I was lucky enough to talk to the cast and creators of Monlith’s upcoming action adventure RPG Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego. Myself and other members of media peppered Michael de Plater (Director of Design), Christian Cantamessa (Lead Writer), and Troy Baker (voice of Talion), with questions about the upcoming title which is set to launch on September 28th. Baker, who gamers might recognize from starring roles in The Last of Us and Bioshock: Infinite, had some interesting things to say about the voicing the game’s protagonist Talion and just how important Tolkien’s work is to nerds everywhere.
Matt and I made our way to Boston earlier this year (although it feels like a billion years ago) to attend PAX: East. As soon as we stepped foot inside the sprawling vegas-like convention hall we both had a bit of an epiphany and realized how special the Penny Arcade Expo really is. PAX is an anomaly, a disturbance in the force so to speak, no doubt a totally idealistic convention created by two nerds with the sole purpose of highlighting creativity and innovation in gaming. PAX seems like a convention that more than likely was created during a passing conversation; “Hey we should just make our own gaming convention“… “great fucking idea!” At PAX there is no hidden corporate greed, no secret agenda, and no bullshit, just gamers enjoying the hell out of some games. Sure, PAX has grown a lot in recent years, and publishers are trying to sell you their upcoming products, but I would loudly argue that PAX is still PAX, Its just a bit bigger.
PAX East was an incredible experience, and while the two of us really struggled to cover such a massive event we ended up making some great new friends and industry contacts who have been incredibly kind to our little web-site and podcast. Unlike mega-conventions like Comic-Con and E3, it seems as though everyone at PAX is on the same page. If convention elitism is a real thing (which it is), there is little to none of it found at PAX. Virtually every developer we met and spoke to was excited, eager, and incredibly welcoming, even though in the grand scheme of things our little site is but an asteroid in the vast space of game journalism. So why am I writing this love letter to PAX? Simple, I think you all should attend next year. If you’re anything like us, and you truly love electronic entertainment, start planning your trip to next year’s PAX right now. We’ll see you on the show floor!