GeekDad and GeekMom at PAX Prime

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PAXPrime2015-FeaturedPAX Prime is coming to Seattle in a couple of weeks, August 28-31, and and will be hosting a panel you won’t want to miss!

Join us on Sunday, August 30th, at 12:00pm in the Wyvern Theater for our panel GeekDad and GeekMom: Raising Geek Generation 2.0. From the PAX Prime Schedule: “Join some of the writers from and to discuss raising the next generation of geeks. They’ll talk about how to introduce gaming to your kids, their favorite games to play with their kids, and how to choose which games are appropriate. Some of them will even be joined by their kids who will also discuss what it’s like growing up geek. Come join in the conversation and bring your own experiences and questions!”

Our panelists will include GeekMoms Marziah Karch, her daughter, Pari, and Sarah James along with GeekDads Ryan Hiller, Phil Bacon, Mike LeSauvage, and myself. We’ll introduce ourselves and discuss gaming and geekdom in our households, and then try to give you, the attendees, as much time as possible to ask us questions.

And, of course, our panel is just one of the many things to experience at PAX Prime. Here are a few of the things we are looking forward to the most.

There’s so much to do at PAX that it’s tough to fit in all the old favorites while also discovering new gems.

A yearly event at PAX Prime. Participants get to select, paint, and keep a Reaper Bones miniature. Photo by Ryan Hiller.
A yearly event at PAX Prime. Participants get to select, paint, and keep a Reaper Bones miniature. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

The Reaper Paint and Take is something the family has done every year and is a great way to take a break from the hordes of con-goers. You select a miniature from a few choices, then are given some supplies, and you can spend as long as you like painting that mini. Reaper staff are there for painting advice if you want it, and you get to keep your finished product. There’s also a great selection of paints, miniatures, and accessories for sale. If you’re a backer of they recent Bones Kickstarter, stop by and say hi. If you don’t know what all the Bones fuss is about, the free mini is a Bones figure, so come and paint one!

Playing video games in the free play room
The Free Play room allows participants to check out and play games. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

A favorite of my youngest son is the Console Free Play room where you can select from dozens of games from multiple consoles, check-out the game from their library, and play to your heart’s content. While these are games that have already been released, this is a great way to try out these games while also escaping the crowds.

Pathfinder Society Room
The Pathfinder Society room is a great satisfy a desire for some role playing, or to get an introduction to the game. Photo by Ryan Hiller.

My older son and I always play some Pathfinder Society sessions in Paizo’s Pathfinder room. The sessions are short roleplaying encounters enjoyable for experienced players and a great introduction to roleplaying for new players as well. There are also demo sessions of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Each session played earns a token that can be used to roll a D20. A crit scores you a prize!

In addition to doing some of these old staples, I plan to get in many more video game experiences than I have in the past. I am not willing to waste my time in any lines, so I am likely to miss playing the AAA titles such as a Fallout demo. My plan is to try to find the hidden gems. I’m going to stop at the booths without lines, where I can get hands on with something I was not expecting or looking for, and I am definitely going to try all of the PAX 10 games of the year. However, having not yet ever experienced the Oculus Rift, if I can, I am going to jack-in and see what it’s all about! So, maybe there’s a line or two in my future.

From what I have seen of D&D‘s Sword Coast Legends, it is shaping up to be a great game in the style of Baldur’s Gate. What is new and exciting is a mode where four players can control the characters while a fifth player acts as Dungeon Master, able to create campaigns and alter the dungeon’s threats as the players progress through the delve. I love how these isomorphic games give the impression that you’re looking down at a table of miniatures complete with awesome terrain. I look forward to a chance to play through a demo of this highly anticipated game. Speaking of D&D, I plan to sit in on a session of the tabletop version to get a feel for D&D 5th Edition. Wizards of the Coast has had a large area in the past with many offerings, as well as prizes for some participants.

Other than that, who knows what wonders we will discover on the expo floor or in the merch-booths? We often leave with some school-clothes, signed posters, new tabletop games, as well as a long list of video games to play. It’s a great last hoorah as school takes over our lives for the next nine months.

— Ryan Hiller

Ryan hit a lot of my highlights, but I do have a couple more to add.

There are plenty of big games I’d love to play, but I don’t think I have time to spend standing in the long lines. It will be hard, but I’ll probably miss a chance to play Fallout 4 and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. On the bright side, I’m going to be sure to hit up as many of the smaller publishers and games as I can.

Bill and Brittany Doran as Draugrs from Skyrim. Photo provided by Bill Doran.
Bill and Brittany Doran as Draugrs from Skyrim. Photo provided by Bill Doran.

Although PAX is not as cosplay heavy as a lot of conventions, I’m a big cosplay fan, and this is probably my favorite part any convention; I’m really looking forward to seeing what folks come up with. I’m especially excited to see and meet some of my big foamsmithing idols–Bill and Brittany Doran from Punished Props and Eric Jones from CoreGeek.

I’m also excited to meet Jason Anarchy of Drinking Quest and Haiku Warrior fame. I’ve interviewed him but never had the chance to met him in person. The plan is to also play an adventure or two of Hero Quest together. It will most likely be very epic.

D&D Live with Acquisitions, Inc. is one of the most attended after hours events at PAX, and for good reason–who doesn’t want to watch a bunch of hilarious guys (Mike Krahulik, Jerry Holkins, Scott Kurtz, Patrick Rothfuss, Chris Perkins) playing a crazy D&D adventure live? This year’s adventure includes a foray into the Underdark with Drizzt Do’Urden, my favorite fantasy character, so I will not be missing this! It’s Saturday night at 8:30 pm at Benaroyal Hall, and it’s free with your PAX badge.

— Will James

We hope to see you at our panel. If you see us around the con, stop and say hi. And look for plenty of post-PAX coverage from all of us!

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10 thoughts on “GeekDad and GeekMom at PAX Prime

  1. Unfortunately I won’t be making it out to Pax Prime, but I will be heading to Pax South (Jan 29-31). Any plans for you guys to be there?

  2. Was very happy to see this back on the schedule this year! So many good ideas from past panels, can’t wait!

    Anyone in Seattle who can’t wait for that PAX console room, the Living Computer Museum and Seattle Retro Gaming have a ‘Free Play’ event on 8/15. The Living Computer Museum is worth a visit without an event thrown in, but the event sounds like it should be a good time (

    1. My son and I are actually going to the Free Play event! I’ve never been to the Living Computer Museum but don’t expect to a road detour accidentally drove by it recently and saw the signs. We’re very excited to go!

      1. LCM is small, but they pack quite a lot in there, all impressive.You can even write naughty words on punch cards, which we thought was maybe the greatest thing ever. If you have an EMP membership, I believe regular admission is free (it was when we went). We’re really looking forward to the event!

  3. I have gone to the Geekdad/Geekmom talk at all 4 PAXes that I have attended and every time I think it’s a fantastic discussion. My son is now 5 and I’ve implemented a lot of the suggestions from the panels. Can’t wait for the next one.

  4. Looking forward to the panel this year!

    BTW, D&D is at the Olive 8 this year, and is being run by volunteers as WotC dropped their support. The adventures are good, however, and you should have a lot of fun.

    1. Thanks for letting us know about the D&D at Olive 8 (which is a local hotel for those reading and wondering what the heck that is!) Sorry to hear that Wizards dropped their support for gaming. I know they are putting a lot of focus on the D&D video game this year. Hope you enjoy our panel this year and thanks for reading!

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