Rock Band Network at PAX East

    Posted on April 9th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Here’s another video from the Harmonix Lounge at PAX East.  So, what’s different about this one?  First, I did not record it.  Second, it features the first RBN track in Spanish (Arigato by Gandhi).  Third, I’m on the drums.

    Yep, Just a few minutes after arriving in the Harmonix Lounge on day 1 of PAX East, I hopped in line to play a song.  I met up with a few folks that I’ve chatted online with, and other cool cats in the lounge.  We got up to the stage to play, and then Eric Pope changed the freeplay up and featured only RBN songs for a while.  So, the video here is the first time I’ve heard this song in its entirety, and the first time playing it.
    (source: Samanthics on YouTube)

  • HMXer Eric Pope on Queen at PAX East

    Posted on April 8th, 2010 Shawn 2 comments

    EXCLUSIVE!  As I continue to empty out the SD card on the good old Kodak Zi8 from PAX East 2010, I continue to stumble on some gems from that weekend.  Of course, many of those gems come from the Harmonix Lounge.  This one features a brief 26 seconds of Hamonix’ own Eric Pope (@MrPope) on vocals, doing justice to the Queen classic, Somebody to Love. Eric was also the MC for the entire weekend, who I recall mentioning “if someone comes up and plays Blackened by Metallica one more time, I will punch them in the dick.”  His words, not mine.

    Side note: Eric, another group came up and played that song again, and there were zero dick punches.  I’m just sayin’.

    Sorry I didn’t get the whole thing…battery was getting low.

  • MyGGGO will represent at PAX East

    Posted on March 9th, 2010 Shawn 2 comments

    The Penny Arcade Expo East 2010 is rapidly approaching, the weekend of March 26-28. We are letting you know that MyGGGo (basically just Shawn) will be there with friends and family enjoying as much as possible.

    More importantly for you, I will be doing everything I can to get you the best view of the entire show.  While at the panels, demos, competitions, concerts, and all around, I will be Live Tweeting as much as I can (assuming AT&T doesn’t crap out on my BlackBerry Bold).  I will also be sporting a Kodak Zi8 HD 1080p for video captures, which I will blast up here to the site as soon as I can. Once the show winds down, I will put together some more insightful blog posts about what it was like.

    Some things to know ahead of time.

    1. I’ve never been to a gaming conference before, so I will be a kid in a candy store.
    2. More than 60,000 tickets have been sold and many of the Hynes Convention Center rooms only hold 400 people.  Lines will be long, and I can’t promise I will get to see much.
    3. The schedule is overwhelming, and there will be no possible way for me to see every event.
    4. I’ve never video blogged before, so this should be fun.
    5. I am a Harmonix fanboy, and will most likely spend every second I can hanging with the Rock Band developer, other fanboys, and the like.

    If there is something specifically you’d like to see covered at PAX East from a panel, a concert, or a personal interview…let me know.

    In preparation for PAX East, what should you do?

    1. Follow @MyGGGo on Twitter.
    2. Leave comments to this post, so I know what to cover for you.
    3. Subscribe to my sites RSS feed, so you can get regular blog updates.
  • PAX East 2010 Schedule – Official & Beyond…

    Posted on February 24th, 2010 Shawn 4 comments

    PAX East is coming up soon.  If you missed my earlier post on “What Is PAX East and Who Is Going?“, just read the post for an intro.  Since the official PAX East site still does not have an official schedule posted (plus there will be many unofficial events), I’m starting to organize events in (and around PAX East).  I will continue to update this as we get closer to the event, which is in Boston, MA March 26-28 twenty-ten.

    UPDATE: Events in red are confirmed. Events in black are 90% accurate, and I ‘m in process of confirming with various schedules.

    Friday March 26

    2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Journalists vs. Developers: The Ultimate Grudge Match– Manticore Theatre

    Game developers can’t stand those damned journalists, the way they pick apart your three years of hard work with a review they wrote in an afternoon. And journalists don’t understand why game developers won’t listen to all of their great ideas! What happens when we force some of the industry’s most opinionated writers and developers to hash out their issues in front of an audience? Will they finally see eye-to-eye, or kill each other in public? Watch as writers Chris Kohler ( and Patrick Klepek (G4) square off against game creators John Drake (Harmonix) and another guest from the industry.

