PAX East Panel: Be There or Be At a Concert, I Guess

I’d imagine anyone reading this blog also saw the news via tweet, but since this is generally the repository for my video game writing career, I thought it warranted a full blog post. I’ve been asked to be on a panel at PAX East this year, and just yesterday we got the news that it had been approved.

The panel is called “Borders, Bigotry, and Body Dumps: International Videogame Controversies.” It will be Friday night at 9 PM in the Wyvern, and I’ll be on stage with a few luminaries on the topic. I think the title generally speaks for itself, but this should be a pretty heady discussion, and I’m really looking forward to it. Being on at night means we’re competing with some concert or another, but I like to think that at least six or seven people will come to hear us prattle on about conscientious gaming instead of going to see The Protomen.

(I mean no offense to The Protomen, I just figure that’s usually a Friday night type of thing.)

I was asked to be on the panel by the organizer Robert Rath, after he saw my piece on the Red Cross’ points about war crimes in games. He’s written some very smart, timely pieces about the subject himself, like this one video games as a method of coping with PTSD, and this one on the Call of Juarez controversy given the real death and violence happening in that city. Funny enough, I had written a similar article, using the Juarez controversy as a springboard to talk about controversies on broader terms, at 1UP. I didn’t say it in as many words in the 1UP article, but my basic position was that gamers needed to calm down and stop going on the defensive over a perceived “attack” on their medium. These people are suffering real pain. Let’s be sensitive to that.

At any rate, these are the kinds of issues we’ll be tackling for an hour on April 6. Two days later, I’ll turn 30 years old on Easter. That sounds like one hell of a weekend to me.


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