Note: GamerMomLuna received a free Special Guest pass to PAX East 2023 as compensation for appearing on a panel. No other special compensation was provided to Shadomain.com staff.
PAX East descended upon Boston’s Seaport District over the weekend of March 23 through March 26, 2023. With it came a multitude of gamers of all kinds hoping to check out new games, news, and participate in cosplay, panels, parties, and more.
PAX East is primarily focused on the video gaming community, though there is a decent size portion of the expo hall devoted to tabletop gaming as well. This includes a board game library where attendees can check out a board game for several hours to play in the freeplay area, as well as TTRPGs available through Games on Demand, with a few offerings of D&D as well.
Panels on all sorts of topics, ranging from TTRPG content to retrospectives on video games to cosplay photography occurred all throughout the weekend. Tales from the Tavern was even selected as a panel this year! I, along with Dot from Kobold Press, ChiliCarbon, Taylor of Backwater Bastards, Matt Yancik of Manufactured Myth & Legerdemain, and Rosie of Girls Run These Worlds got to run a live Tales from the Tavern, complete with questions coming from the audience. It was a surreal and very fun experience getting to talk TTRPG with an audience in front of us.
There were other fantastic TTRPG related panels, such as one presented on the game Inspirisles, and how it’s being used in educational settings! I had sat through this panel at PAX Unplugged as well, and found this iteration to be much more informative about the research being done and what students who are using it are learning and gaining from the experience.
There were several large TTRPG shows in the Boston Convention and Expo Center (BCEC) Main Theater, including Acquisitions Incorporated’s D&D game, and a Cyberpunk Red game featuring Mark Meer, Omega Jones, Noura Ibrahim, and Dot Steverson.
As mentioned before, the primary focus of PAX East is video games, so that far outweighs the TTRPG selection. With fewer AAA studios in attendance, there was a lot of opportunity for smaller game developers to be seen this year. I did manage to demo a few video games on the show floor. I liked what I saw, and when reading others reviews of games, it seems there were a lot of good games that people are excited about!
Overall, PAX East was enjoyable, though if you’re a diehard attendee and have gone all 4 days (or just 3 in the past!) for a while, it might be okay to scale back to two days. If video games aren’t your thing, you could probably attend for one day and be fine. The biggest challenge is having to buy passes before the schedule is released, so it’s hard to know if something you’d want to attend is happening the day you’ll be there.
Did you attend PAX East 2023? Let us know what you thought down below!