Thursday, September 30, 2010

PAX Prime 2010

PAX is a convention, an experience that can only be described as indescribable. One word: amazeballs. It blows my mind to think that I worked it. It’s one thing to be surrounded by video game culture: demos of all your favorite games that haven’t even been released yet, people walking around in costumes, epic SWAG- but I think the most incredible thing about PAX has got to be the people. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was in my element: truly at home amongst other amazing women and men who all shared the same common interest and love for this industry.

As soon as I arrived in Seattle, I could feel the energy. While I was there, I had the pleasure of meeting of a few the amazing people who make up this business. Some of these people, I already had a fairly decent report with due to the marvelousness in social networking called Twitter, but meeting each one of you in person has been such a treat. If there’s anything in that I’ve learned, it is that each person, big or small, plays an important role in the community: everyone has something new, exciting, different to bring to the table, and it’s that general enthusiasm, spark, that truly brings everyone together at these events. When it all comes down to it, at the end of the day, business is business, but after attending my first PAX I can say that there is no other industry I’d rather work in.

Now, as an employee of GameStop, I consider myself fortunate enough to be able to work away while chatting about videogames for the majority of my shift: never gets old. My co-workers often catch my Star Wars references and Resident Evil 1 jokes, and like any other retail job, I don’t mind explaining how things work to a customer, recommending “a good third person shooter”, or entertaining them with my opinion as to why I think Fallout 3 was one of the best RPGs of all time. After attending PAX, it became clear to me that everywhere I turned, people ‘got me’. My nerdisms, love for internet memes, movie quotes- most of the things that people in the everyday world don’t even catch- all understood. There’s just so much awesomeness to go around, especially within the Frag Doll community. I remember a year ago when I met one of my best friends, Quinn, working at GameStop. I nearly had an aneurism- I was so excited that I had another girl to play games with! Now, here I am, part of an amazing sisterhood of women who are just like me. It really is incredible, and I feel lucky to know each and everyone of you!

As a Frag Doll Cadette, I got to demo Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Just Dance 2, and Kinect Motion Sports at the Ubisoft booth along with other PAX attendees. I also had some roam time as well, which included lots of running from booth to booth, collecting SWAG of course and playing games like Dead Space II, DUKE NUKEM FOREVER, Dragon Age II. It was a rush that I will never forget.

With my first PAX under my belt (+30 to stamina), I can promise you that this won’t be my last event. The future looks bright and I’m working hard at school this year towards some exciting internships this summer. I’m planning on attending NYCC in the upcoming few weeks as well so I’m certainly looking forward to that.

I must say though, that out of all of the things that I am particularly grateful for, I am most pleased with what this experience has done for my parent’s interest in my career. For the past 3 years, ever since I made a commitment to myself to work towards a profession that focuses primarily in entertainment and gaming, my parents have taken me everything but seriously. As a matter of fact, since my early high school years, my mother had a particular undying hatred for my love for PC games, seeing as she was so convinced that “playing video games won’t get you anywhere in life” (needless to say, I beg to differ). For the first time in my life, after years of trying to explain to my parents that this is a billion dollar industry and growing rapidly, seeing me put together my resume this summer, getting up and flying to Seattle for PAX on my own, working along the Frag Dolls -- This was the proof they needed to see to know that the conviction I have towards fulfilling my dream is real.

Though I haven’t had much time to update my blog this semester, there will be many more advances. I'm working on using my Flickr account to post all my event photos from PAX Prime and the NYCC Reach Event. So keep checking back I promise you will not be disappointed. It’s all happening right now.


Jessiah Milk Coa Styles said...

Hey Ali.. Who is the girl to the far left... She is gorgeous!

Ali Baker said...

I hope she doesn't mind I mention her, but you must be referring Francy (@SourPatchFTW). She is beautiful on the inside and out. Much love.

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