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PAX East 2017

PAX East 2017 Journal


Boston held this year’s 2017 PAX East event the weekend of March 10-12. For those of you who don’t know what PAX is, it is a gaming convention called a celebration of gaming culture. Originally known as the Penny Arcade Expo (later shortened to PAX) was created by the authors of the Penny Arcade Web Comic as a show exclusively for gaming. This year’s event in Boston was of interest to us here at AVADirect because we were a part of Intel’s Extreme Rig Challenge competition. We built a super-powered custom gaming PC to compete against some of the best in the PC building business. See what happened at this year’s show!


Every year Intel has a competition with some of the top custom PC companies in the country. During the Extreme Rig Challenge each team is given Intel’s Core i7 7700k Processor to make a powerful and creative gaming PC. At AVADirect, we are proud to announce that we took the award for best performance among all the PC builds in the Intel Extreme Rig Challenge. Our Jotunheim custom gaming PC outperformed all our top competitor’s models and took third place overall in the popular vote!  The Jotunheim featured the In Win 909 case that we custom painted white, blue, and black. For more information on our build, check out our team member Shannon Robb’s description video from our friends at Newegg Studios! The competition consisted of twelve different companies. Each company started a social media campaign so their fans could vote for the top seven to show off their build at PAX East. Thanks to our wonderful fans, we finished 3rd overall and were given the opportunity to showcase our Jotunheim build. We are very proud of our team who put the Jotunheim together and very proud to take home the “Best Performance” award! Cyberpower PC took home the award for the most creative build and NCIX won for best engineered build. Congratulations to all the competitors and a huge shout-out to INTEL for making this competition possible. We enjoyed working on our Jotunheim and we’re sure that it will make one lucky winner extremely happy!

Jotunheim custom gaming PC


Just like at any gaming convention, there were quite a lot of cosplayers. If you are unfamiliar with the term, cosplaying is dressing up as a popular character from a favorite show, movie or in this case, game. Often those cosplaying will make their own costumes from scratch with some incredible results! Some cosplayers even visited our booth at PAX! We met D. Va and McCree (Overwatch), Samara and Shepard (Mass Effect), Geralt (Witcher), Boba Fett (Star Wars), and Harley Quinn (Batman Franchise/Suicide Squad). If you’d like to see some of these awesome cosplays check out our Facebook page! In addition to the ones we met, there were cosplayers all over PAX. If you’re thinking about attending, make sure to bring a good camera if you’re not cosplaying yourself!

Shannon Robb ang Geralt (Witcher) Overwatch



PAX is one of the biggest celebrations of gaming so it goes without saying that big developers like to announce projects to their loyal fans. One of the big showcases was more gameplay footage from the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda game. Developers mentioned earlier the decision to get rid of paragon and renegade dialogue options to give players more options in terms of dialogue. In addition, players will get viability points for the planets they discover. When a player gets enough points, they will be able to build an outpost thus creating more people, shops and areas to interact with.

Another big showing was a new Trailer for the new Friday the 13th game. This game pits you as either Jason Voorhees or the camp counselors trying to survive the night. It’s a 1 versus 7 multiplayer horror experience that should definitely be one to check out in the future!

The final thing that impressed us at PAX was the showcasing of a new game called Perception. This is another new FPS horror game where the protagonist is blind. Using a walking stick to tap the player is able to see their surroundings using echolocation.  Developed by Bill Gardner (known for his work on Bioshock), the game is based on a true story that happened to a member of Bill’s family. This game is set to release on XBOX 1 in the coming months and should surely be one to keep an eye on.

Perception Game

Overall, PAX East was a successful event that we enjoyed being a part of once again. Thanks to everyone that supported us and we look forward to the next PAX event.

My name is Ian Varnish and I am an Ohio native. I've lived in Columbus and Cleveland where I am currently pursuing a degree in Communications at Cleveland State University. I've recently been employed at AVADirect and I am also the head coach for Padua Franciscan High School's men's varsity soccer team.

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