Exhibition floor

Trip to PAX East

A short description of PAX and my trip

Adrian Lee
The Mole
Published in
4 min readMar 10, 2015


I flew from San Francisco to ice cold Boston the first weekend of March for PAX East, one of the largest gaming conventions in North America. PAX not only showcases the latest blockbuster games, it also gives independent game developers a chance to show their games to the world. Along were panels discussing topic related to gaming, live concerts and free play areas for PC and tabletops.

Large gaming companies and studios come to PAX every year to advertise their games, setting up well decorated booths packed with computers, consoles, game figures, cosplay actors and large televisions. At the same times, selling gaming merchandise and giving out free swags to attract more people to their booths. Eager gamers line up for hours to get a chance to play-test games which are still in development.

Right next to these million-dollar companies are independent game developers creating games on their free time as a side project. Although they might not have the money to set up rows of computers, mount multiple 50" TVs to show trailers, or hire advertisers, they are very passionate gamers with brilliant ideas creating unique game-play. Here you will find their own personal computers as the demo machine and passionate game developers standing nervously behind you figuring out how to improve the game and hoping you might enjoy it.

People playing indie games

It won’t be a gaming convention if there aren’t areas to just play games. At every PAX, there are areas destinated as PC and console free play area. In the console free play area, there are hundreds of latest and classic consoles set up, from NES to Playstation 4, along with hundres of titles available to be checked out. This year I wasn’t able to get to it but the last time I was at PAX, I played Bomberman with 7 people on a Dreamcast (never realize there was a console that allowed so many controllers).

As for the PC area, hundreds of computers with gaming mice, keyboards and headsets are lined up pre-installed with some of the most popular titles. Each session last around 45 minutes enough time to play a game of LoL or DOTA, or maybe just check Facebook or reddit to get your daily fix. People can also bring their own computers to PAX making it one big LAN party.

Beside of video games, tabletops are also very popular at PAX. Tabletop designers and creators set up booths to promote and teach people how to play their games. Right next to them is a large area lined with open tables for people to bring their games to play with friends or strangers.

There are just a lot of people playing games.

And of course, like every gaming convention, there are always people who dress up as game characters.

Mario kart