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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Games People Play: Part 2

Everything the modern gamer needs.

In “Harry Harrison’s Final Message,” I mentioned how the World Science Fiction Convention and Dragoncon were held on the same weekend.  I rued that such head-to-head scheduling prevented some fans from attending both.  In researching that post, I discovered that another convention also occurred on Labor Day.  PAX Prime, which stands for Penny Arcade Expo, is a gaming convention held each year.  Its 2011 event attracted in excess of 70,000 attendees, making it the largest of all three conventions.

Once I discovered that it was a gaming convention though, I lost interest.  After all, people who attended conventions to play games weren’t interested in real Science Fiction and Fantasy, were they?  But watching so many people playing at Stan Lee’s Comikaze, and learning about the time and love that some lavish on their games, whether collecting their card sets or painting their figurines, I realized that this was another way people interacted with the Fiction they love.  While I’ve heard of conventions devoted entirely to gaming, they didn’t intersect with my interests of discussing literature and media Fiction, and thus failed to rouse my interest.  Now I cannot help but be impressed by how PAX has grown over the years, held three events this year in the United States, and has one planned for Australia next year.

Tables designed for gamers of all shapes and sizes.

Perhaps the most surprising discovery of Stan Lee’s Comikaze, and the vendor whose work impressed me most, was a company called Geek Chic.  As readers of my blog know, I’ve pursued woodworking in the past, and would like to do so again.  I can appreciate all the work and attention to detail that go into crafting fine furniture.  Geek Chic’s selection of tables blew me away.  I couldn’t believe how they had tailored specific models of tables to enhance the gaming experience.  Through their innovative rail system, and with the pull out drawers, as well as their other accessories, I could see how they make hours centered on one’s favorite activity even more enjoyable.  Whether it concerned where one would roll one’s dice, to where to place one’s wine glass, the numerous ways the company can accessorize each table simply blew me away.  I especially liked the diagonal supports for manuals and game cards, which reduced eye-strain and prevented others from reading player-specific information.

Far from being a guilty pleasure, or something one does when it can be crammed into an otherwise busy life, such tables elevate the status of such interactive storytelling, and serve as another example of how much value we place upon Fiction in our lives.

As their website claims, the Sultan is grand.

Interestingly, the firm that makes these specialized game tables, Geek Chic, operates out of Seattle Washington, where PAX Prime takes place each Labor Day.

Due to the author's time constraints, this blog will conclude tomorrow.  Your indulgence is craved.

Dragon Dave

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