PAX West hosts tens of thousands of fans for the ‘magnum opus of Seattle gaming’

PAX West, one of North America’s largest gaming conventions, is back in Seattle after last year’s event was riddled with pandemic restrictions.

“Super excited to get the much larger PAX experience compared to last year,” said Twitch streamer camillapanda.

PAX (originally known as Penny Arcade Expo at its conception in 2004) is a series of gaming culture festivals involving tabletop, arcade, and video gaming. PAX was created in Seattle, but has since expanded to Boston, Philadelphia, and San Antonio in the US and Melbourne in Australia.

A guide to Seattle’s Labor Day long weekend festivities

With so many of the industry’s biggest players here, the University of Washington’s (UW) esports program says it brought students and staff to network at the convention.

“It’s just huge. So everything is represented here, all gamers competitive and non-competitive,” UW esports Team Manager Ian Rain-Water said. “It’s just sort of the magnum opus of Seattle gaming.”

In 2019, the UW’s Husky Union Building officially created the HUB Esports Arena & Gaming Lounge – a full-service, state-of-the-art gaming center that supports both casual and competitive gaming, and virtual reality.

At the time of opening, the UW became the largest public, higher education institution in the nation and the first university in the state of Washington to have a dedicated esports arena.

Tonight, starting at 7 pm in the Horse Theatre, members of online drag troupe Team Stream Queens will join forces to talk about being part of one of Twitch’s most popular stream teams. The panel will include members Chelora, Hot Pink Shade, Arson Nicki, Aphasia Speaks, Kiyoshi YoRHa, and Prince Harming.

Other panels will feature former Nintendo President & COO Reggie Fils-Aimé and Rogue Games CEO Matt Casamassina discussing what makes an indie game stand out in today’s market; Composer Trevor Black and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein tell audiences what goes into a typical contract for music composers in the gaming world; and game designer Dan Salvato dissecting the development process of the game, “Doki Doki Literature Club.” Fans will be able to ask questions at the end of the panels.

Matt Turnbull, the executive producer at Xbox Game Studios Publishing, will also be headlining a workshop called Pitch Perfect: The Art Of Pitching Your Game.

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, based out of Renton, is assisting Generation Esports, a worldwide leader for gaming communities to help esports enthusiasts connect and compete at a scholastic level before college. Generation Esports announced a partnership with Playfly Esports earlier this week to help connect brands with esports fans while providing strategic solutions to enhance competitive esports at every level.

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