PAX Day Two – Saturday 29th

Category: PAX Prime 2015 + Seattle Published: Sunday, 30 August 2015 Written by Evilmatt

I didn't sleep all that well I had some strange dreams about work setting up a gardening department growing lots of watermelons that then got infested with huge ants which attacked me. So that was nice.


I got up early had some coffee and then headed over to the Westin to see a talk on the science of video game addiction. It was a really windy day with some rain not as nice as the previous day. The talk was given by two twin brothers Dr Tyler R Black Medical Director / CAPE Unit, BC Children's Hospital a Psychiatrist and Ryan Black a lawyer who specialized in video game law. They both made it clear that they were both gamers.


The first sections was about the current research into video game addiction and the current search. The current description of video gaming as an addition is somewhat weak most addictions you can't stop you get withdrawal symptoms video gaming isn't really like that. For the addiction they just copied the gambling definition and changed the title to gaming addiction. The most widely quoted studies the 8% of children are addicted had major flaws in the methodology the selection criteria was bad it was really vague some of the questions were ridiculous (like asking do you borrow money to get games to 8 year olds where else are they going to get that money?). 


Most studies on this (some 270) cite this one. They did an in panel test and with that same setup some 71% of people in the room could have been said to be addicted which is ridiculous.


He then talked about how he deals with some of the kids he saw who had problems with playing videogames too much and often it was due to other issues. Kids with parents not setting boundaries and not supervising them. Or kids who don't do well at school or don't have friends but they're good at video games and they want to do well at something. 


It was interesting he was talking about how if look at things like reading books which we treat as healthy and think about replacing the same behavior with gaming it's then a bad thing. So someone reading on the beach fine someone playing a game on the beach now it's a waste.


After that his brother the lawyer took over and talked about the state of the law. He talked about the way things like gambling are regulated and how some of the games like free to play dlc and micro transactions are moving the games more and more towards something more like gambling which could mean existing laws could be easily re framed to limit them. He argued moving away from that and self regulating adding things like refunds or lockouts would improve things. 


It was an interesting talk that I quite enjoyed they took a serious subject looked at it from a position of evidence and made the talk interesting.


After that I hit the show floor for a bit saw lots of interesting things. Assassins Creed Syndicate, BattleBorn, Homefront revolution, Fallout 4, Dishonored 2, some doom thing, new uncharted, Tim Schafer, and others.


It was hectic and rushed and packed. I grabbed a hotdog and a drink for lunch and then wandered some more.


I decided to pick up a new 3ds with the face tracking which was nice. 


Next I watched the make a strip panel. Jerry was amazed by the sign language interpreter and said lots of things to see what they looked like. Mike drew the strip while Jerry did some Q&A they asked some interesting questions are there going to be any good video game movies topical given Borderlands the movie. How they felt about Camp Wedontwantya being the greatest coming on PA and what they felt about that (pretty great). How alleyways in Australia aren't full of murderers and death but with restaurants and bookstores. Does a hotdog count as a sandwich or is it more like a taco? Or is a tiny sub? Have they considered having Vin Diesel to join a game of Acquisitions Incorporated? They would like to and also Felicia Day. The comic was odd and involved lizards.


After that I saw the Dragon Age panel which had some interesting about the concept art and the difficulties of localization of translating not just the text but the ideas and the gestures as well as the songs in the game. They talked about the characters and how they made them and how they changed it so there was more freedom to your how you layout the party. They made them more interesting so there weren't any beige characters and had the idea of the advisers who are sort of party characters that they did with mass effect. They talked about the dlc Jaws of Hakkon and the descent. Then they talked about “the golden nug” sort of new game plus. It allowed you to store any stuff you'd found and then use it on an early game. Then the crowd all went mental about a wardrobe they were adding it was a bit odd. 


Next they talked about the final DLC interestingly it's an epilogue which is something that DLC usually has a problem in that it comes out after you've finished. It takes place two years after the end of Inquisition and it looks at the aftermath of the game. Called Trespasser and coming 8th of september looks pretty good they showed the trailer and that's where they left it. 


Later I headed out to catch An Evening with Kurtz and Son with Scott Kurtz and his father. I forgot my badge on the way down so had to go back for it and was just on time. However I mistakenly joined the queue for the next thing rather than going right in so missed a couple of minutes. It was a funny talk about their history lives personal problems and also finding ways to use the sign language interpreter to sign things. It was great fun, when I got out I thought about going out to the concerts or maybe getting a sandwich but it was chucking it down so I decided just to head back and eat the store bought emergency sandwich I had prepared. I thought about heading to the hotel bar but it was a bit busy maybe after pax when I'm not getting up early.

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