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PAX Prime 2012, Day 1

The amazing thing about PAX isn't the games, it is the people.

Or more importantly the conversations that can be had.

Even on the train in, I sat across from game developer students from Iowa and we had a conversation about whether programming might be better taught in an apprenticeship. Two years university study, two years paid apprenticeship watching someone code 8hrs a day.

With the first developer I talked to we discussed the potential of replacing tests with games. Test anxiety is a huge issue. Sitting in a chair with 10 sheets of paper in front of you in an unusual and uncomfortable situation that often doesn't represent your true ability to problem solve with various knowledge. The same goes for technical interviews, in a forum where the person knows they are being explicitly judged in a zero sum game against other people, an excellent engineer might appear prone to mistakes. A game however, is excellent at escape, making you forget exactly what is going on right now, and frees you to perform more accurately in a situation where it is just you and a problem.

I talked gaming engines, game marketing, game story, hardware design, openSDKs, chip costs, hardware proximity detection, the miniaturization of accelerometers, broadcast protocol development, the list goes on and on, the number of friendly, knowledgeable people available at pax who seem genuinely happy to discuss the nuts and bolts of how their game works is staggering.

And then after that I joined Cookie Brigade and hawked cookies for an hour to hungry line goers and board game players. I got to talk to a large number of people that way. Mostly about cookies, some about Child's Play, PAX or just what game they were playing.

PAX itself is like a game. A bit of escapism. But for me, I feel like instead of using a game to hide human interaction, at PAX I make it a game to talk freely with people in a way I just don't in the normal world.

In the normal world when someone asks me what I do, I have to shrug and say "computers", because that is likely the most detail that would interest them, but to me it is a answer so vague it more resembles a lie than the truth. Safe to say, my answer at PAX is far more verbose.

When asked on the plane why I was coming to Seattle I shrugged and answered "gaming convention", because any more details would be a truth the man wouldn't be able to understand.


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Title: PAX Prime 2012, Day 1
Date posted: 01 Sep '12 - 11:18
Filed under: General
Word Count: 426 words
Good Karma: 103 (vote)
Bad Karma: 64 (vote)
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