PAX West 2017 Gamingbalooza…

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I spent much of the weekend with friends and strangers, at the PAX West 2017, an annual event gathering for gamers of the video and tabletop variety. The feelings shared among us involved excitement, cheer, and anticipation of gaming.

The event itself is the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Now held at Washington State Convention Center in Downtown Seattle, the event is host to hundreds of companies big and small, and its many ticket holders (at least 70,000).

For me, the event was about exploration into the ever changing industry of interactive games and its culture. I sought out a lot of new indie games, and stuff coming out for PC (not much of a console gamer anymore). Though VR and MMOs are the rising rage, I loved the new treasures of side-scrolling platformers, tactical turn-based strategy, and single-player RPGs; many with a nostalgic old-school edge to them.  For the tabletop variety, I gravitated toward fun, storyline based card games for play at parties (plenty of new stuff around here).

Now, I am exhausted and will write more of my PAX impressions soon on my other blog, strangerworlds.com. Meanwhile, here are some pics taken by me of select moments of this crazy fun show.

– Orion T

 

Catching up time!

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Lately, I have been ridiculously busy. So much, that I barely noticed a rushing illness while the sudden demands and happenings in life are constant, and overwhelm. Still, I think I worked a lot out, with much to sort out in the coming days.

Such that is my recent trip to San Diego, for a massive San Diego Comic Con gathering. Much happened there, with some reports from me on another site (strangerworlds.com). I also took some time to see some spots in San Diego and parts of the Orange County and LA coastline area. I will share many findings soon, in a series of rewinding posts.

Look forward, because I am much treasure to share.

-Orion T

My picture above is from downtown San Diego, during the time of the San Diego Comic Con nearby (July 19-23, 2017). Cartoon Network represents its current line-up with friendly faces.

Picture of Today 3/5/2017, The Heart of the Emerald City Comic Con..

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I spent much of this past weekend at the 2017 Emerald City Comic Con, here in Seattle.

Many attended, for which this was its 15th year in annual rotation showcasing the latest in geek culture through various guests, events, and merch. The good portions were the plentiful choice of awesome products, the many attendees in colorful cosplay, some cool guests, and plentiful opportunities to make new friends and discover new obsessions. The sad portions ran the lack of promotion towards the current comic book industry. Its artist alley ended up in a separate smaller space above the main floors, benefitting less for reaching out to possible new fans. The comic dealers and publishers were kept further to the back, while non-comic dealers carried a heavier presence in the main hall showroom. TV and movie celebs were promoted far more to the audience, with barely any marketing toward the new and exciting stuff happening in the comic industry. This is sadly the direction of many “comic cons” lately. I wish they would just stop pretending to emphasize that.

All that aside, I still love these events. The interaction is still there. I met a few creative people, whose work I have enjoyed past and present. I took part in some fantastic gatherings, bought a lot of cool things, and enjoyed myself with friends here and there. I will post more on the details in the near future.For now, I must rest. Excitement on a large scale can also be exhilarating.

– Orion T

In the above picture is Barry Kitson, a comic book professional artist from a wide range of well-known Marvel and DC comics titles.The character in the picture is Angela, a heavenly warrior currently residing in the Marvel Comics universe. Barry was sketching all weekend for the Hero Initiative, a non-profit charity helping comic creators in a time of desperate need. For more info, visit www.heroinitiative.org.

 

Picture of Today 9/3/2016, the Much Colorful Cosplay..

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The PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) returned to Seattle, bringing the unusual bunch special, colorful bunch of gaming enthusiasts together.

Though this year, the event is now PAX West (former PAX Prime), an annual convention for gamers of both the video interactive and the physical tabletop variety. Tomorrow, I will be attending the inside of the event and intend on doing much mingling and observing of a culture I enjoy taking part in.

But outside (where I was strolling by for a walk behind the convention center), there was an interesting sub-group of gaming enthusiasts among the PAX participants gathering around; the cosplayers, who dress up as their favorite characters of their current favorite fandom. Often, they gravitate towards other and court the local photographing paparazzi. With the nice weather peeking out, there were clusters of cosplayers about presenting their colorful attires.

Above, are a sub-group of cosplayers who are growing in presence with their costumes familiar to the League of Legends online MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena). I have yet to play this fascinating game, but very much enjoy the character designs that bring a worthy challenge to its fans who cosplay. The costumes are traditionally hand-made or assembled from ordered fabrics, with some parts taking great craftsmanship and skills to bring about the wonderful details.

Here, is another shot of the League of Legends gathering, taken from my smartphone..

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That’s all for now. More pics soon!

– Orion T

Pictures of the Weekend, Outside the Sakura-Con

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Last weekend was a bit more colorful than usual..

I spent a little time outside the Sakura-Con, an annual convention for lovers of Japanese anime, manga, gaming and related pop-culture. I missed my chance for tickets inside the event, as I was a bit overly busy for much of the greater portions of the event. But outside, I had some hours to spare.

