10 Must-See PAX South Panels This Weekend

click to enlarge PAX South takes over the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center January 23 through 25. - KIKO VILLASENOR
Kiko Villasenor
PAX South takes over the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center January 23 through 25.

This weekend, PAX South, the biggest gaming convention of the new year, will nerdify the Henry B. Gonzalez Center.

The past year has been a windfall for San Antonio nerds. Wizard World invaded San Antonio last summer; Alamo City Comic Con got bigger, and better; and anime fans ran rampant all through downtown during San Japan 7. PAX South is a great and geeky way to start 2015.

As of this writing, tickets are low for this three-day event. Friday and Sunday are still available, but Saturday has completely sold out.

For current ticket holders, PAX South has a ton of events planned from morning to night. Here are some choice panels that are too good to miss:


Breaking in to the Game Industry

Developers from Gearbox (Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Tales from the Borderlands) share stories about how they got into the gaming industry, and will answer your questions about how you can too. Gearbox Theatre, 1130pm.

Queering up Misconceptions: LGBT Game Industry Life

What’s it like being LGBT in the gaming industry? Find out as industry veterans explore this important topic in gaming. Panel members include Chris Wright [Engineer, Formerly Blizzard], Bryanna Lindsey [FX Artist, Volition], Daniel Lingen [Senior Digital Communications Manager, Electronic Arts], and others for an open discussion. Bobcat Theatre, 230pm.

Women in Geek Girl Media

Geek media isn’t just a boys club. Women are working as hard as ever writing, blogging, vlogging, and podcasting their love for it too. What’s the future hold for women in geek media? Come find out with Katey Houseman [Owner, Bitch Team Alpha], Brittney Brombacher [Creator, BlondeNerd.com], Danni Danger [Contributor, Weird Girls], and other fellow geek girls. Don’t forget to leave your sexism and misogyny at the door. Armadillo Theatre, 730pm.


Firaxis Games Megapanel at PAX South

Gaming fans know that one of the godfathers of simulation games, if not the godfather, is Sid Meier. If you’ve only seen his face on the boxes of his award winning games, here is your chance to see him in real life. Gaming legend Sid Meier (Civilization, Sim City, The Sims) and his cohorts at Firaxis will be on hand to talk about their title Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth. Falcon Theatre, 11am.

The 1337 Life of YouTube Gamers

SeaNanners, SkyDoesMinecraft, iHasCupQuake, xRpMx13, HikePlays – these YouTubers do what us gaming nerds dream of: play video games for a living and have legions of fans watch them. In this panel, these gaming celebrities will discuss what it took for them to accomplish their unlikely dream and what it will take for you to do it too. Armadillo Theatre, 12pm.

Confessions of a Troll: Human Nature Online

Trolls are the bane of the Internet. Have you ever wanted to meet them? Now you can. And guess what? These trolls now work in the gaming industry? Preposterous! Meet Linda "Brasse" Carlson [Director, Global Community Relations, Sony Online Entertainment], Scott "Lum the Mad" Jennings [Designer/Programmer, Portalarium], Sanya "Tweety" Weathers [Director of Community, Undead Labs], and other notable trolls and get trolled… I mean, learn more about the Internet’s most popular pastime. Armadillo Theater, 730pm.


Get In The Game: Find and Manage a Career in Gaming

So you’ve broken into the gaming industry, now what? This panel will dispel myths and offer advice about moving up in the gaming world. You’ll hear from gaming veterans Kiersten Samwell [Games Systems Designer, Kings Isle Studios], Linda Carlson [Director of Global Community Relations, Sony Online Entertainment], and Dave Georgeson [Director of Development, Sony Online Entertainment] about how to grow your budding gaming career. Armadillo Theatre, 1030am.

Penny Arcade Q&A #2

Meet the creators of the wildly successful web comic Penny Arcade, and the creators of PAX South. Ask them a question. Laugh with them. Thank them. They made all this happen. Plus, this Q&A session occurs during a less crowded time in the schedule than the first Q&A. Main Theatre, 130pm

Games Criticism: Is it time for a change?

Reviews play a strong role in gaming. It can influence buyers, and rating scores can even determine bonuses for developers. This panel will explore the current landscape of game reviews, question the criteria used to review games, and ask if there need to be changes. Panelists include Tyler Coleman [Creative Director, Retora Game Studios], Matthew Nowacki [Designer, DSGA], Alex Nichiporchik [CEO, Tiny Build], and more. Bobcat Theatre, 230pm.

Virtual Reality: A Paradigm Shift for Gaming

What’s the future of gaming? Virtual Reality. Join Cass Everitt [Developer, Oculus VR], Patrick Curry [Director, Unity Austin, Unity Technologies], Aaron Lemke [VR Developer, Unello Design], Dawn Rivers [VR Developer, Artist, Harmonix Music Systems], and more to explore the true frontier of gaming. Falcon Theatre, 500pm.

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