PAX East “Borders Bigotry and Body Dumps” afterthoughts

I tweeted this over the weekend, but tweets being as they are it might’ve been missed in the shuffle. Plus, I promised some afterthoughts after the video was up. It’s about an hour long, mind you, and the sound quality is a little dodgy. You can follow along well enough, though.

Lots of credit for all this goes to Rob Rath (@robwritespulp). He put together the panel, rounded all of us up, created the PowerPoint, and shot the video. If you want to read more information on any of these topics, I highly suggest you check out his post-panel reading list, or just generally follow him. He’s a sharp guy with a tendency to shine a light on unexplored topics.

I think the panel on the whole was a success. We actually engaged a crowd of a few hundred people to talk about these serious issues, and they seemed actively involved and passionate about the subject. For early on a Sunday morning after the Saturday night revelry, that’s no small feat. Maybe video games are products of our society, but as a subculture we can demand better, smarter, and more introspective entertainment. Judging by the temperature of the room, it seems at least a few hundred people agree.

And as I point out late in the panel, we’re not demanding that all of our games grow up. It would just be nice to see the market maturing in that direction, and opening a dialogue is one step towards it.

(As a side-note, the slide that served as the intro to my topic is technically inaccurate. I had noticed just before the panel when I saw the slide, but only briefly, so I didn’t think to point it out while I was talking about the issue in more general terms. During the Q&A an actual member of the Armed Services pointed out the problem, and he was absolutely right. If the combatant is still pointing a gun, they’re not retreating. The questioner brought it up in a respectful way, and Rob took the criticism with good humor. Apparently he couldn’t find a proper picture of a downed soldier without a gun. What does that say about our games?)

We’ve talked a bit about maybe doing another panel together, on this broad issue or even a more focused panel on very specific issues. We’re not sure yet when or if it’s happening, of course, but I’d definitely be up for another round.

Now, notes on today’s stories.

  • I’m sure this will sound horribly selfish, but I actually re-upped my PlayStation Plus subscription over the weekend, and Awesomenauts was one major reason. So the news of dtp’s financial woes put that in jeopardy, much to my dismay. Obviously I still hope that dtp pulls out of this situation, but I’m glad to know that Awesomenauts is at least still on-track for Ronimo. And me.
  • Purple rain, puuurple rain.
  • My eyes tend to roll back a bit when it comes to the hardcore Halo mythos, but sure, I’m up for a newbie-friendly mini-series.
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