    Panelists Include: Chris Kohler [Editor, Games,], John Drake [Publicist, Harmonix Music Systems], Patrick Klepek [News Editor, G4] SOURCE

    2:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Grassroots: Why Gamers are Getting Involved and Why You Should Too– Naga Theatre

    Over the years we as a community of gamers have had our fair share of nemeses ranging from politicians, activists, and…ahem…lawyers. And make no mistake, as one discredited opponent fades away there will be more to fill the void. Find out how we’ve been fighting back, where we’ve found success (and failure), and how you can help the cause. SOURCE

    2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Radio Free Nintendo: A Live Nintendo Podcast for Grown-Ups– Wyvern Theatre
    Radio Free Nintendo has delivered a weekly discussion on all things Nintendo since mid-2006, in a convenient podcast format. This outspoken and funny group of Nintendo experts comes from the oldest and largest independent Nintendo website in the world, Nintendo World Report. We love Nintendo games, except when we don’t, and we appreciate/criticize Wii and DS games in the context of multi-platform gaming. We know the best Metroid upgrades, the worst Zelda dungeons, and what makes Sin & Punishment sublime. We own more WiiWare games than you knew existed. And we’re not afraid to compare Mario with Ratchet & Clank or Prince of Persia.

    Panelists Include: Jonathan Metts [Contributing Editor, Nintendo World Report], Karl Castaneda [Contributing Editor, Nintendo World Report], James Jones [Features Editor, Nintendo World Report], Jon Lindemann [Director, Nintendo World Report], Karl Castaneda [Contributor, Nintendo World Report] SOURCE

    3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – PAX East 2010 Keynote – Main Theatre
    Best known for his role as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek The Next Generation and Gordie in Stand by Me, Wil Wheaton has since become one of the most prominent and vocal bloggers of our culture with topics ranging from his personal growth as a geek, to Star Trek, to naturally gaming. We are super excited to have Wil present the very first PAX East keynote. It’s going to be awesome.

    Speaker: Wil Wheaton SOURCE

    3:30 PM – 4:30 PM – It’s Got A Good Beat, And I Can Kill Zombies To It – JamspaceSince the first kid heard the four-note Space Invaders theme blasting out the arcade doors, music has played a powerful role in the history of digital games. Join panelists Aubrey Hodges (Doom, King’s Quest, Spy Hunter, Madden NFL), Jim Bonney (Mortal Kombat, John Woo’s Stranglehold), Tom Salta (H.A.W.X, GRAW 1 & 2, Red Steel), Gene Rozenberg (Henry Hatsworth, Madden NFL) and Duncan Watt (League Of Legends, Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway, Need For Speed: Undercover), for an audiovisual trip celebrating great videogame music – from the past, to the present… and into the future. Audience discussion encouraged.

    Panelists Include: Duncan Watt [Founder/Creative Director, Fastestmanintheworld], Tom Salta [Composer], Gene Rozenberg [Composer, 38 Studios (Maynard, MA)], Aubrey Hodges [Audio Director/Composer, 38 Studios (Maynard, MA)], Jim Bonney [Audio Director/Composer, Irrational Games] SOURCE

    3:30 PM – 4:30 PM – Online Gaming Communities and “Real Life” Relationships– Manticore Theater
    Are you are a member of one or more online gaming website communities? Perhaps the friendships and relationships you formed online have made their way into your everyday “real life”. You are certainly not alone. We will discuss the communities we have created and support, and how they impact real life relationships for gamers of all types.

    Panelists Include: Derek “DSmooth” Nolan [Co-Founder / Host, / 2old2type Radio Podcast] Stewart “Wombat” Nacht [Co-Host, CAGCast], Derrick “Codemonkey” Schommer [Co-Host, 2old2type Radio Podcast], Dane “Waterborn” Tullock [Community Manager,], Kareem “Daigoji Gai” Harper [Social Media & Online Marketing Manager,] SOURCE

    3:30 PM – 4:30 PM – Puppet Masters – The not so Invisible Hands of Video Game PR– Naga Theater
    Four masters of video game PR talk about the role of public relations in the video game industry. They’ll cover the buying and selling of souls, crafting and controlling messages, the rise of community, and how social media is changing how they do business.

