PAX East Recap – Gamification, AbleGamers Foundation, Nerdification
After our Brunch at Veggie Galaxy it was time to go Nerd out at PAX. A couple of the signs outside the convention center really capture how it feels to be there – “Welcome Home” was my favourite, another one referencing WarGames was ‘Would you like to play a game?”
The Boston Convention Center was totally packed with people and there were so many things to do, it was hard to decide. We managed to catch one of the panels I really wanted to see called “If I hear Gamification one more time I’m going to scream” was great and I’m glad we went. While sometimes it felt like a big self-promotion fest, there was a lot of valuable discussion on what gamification is and isn’t, and it’s potential uses for education, health, and fitness (as evidenced by Fitocracy.)
I love these panels because they help me and other people discover new and interesting people to follow on twitter or even to do business with. I was blown away by the intelligent, reasonable, assessment of gamification techniques by everyone, but especially Mark Sivak, an educator from Northwestern University. Such great points. If you want to, you can watch some of it on Twitch TV.
Watch live video from PAX East 2012 on TwitchTV
There is always a side project in the back of my mind on some kind of effective application to make life a bit better. Ever since I gamified my school experience to make studying more fun (yeah, no joke. It helped) I’ve been thinking of ways to make that feasible for other people (or maybe for my eventual spawn.)
JC and I parted ways, I wandered over to the Tabletop Games and said hi to Terri (of VeganLatina awesomeness) and checked out some of the vendors. I can’t really relay how much fun I had at Pax East this year. I thought last year was amazing, but this year was better with company (quality nerd company – i.e., JC)
Another great thing that happened is that I learned about The AbleGamers Foundation, an American organization dedicated to making games accessible to everyone. I bought a (very awesome looking) poster and a wrist band, and learned a lot about the different adaptive technology that is available for people with disabilities or reduced mobility from one of the organizations founders, Mark Bartlet.
They had prime real estate at the main entrance area, and I hope they raised lots of funds. I had wanted to check out their panel on on “Why Socially Enabled Games are Important to Gamers With Disabilities” but we didn’t arrive early enough, but I’m sure it was excellent. If you want more information you can connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.
Here is some of our trip in pictures: