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The gaming rooms at PAX East 2012 and Anime Boston both featured classic games on consoles from nearly every generation of gaming. Many of the people who entered these rooms were hit with waves of nostalgia as they feasted their eyes on nearly three decades of games from all over the world. In many cases, shouts of ‘no way’ and ‘I remember this’ echoed throughout the room, not just by the doorways. Respectively, both conventions had their own look and feel to their gaming rooms and here is how they achieved the differences.
The gaming room at PAX East featured a plethora of classic games. Included were multiple versions of the Atari gaming console, some from as the early 80′s still in functional gaming condition. The look and feel of this room was one of excited gaming, reliving the classics side by side with your friends. As expected, consoles from Nintendo, Dream Cast, Atari, Commodore 154 and Sega CD were present.
Popular games within the room included Super Smash Bros for NN64, Super Nintendo Duck Hunt, playstation’s Pa-rapper The Rapper, Ghost Pilots on Neo Geo as well as Mortal Kombat for Sega CD.
Throughout the weekend game-a-thon, festivities also included some prizes being given out to gamers who stepped up to the plate to duke it out against another similarly skilled player. Set up with chairs and tables, Gamers were constantly bombarded with games to play from nearly every table in the room. This room was full of people, even on the very last day, down to the very last hour of the PAX convention.
It is worth mentioning that though PAX East had a small size gaming room at the Boston Convention center, they did have separate platforms outside of this room for newer games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero style events. There was often a line for these gaming stages and friend often filmed entire performances with whatever electronic device they had on hand.
On the other hand is the radically different feel of the gaming room at Anime Boston. Inside a huge exhibit hall on the second floor, this is one of the few rooms that felt airy, for the lack of a better term. This is because the high ceilings and loud music with a live DJ in the center of the room made it feel more like a party rather than a get together. In this room, lights were dimmer, the air was cooler and it certainly got loud. The music provided by the DJ did not drown out the sound of gamers screams and cheers however, as they bested one another at games past and present.
Up on the walls were huge projector screens of gamers playing everything from Halo to Twisted Metal. Off to one side of the large hall was an assorted row of Dance Dance Revolution, PUMP and other dance games. This also leant a more club or dance feeling to the room for which gamers enjoyed the music to go with their games.
The games that were assembled were good as well. Perhaps not as in depth with the variety of Atari’s as with PAX East but still a very good mix. Also included were a handful of Nintendo 64′s, Super Nintendo’s, Dream Casts as well.
There was also more modern gaming consoles involved with Xbox360′s in this room playing games such as Halo or Left for Dead. Perhaps owing to the slightly younger crowd that generally attends Anime Boston, a more modern console was required to hook curious gamers by the doors as they progressed into the room.
That isn’t to say though, that people didn’t gush over the Nintendo 64 while playing Super Smash Bros but the vibe here was much livelier. Intermittent line dancing would break out depending on music choice by the DJ right alongside gamers playing Raiden on the Atari or Dance Central on the big screen.
Thus, whichever room at whichever convention you happened to step into was guaranteed to entertain. A little more nostalgic than an anticipated, both rooms featured great content with a different vibe for gamers to enjoy. With a slightly more classic feel, the PAX East gaming room did not disappoint with its bevy of games.
Also not to be forgotten is the external staging area’s for Rock Band type games to be played. On the other hand the slightly more crazed and energetic Anime Boston gaming room left many wanting to dance into the morning sun as the conventions came to a close each morning at nearly 2 AM.
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