    Panelists Include: Charles Husemann [Editor in Chief, Gaming Nexus], Arne Meyer [Senior Manager, Marketing Communications, Naughty Dog], Aram Jabbari [Manager of Public Relations, Atlus], Stephanie Tinsley Schopp [Owner, Tinsley PR], Chris Paladino [Promethium Marketing, Director of Community Relations] SOURCE

    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Penny Arcade Panel #1 – Main Theater
    Make sure to get there early for this one, as its one of the most well attended panels of the show. Two mics on stage, two mics in the crowd. Line up for your questions and Gabe and Tycho will do their best to accommodate! And god, please no “who would win in a fight” questions. If you can’t make this particular Q&A, be sure to catch the second Penny Arcade Panel. SOURCE

    4:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Design an RPG in an Hour – Wyvern Theater
    We’re making a pen and paper RPG, and you’re invited to the design meeting! During the panel, you’ll address the problem-solving and analytical questions required to design a successful game. During the discussion, we’ll cover the basics of game theory and how to outline, centered around an example you’re participating in.

    Panelists Include: David Hill [Game Designer, Machine Age Productions], Filamena Young [Game Writer, Machine Age Productions] SOURCE

    4:30 PM – 5:30 PM – IWADON: A Tribute to an Unsung Hero of Game Music– Jamspace
    Game composer Hiroyuki Iwatsuki (Iwadon on Twitter) has been writing game music for 20 years, but now for the first time his work is gaining international recognition. Game Music 4 All, a videogame-inspired music and nerdcore news site, is collaborating with artists from all over the world in arranging Iwatsuki’s remarkable and often overlooked music for the 8-bit Nintendo, Game Boy, Super Nintendo and Xbox Live Arcade in assorted musical styles. The tribute compilation will be made available online for free in time for PAX East, along with lengthy liner notes in English and Japanese. In this panel you’ll learn all about Iwatsuki’s unique history in games and the making of the IWADON tribute from site founder Genoboost (Anthony Ruybalid) and research organizer Jeriaska.

    Panelists Include: Anthony Ruybalid [Founder, Game Music 4 All] Jeriaska [Correspondent, GameSetWatch] SOURCE

    5:30 PM – 6:30 PM – Storytelling in the world of interactive fiction– Wyvern Theater
    Text adventures have been quietly experimenting with narrative gaming for thirty years. Five authors from the amateur interactive fiction community discuss the design ideas in their games — reordered storylines, unreliable narrators, deeply responsive NPCs — and how they apply to other kinds of games. (Rob Wheeler (mod.), Robb Sherwin, Aaron Reed, Emily Short, Andrew Plotkin) SOURCE

    6:00 PM – 7:00 PM – NVIDIA Presentation – Main Theater
    Come see NVIDIA unveil the next generation of PC gaming. Want to see what’s hot and what’s next? If you’re even vaguely a fan of PC games and miss this special event, you’ll likely be spending the next few months kicking yourself. Line up early as seating is limited. ‘Nuff said. SOURCE

    9:30 PM – 11:00 PM – GET LAMP Panel/Screening– Naga Theatre
    Premiere of Get Lamp!
    The current plan as approved by the PAX organizers is the showing of the main GET LAMP episode at 9:30, followed by a panel on stage of people interviewed for the film, and then some showings of a few more features of the DVD after that, including the Infocom and Bedquilt episodes.

    Saturday March 27

     8:00 AM – 8:45 AM – The First Annual Joystiq Blueberry Muffin Tops Breakfast BAND PICK-UP – location not announced
    Due to the overwhelming number of people coming to PAX East and the fact that the room can only hold 300 people at a time, we’ve decided to implement a bracelet system for entry. To obtain the bracelet, we’ll post Alexander Sliwinski’s location and picture here at on Facebook and on Twitter @JoystiqBBMTat 6 a.m. on Saturday morning. He’ll be in very close proximity to the convention center. To obtain a bracelet you’ll need to show your PAX East badge to him when he arrives at 8 a.m., as the breakfast will occur within the convention center. (Alexander Sliwinski) SOURCE

    9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – The First Annual Joystiq Blueberry Muffin Tops Breakfast SOURCE

    1:30 PM – 2:30 PM– Memes, Microcultures, and 2D Chicks: Our Future in the Otaku Gamer – Wyvern Theatre
    Alex Leavitt (Comparative Media Studies, MIT) explains how a new generation of entertainment is succeeding in a market which chooses to de-emphasize the games in favor of the characters. And as the Japanese fans influence the industry through their own amateur initiatives, what will the future of American gaming hold when online fandoms adopt similar appetites? (Alex Leavitt) SOURCE

    8:00 PM – 1:00 AM – Gamers Gone Wildhosted by SFX-360 & 2old2play – Lir, 903 Boylston Street
    Rock Band tournament, Cosplay contest, Xbox 360 raffle, prizes. 21+ and no cover charge.

