Friday, March 26, 2010

PAX schedule

No links this week, as I prepare to head over to PAX. Since I've never been to one of these things before, I don't know what to expect, and it's entirely possible that I'll run screaming from the building within minutes. So we'll play it by ear. That said, I'm planning to try to hit some or all of the following panels, so stop and say hi if you're there too. You can't miss me -- I'm the white guy with the ironic t-shirt.

(All descriptions lifted shamelessly from the official PAX site.)

Journalists vs. Developers: The Ultimate Grudge Match
Manticore Theatre
Friday, 2:00pm

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], Jeff Green [Editor-in-Chief, EA]

Kotaku and Croal: In Search Of The Best Games Ever
Manticore Theatre
Saturday, 11:30am

What are the 10 best video games ever made? Former journalism peers and eternal game-arguing rivals N'Gai Croal (Hit Detection) and Stephen Totilo (Kotaku), have figured out how to figure it out: Make a game out of it. They've created a game that will determine the 10 best games of all time -- and roped in a host of gaming luminaries to play. Witness the birth of Kotaku and Croal's "Canon Fodder" as Stephen and N'Gai's brand-new and possibly completely foolhardy game is launched. Early tests have been successful, with zero bugs reported. This is their (well, Stephen's) quest to somehow get Yoshi's Island higher on the list than Super Mario World. Let's hope their gaming industry guests don't let them down.

Panelists Include: Stephen Totilo [Deputy Editor, Kotaku], N'Gai Croal [Founder and Principal, Hit Detection]

The Death of Print
Manticore Theatre
Saturday, 1:00pm

It´s no longer a secret: Print is a dying medium. The past few years have been brutal for print media in the game space, but the plummeting sales and editorial team layoffs came to a head in 2009. It´s no surprise many of the key players at those institutions have moved on to web-based ventures, but has the industry as a whole ultimately lost something or gained something? In this 60-minute panel, Russ Pitts, Editor-in-Chief of The Escapist speaks to several journalists who were deeply involved with the events of the past year about the run-up to the decline of print, and the effects on game journalism – and games. Panelists: John Davison, Editor of the new Gamepro Jeff Green, formerly of Games for Windows Magazine, Julian Murdoch, Freelance Writer.

Panelists Include: Russ Pitts [Editor-in-Chief, The Escapist], Julian Murdoch [journalist, freelance], Jeff Green [EA], Chris Dahlen [Managing Editor , Kill Screen], John Davison [Editor-in-Chief, Gamepro]

An Awkward Hour with Rock Band Designers
Manticore Theatre
Sunday, 10:00am

Have you ever wished to be locked in a room with the design team behind the Rock Band games and ask them anything? Well, now's your chance! Armed solely with a laptop filled with behind the scenes movies and embarrassing pictures, the team of designers behind the Rock Band games will answer your questions and reveal some of the reasons for why they made things in various ways.

Panelists Include: Dan Teasdale [Lead Designer, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc], Sylvain Dubrofsky [Senior Designer, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc], Brian Chan [Senior Designer, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc], Casey Malone [Designer, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc]

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Game Journalism...
Manticore Theatre
Sunday, 2:30pm

... but were too afraid to ask... and we didn't really want to tell you anyway... because some of it is kind of embarrassing... but we will... tell you... at this panel... because we're just that awesome. Featuring experienced game journalism professionals (including Crispy Gamer's Kyle Orland, freelancer Gus Mastrapa, The Escapist's Susan Arendt, Joystiq's Chris Grant and Time's Lev Grossman) answering any and all questions you have about the art and craft of getting paid to write about games (it's a tough life). Review scores. Swag. Junkets. Bias. The death of magazines. The rise of blogs. It's all fair game. Of course, you're not limited to those topics. THE ONLY LIMIT IS YOUR IMAGINATION!

Panelists Include: Kyle Orland [Staff Writer, Crispy Gamer], Gus Mastrapa [Freelance, Various], Chris Grant [Editor-in-Chief, Joystiq], Susan Arendt [Senior Editor, The Escapist], Stephen Totilo [Deputy Editor, Kotaku], Lev Grossman [Writer, Time]

Sequelitis Snake Oil: Quack Medicine for the Video Game Industry
Manticore Theatre
Sunday, 4:00pm

Why do passionate gamers treat the word "sequel" as a pejorative while often bestowing their highest praise upon those very same sequels? This panel will seek to diagnose the video game industry's purported "sequelitis" and – by way of discussion from thoughtful panelists, including Irrational Games' Ken Levine; Harmonix's Dan Teasdale; Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann; and moderator Chris Grant, from Joystiq – debunk the quack medicine that's identified video game sequels to be symptomatic of the industry's creative bankruptcy.

Panelists Include: Christopher Grant [Editor-in-Chief, Joystiq], Ken Levine [Creative Director, Irrational Games], Chris Avellone [Creative Director, Obsidian Entertainment], Dan Teasdale [Senior Designer, Harmonix], Jeff Gerstmann [Co-founder, Giant Bomb]


Mitch Krpata said...

I just realized every panel I'm interested in is in the Manticore Theatre.

Kirk Battle said...

I always keep my head down and watch people at these kind of things. People are a lot more chatty and interesting if they think you're just another gamer.

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