PAX Booth Brings Becker Games to the Geek World

Published on Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Geek is the new cool, and it was definitely cool be a game geek on the weekend of March 26-28 at the first the Penny Arcade Expo at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Past Red Dead Redemption and Mafia II, a steady stream of the curious stopped by the Becker College booth (#939) which featured three tall panels of artwork by Design Instructor Terrasa Ulm, two big screens flashing illustrations by design students and laptops loaded with games created by students.

Student game developers and faculty in white labcoats fielded questions. Visitors could spin the prize wheel for a number of free gifts, including a t-shirt sporting yet another Becker original design. Those interested in "a bright future in game design," were able to fill out a prospect card and receive a Becker college USB drive wristband with a gallery of games and animation on it.

The Becker crew attended some of the PAX panels and got out to play games on the exposition floor. Junior Melissa Smith waited 45 minutes in the middle of a sea of people to see Penny Arcade founders Gabe and Tycho’s "Make-a-Strip Panel." Sophomore Chelsie Strode was among the audience testing the new game, Scrap Metal; Chelsie was the second highest scorer on Saturday morning. Junior Brandon Langley made an impromptu costume out of 40 giant Intel buttons and then roamed the expo floor being photographed with other costumed characters.

Alumni game developers were also on hand. Independent filmmaker, Nick Allain ’09 is working at Demiurge Studios in Cambridge, Mass. Jim Beals ’09 just finished a project with one Mass. company, Turbine, and is about to start another with Seven45, the makers of Power Gig. Former student Dave Santana is at Seven45 and was working the crowd in front of the company’s bright yellow van, among guitar players, demonstrating their skills. Santana started out at Blue Fang Games after he left Becker.

The PAX floor was also crawling with media, from MTV, Forbes and the Associated Press to dozens of magazines, newspapers, websites and podcasts. With PAX on the east coast, tens of thousands of fans traveling over land and sea to attend and the media there to record it all, Boston’s future as one of the formidable game hubs rising across the country is sealed.