    9:30 PM – 11:00 PM – The Joystiq Podcast LIVE! – Manticore Theatre
    Alexander Sliwinski & Justin McElroy gaming journalists of

    UPDATED!! 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Major Nelson Radio Podcast LIVE!– Wyvern Theatre
    Larry Hryb (Xbox Live’s Major Nelson) and the podcast team (e, Stepto, and Laura L0llipop) will record their regular podcast, in front of a live audience.

    Sunday March 28

    11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Panel on security for Xbox Live– Stephen Toulouse, Director of Policy and Enforcement for Xbox LIVE, location not announced

    2:30 PM – 3:30 PM – Game Journalism Panel – location not announced
    Kyle Orland of Crispy Gamer, Gus Mastrapa (Wired, Crispy Gamer, The Onion AV Club, Past, X-Play, Edge), Susan Arendt of The Escapist, Chris Grant of Joystiq (Editor in Chief), Lev Grossman of Techland and Time Magazine SOURCE

    More Announcements, not yet dated/timed/located:

    • day/time not announced – Bringing Up the Next Generation of Geeks – location not announced
      • (Dave Banks, Natania Barron, John Booth, Doug Cornelius, Michael Harrison, and Corrina Lawson) SOURCE
    • Music acts:
      • Anamanaguchi
      • Jonathan Coulton
      • MC Frontalot
      • Metroid Metal
      • Paul and Storm
      • Protomen
      • The Video Game Orchestra
    • Exhibitors:
      • 2K Games
      • Dell
      • EA
      • Harmonix
      • Microsoft
      • Nintendo
      • NVIDIA
      • Rockstar Games
      • Sega
      • Ska Studios
      • The Behemoth
      • Turbine
      • Twisted Pixel Games
      • Ubisoft
      • Wizards of the Coast SOURCE
  • New Games Expected at PAX East

    Posted on February 4th, 2010 Shawn 2 comments

    Did you get your 3-day pass for PAX East before they sold out this week?  If not, there are still a few single day badges left.  Are you wondering who is going to PAX East?  Go here for a partial list.  Are you wondering what events are going to be at PAX East?  Go here for the up-to-the minute unofficial schedule.

    Are you interested in what games are expected to be demoed (and possibly playable) at PAX East?  Now we have a possible list that has been posted on the PAX East forums.  Sure, it’s rumormill at this point, but I’d put it in the very probable category.

    The games are listed in order of current release date. Soonest at the top. SOURCE

    • 2K Games:
      • Mafia II
      • Spec Ops: The Line
    • EA
      • APB
      • Battlefield: Bad Company 2
      • Dante’s Inferno: Trials of St Lucia
      • Skate 3
      • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11
      • Medal of Honor
      • Crysis 2
      • Dead Space 2
    • Harmonix
      • Green Day: Rock Band

    • Microsoft
      • Super Street Fighter IV
      • Lost Planet 2
      • Alan Wake
      • Dead Rising 2
      • Fable III
      • Halo Reach
      • Micorsoft Game Room
      • Natal
    • Nintendo
      • WarioWare D.I.Y.
      • Monster Hunter Tri
      • Super Meat Boy
      • Sin and Punishment 2
      • Metroid: Other M
      • Epic Mickey
    • NVIDIA
      • Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
      • Dark Void
      • Resident Evil 5
      • Alan Wake
      • Crysis 2
    • Rockstar Games
      • GTA IV: The Lost and Damned (PS3)
      • GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (PS3)
      • Red Dead Redemption
      • Max Payne 3
      • Agent
    • Sega
      • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Rise From the Ashes
      • Mega Man 10
      • Yakuza 3
      • Iron Man 2
      • Valkyria Chronicles 2
      • After Burner Climax
      • Alpha Protocol
      • Resonance of Fate
    • The Behemoth
      • BattleBlock Theater
    • Turbine
      • Turbine Next-Gen MMO Project
    • Twisted Pixel Games
      • Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley
    • Ubisoft
      • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 4
      • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
      • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
      • Tom Clancy’s HAWX
    • Wizards of the Coast
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