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Talking Games in Beantown: ModSquad Takes the Floor at PAX East

ModSquad’s heading to PAX East in Boston, from April 21 to 24. What is it about PAX that drives so much excitement for gamers? We pulled in our CXO Rich Weil, who’ll be moderating a few panels at the conference, for some answers.

First of all, why is PAX so important to you?

If you have to ask, you’ve never been to one! PAX events are game conventions by gamers for gamers. They are loaded with incredible guests, panels, and, of course, a fantastic expo hall where game companies strut their stuff. Best of all, they’re very affordable, and a great place to meet up with your friends and industry colleagues. The genuine excitement and camaraderie are palpable.

The PAX shows have long been an integral part of the overall game industry convention circuit.  What makes it unique is that it has seamlessly blended many different forms of gaming (video, RPG, and board games) and brings together a community that loves all different forms of gaming. Along with Gamescom (but in a very different way), PAX is one of the few conferences that is seen as important both from a business and player perspective.

With the game industry being very West Coast focused, PAX East has always had a strong following, as it provides a great show for people who don’t ordinarily get to attend many gaming conferences. This is also the first in-person PAX event since health restrictions have been relaxed. If last month’s GDC expo was any indication, fans and devs alike are looking forward to getting together again.

We hear that you’re running your popular game careers panels. It’s kind of a long running tradition by now, isn’t it?
Yes, and it stems from the fact that I’ve always talked with individuals eager to get into the game industry, and they all had the same questions. So running these panels helps answer hundreds of people’s questions at once!

I think that the game industry is unique in that it almost seems to operate behind a curtain in some ways. There’s a lot of curiosity about it. I’ve been doing variations of this panel for over ten years, and the industry has changed a lot in that time. The panel has a different theme every year, and each installment features different panelists from diverse roles. And as a historian by training, of course I’m going with an “imperial” theme!

Claim Your Crown: Getting Into the Game Industry Part 1 – Friday, April 22, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., Bumblebee Theater
Build Your Empire: Getting Into the Game Industry Part 2 – Friday, April 22, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., Bumblebee Theater.

There are two keys to an effective and informative panel about game industry careers:  experienced panelists and reality based viewpoints. It’s not helpful to just say, “Working in games is great!” These panels tend to emphasize the fact that gaming is a business, like many others, although there are some unique aspects. Having strongly experienced pros as panelists helps to get these points across with real life examples that anyone who wants to work in games should benefit from.

We also emphasize that the industry has more than designers, coders, and artists. Sound design, accounting, IT, legal, marketing, PR, customer support, and community management all offer rewarding careers for gamers!

Tell us about your other panel, which focuses on jobs in moderation becoming a springboard to other roles.
Many industry movers and shakers got their start in moderation, QA, or customer support, and from there grew into higher level and leadership roles. I chose to focus on moderation, because that’s where people get the broadest glimpse into all aspects of the industry, including the most important aspect of all – communicating with the players.

I have lots of stories to tell, but you’ll have to come to the panel to hear them!

Moderation: All You Need to Learn About the Game Industry! – Saturday, April 23, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., Condor Room

We know you’re meeting game companies on site. Will you also spend much time on the show floor?
Definitely. I’ll be meeting with clients, talking with fellow players, and making the rounds, both on the expo floor and around Boston. We’ll make time for anyone who wants to talk about gaming and of course, remote support services. It’s all about sharing knowledge. A lot of ModSquad’s clients are at PAX, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet people new to the industry as well.

Have a great time at PAX East!

Want further insights into how ModSquad has supported the game industry since 2007? Contact us today.

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