Much of the time was conversing with old friends, making new ones. We discussed emphasis on the anime and gaming pop-culture of decades past (the newer generation was more present). It was all fun, to see old characters brought to fly, thanks to the cosplaying element of the gathering.

I took some pictures, of which only some shared below. If you would like more than,please check out my expanded gallery and writings on “geek” culture at strangerworlds.com.

Here, are some chosen pics of mine for here (click on each for more into)..

That’s all for now…

Oh wait.., here’s me caught with the creepy mascots of the Five Nights at Freddys video game series!

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– Orion T

 

 

 

Outside Memories of the 2015 Sakura-Con..

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I love these fandom gatherings.

Recently, I joined among the many in colorful costumes for the celebration of an interesting sub-culture. Here, together to celebrate their love for the Japanese anime/manga; including related games, art and lit. The  grand show inside (of which I was unable to attend) was the great Sakura-Con, held annually in Seattle’s downtown convention center. The outside show in the back park area stretching some blocks, is a fan driven compliment to the event.

I spent good time outside the event in the back park area, there to meet up with old visiting friends. While around, I had great fun, cheering on the celebrated icons of Japan’s contributions to pop-culture, and learned much on the new popular trends of today’s “otaku” faire.

I took some pictures with two cameras. The sunny weather was perfect for that, adding vividness to the amazing array of colorful attires. Here below, with notes:

Photo Apr 04, 12 11 42 PMDressed as characters from an anime/manga TV show, Cardcaptor Sakura.

Photo Apr 06, 5 57 16 PMA giant handmade Pokemon creature, made by the mohawked person in the back. Many cheered on this giant creature.

Photo Apr 04, 2 17 58 PMLink and a fairy (from a later game I think, of which I have yet to play)..from the Legend of Zelda series

Photo Apr 05, 7 26 39 PMWaLuigi, brother to Wario. Not sure who the other us.

Photo Apr 05, 7 29 05 PMVegeta and Piccolo perform the fusion dance. I am not a big fan of Dragonball Z, yet have been enough of the fandom to pick up on this stuff.

Photo Apr 05, 7 27 05 PMGodzilla!!

Photo Apr 04, 5 02 52 PMFrom the worlds of the Walter Robot studios, of which I know very little. I know for sure, this make-up job is awesome.

Photo Apr 07, 7 10 25 AMJokers and Harley Quinns. They are not of the Japanese culture origins, but they fit well as the anime/manga altpop culture welcomes all fantasy, sci-fi, superhero, etc genres of creative storytelling.

Photo Apr 07, 7 14 27 AMNot sure who she is from but that makeup job and costume detail is phenomenal.

Photo Apr 07, 12 40 52 PMVash the Stampede and Wolfwood, crossplayed from the classic Trigun anime series. This brings love and peace to my heart, to see fans bring life to one of my fav series of years ago.

Photo Apr 07, 7 12 09 AMThese players are from the Yu-Gi-Oh game and anime franchise. Well done!

Photo Apr 05, 7 39 06 PMI think she is from a newer show called RWBY. Not sure, but nice detail.

Photo Apr 05, 7 30 48 PMAn odd traditional game played every year here during the show. This involves a large circle, where those inside the circle kick around a bottle. The bottle points to someone in the circle, signalling for a walk and a hug to that person. That person replaces and fronts to the middle of the circle, to repeat the circle. There are some various chants and songs that sometimes happen.

Photo Apr 04, 1 18 17 PMCharacters from the long-running One Piece anime/manga series. The fandom of this was so huge, that a separate gathering far in the back of the park happened; where fans put on their own cosplay show.

Photo Apr 04, 2 04 58 PM Photo Apr 04, 2 03 10 PMA small portion of a massive League of Legends gathering (based on a very popular video game). The fandom and dedication to this astounds me.

Photo Apr 05, 7 34 17 PMSome fun under a bridge, which I helped with for a friend (in the bunny suit). Here, many enjoyed a hop scotch game for to promote her Android dating/social meet-up app, Cuddli..

Photo Apr 04, 2 10 14 PMAnother character from League of Legends, I think. I like this shot.

Photo Apr 05, 7 40 55 PMA wild Pokemon spotted!

Photo Apr 07, 7 06 34 AMFrom the anime series, RWBY. Note: Monty Oum, the animator and creator of RWBY and many short films I admired, passed away last year at the age of 33. His work lives on with the fans.

Photo Apr 05, 7 36 01 PMNot sure on this series..but I like the craftsmanship.

Photo Apr 04, 4 59 19 PMA lady adorned with many Moogles (from the Final Fantasy video games). I hope they are clingy, and not dead..heheh.

Photo Apr 06, 5 51 20 PMLara Croft, as portrayed in a recent and very gritty retcon of the Tomb Raider game franchise.

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Well, that’s all for now. I had a huge blast for the one day of three  (I only had the time for, and why I didn’t go for a pass to the grander show inside). I give a huge thanks to all those who shared the joys of their fandoms, with the cosplay and cheers. Good times shared, are the best times.

– Orion T