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A Playful PAX

Last week, Melbourne was host to the first ever Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) held outside of the US. It was a mammoth affair, with over 35,000 proud geeks (myself included) filling the event over the 3 days.

PAX is a celebration of games culture and community. At GAMEized (the X-Team-backed branded games team), we’re right in the midst of that audience, both producing and playing games, while at work and also at home (and on the train, in the car, on the ahh… I’ll spare you the details).

It was astonishing then to arrive at PAX, surrounded by my peers, and realize that I’d somehow forgotten what games are actually about.

As professionals, we’re often guilty of putting our nose too close to the grindstone, focussing on the minutiae, forgetting the real reason we enjoy playing games.

PAX was the reminder that I needed. We play games for fun. A shared sense of joy with friends.

And yet with the ever increasing complexity of game development, we focus instead on the business models, graphical advances, platforms and other things that aren’t truly connected to the reason we choose to play games.

Walking around PAX it was clear that it wasn’t the games with the highest polygon count that bound us together as a community.

Connect Four was a hit, the near 70 year-old Monopoly was going strong, card, board and table-top games made up the majority of floor space, while the expo itself was dominated by indie developers with tiny budgets and big ideas.

The best games are those with something special at their core, that last the test of time, that still elicit a smile on the 100th time of play.

We’re pursuing this same philosophy with our GAMEized engines. The engines are made, polished and polished some more to make sure they deliver that little smile that you get from playing something truly fun.

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