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The Penny Arcade Expo East ended Sunday, disgorging an army of exhausted gamers from the Boston Convention Center. Loaded down with schwag, free games and fuzzy memories, a good time was had by all of these footsore nerds. Goodie bags for all comers included full copies of the MMO Rift, plus download codes for the indie game Magicka, along with the traditional PAX loot of Magic The Gathering cards, and an assortment of doodads, including a papercraft version of Lolth the Spider Goddess from the upcoming expansion to Dungeons & Dragons Online.
While many games were on display, those who could brave the lines were treated to hands-on with title like Lollipop Chainsaw, Max Payne 3 and could even play Aliens: Colonial Marines against the game’s developers. The next update to Bioware’s The Old Republic Online was playable, as was Funcom’s upcoming MMO The Secret World (Access codes for next month’s beta were liberally distributed by Funcom to PAX attendees). Sneak peeks at videos for games hitting later in the year included gameplay footage of Assassin’s Creed III.
Aside from the show floor, attendees could sit down and get a closer look at the game industry with panels that provided the chance to watch Gabe and Tycho write and draw Monday’s strip live, but also offered discussion on some more esoteric subjects like how to get work as a freelance game journalist, enhancing your skills as a Dungeon Master, and Player Affinity’s own Charles Battersby moderated a panel on Transgender Issues In Gaming.
A few embarrassing moments occurred, including a model at the Chainsaw Lollipop booth being asked to leave the show due to her revealing outfit (Which violated the “No Booth Babes” policy), and the Rooster Teeth panel was interrupted by a man who stripped to his underpants to do a sexy dance onstage (Which violated the “OH GOD! MY EYES! MY EYES!” Policy).
But these minor incidents didn’t mar the experience for most attendees. PAX East has been confirmed in returning to Boston through 2023, and PAX Prime 2012 will run over Labor Day Weekend in Seattle. Check back with Player Affinity throughout the week for our hands-on previews of the games we tried at PAX East, and more in-depth coverage.