April 30, 2014 9:27 pm

Geeking Out at PAX East

Photo of PAX East 2011 Expo Hall taken by StarTalk Radio Social Media Assistant Sarah C.

PAX East 2011 Expo Hall. I’m a dork, and forgot to take a picture this year. Credit: Sarah Cotten.

Today’s guest blog post is by StarTalk Radio Social Media Assistant Sarah Cotten, who manages our Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest channels and, as you’re about to find out, is a bit of a geek:

About three weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending PAX East, up in Boston, MA. I’ve gone every year, since year 2, and each expo just gets better and better.

As far as conventions go, this expo is practically perfect for me, and, I suspect, most of the StarTalk community. There’s a little bit of something for everybody, though it predominately features gaming – heavy on the video games, with a large side of tabletop gaming.

While I love a good video game (and playing Rock Band in my Captain Marvel dress was pretty awesome), board games are more my bread and butter. PAX is my time to try out new games, chat with indie game developers, and meet new people.

This year, we played Nanuk (A Steve Jackson game where Inuit hunters bet on hunting trips), X-Wing Miniatures (which sounds pretty much like it is), a fantastic game called DiXit (where you create stories based on picture cards, and have your friends guess which card is yours), and Boss Monster (a retro-style dungeon building card game, that let’s the boss try to eat the heroes).

My favorite of the games takes place in space, though of course, it’s all science fiction. Galactic Strike Force, made by the same company who produces Sentinels of the Multiverse (a great super hero card game) lets you pilot ships across the galaxy, defeating alien villains with your team members as you go. The whole board game is cooperative, which I love. There’s nothing better than playing against the cards, instead of playing against your friends. Maybe that means I’m too nice of a player…

Galactic Strike Force in action. Credit Sarah Cotten.

After we finished the Galactic Strike Force demo, each of my friends (and me!) all picked up copies. It’s that good. Credit: Sarah Cotten.

Photo: Oculus Rift at PAX East 2014, by Sarah Cotten.

The Oculus Rift booth, Sunday afternoon. The only time I was able to even get near it. Credit: Sarah Cotten.

Of course, the best part of PAX isn’t the games, no matter how cool Oculus Rift looks. It’s the people we get to hang out with.

I was at the hotel bar one night, chatting with some new people while enjoying a beer (drink responsibly kids!), when I mentioned what I do for StarTalk Radio.

Instantly, these guys, who are fairly famous voice actors, completely and totally geeked out over StarTalk and Neil deGrasse Tyson. It was so fun to meet people who love the show as much as I do. That’s the reason why I love PAX East so much. It’s exactly the kind of place that people from the StarTalk community can go and thrive and enjoy other geeky and nerdy company.

I hope too see more of you, next year!

–    Sarah C.

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