One of Two Posts About PAX

Posted: March 12, 2011 by Cynthia 心雅 in Uncategorized

This is the first of two posts I’m going to write this weekend regarding PAX East in Boston. The second will be after the farewell tomorrow so it can encompass all of the awesomeness of the weekend.

However, it is Saturday, and therefore I will be posting something. That something happens to be about PAX panels regarding relationships, parenting, and gender.

For those who are unfamiliar with PAX, here’s a brief sum-up:

– It’s a geek paradise
– It’s run by Penny Arcade
– There are two PAXes every year: One in Boston, and one in Seattle.
– It’s the best way to spend 3 days.
– About 50,000 tickets are sold (So the crowd is this plus exhibitors, special guests, panelists, crew, staff, and enforcers)
– It’s target audience is gamers and geeks of all ages and backgrounds.

Some of the exciting things for William and myself at PAX are the panels that relate (vaguely or directly) to couples.

Yesterday we attended a panel called Online Gaming Communities and “Real Life” Relationships, which isn’t couple specific, but had a lot of great points that applied to couples. These had to do with meeting people online via gaming, staying in touch by gaming together, and strengthening relationships (both platonic and otherwise) through gaming.

There is an increasing percent of people who are meeting significant others online, and a percent of that percent are meeting specifically through games. Honestly, what better way is there to meet someone then starting with a basis of common interest in a particular game? Of course, complications with this arise because it is probable that this other person doesn’t live anywhere near, and they may even be in a different country. (Luckily, it’s early enough in history that this doesn’t include the possibility of being on different planets… just continents.) Starting a relationship with a large distance between you has it’s obvious difficulties. There is, however, an added level of personal depth that you can develop with someone online that is much harder with individuals you know in “real life.” People show more of their true nature on the internet. They’re relatively anonymous, and have the opportunity to present themselves however they choose, and so people will be who they want to be, rather than how they think they ~should~ be in order to get what they want (like a certain social status, level of respect, career, etc.) Another benefit to this approach to dating, through games as opposed to dating sites, is that, although both start with common interest, gaming gives you a chance to actively participate in that interest together. It’s hard to take a “long walk on the beach” together on the internet.

On another hand, gaming can be a great tool for couples who, for one reason or another, have to spend time apart. Gaming in long-distance relationships can really help to ease the “missing you” feeling. The first example that comes to mind is high school couples whose post-graduation plans don’t send them in the same direction. Granted, a very small percentage of high school couples will even survive through the college years, but from my observation, the couples who game together do seem to outlast those who don’t. When William and I end up spending holidays or summers apart, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and other games make the distance seem to shrink for a few hours.

Gaming also brings us closer together when we’re only a few feet apart. Interacting together in a community of in-game friends gives an opportunity to learn about other sides of people, again because people tend to let more of their true self show, protected by the relative anonymity of the internet. William is the Guild Master of our guild, The Lost Gods, on World of Warcraft. I hadn’t previously experienced his leadership capabilities, and am continually impressed and interested in getting to know this side of him.

I would love to talk more about PAX and all the exciting things that happened so far, but this post would just become irritably long, and I would likely lose readers half way through (if I haven’t already). So, as I mentioned earlier, I will post tomorrow evening after PAX ends to sum up the weekend in an few words as I can bare, because there is a lot to be said, but I don’t want to kill anyone with a text-wall.

~Ms. Pacman


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