I am a graduate student at Brandeis University. I want to take my lifelong passion and knowledge of video games and forge a career in gaming journalism and/or natural language processing for video game marketing or cutting edge gaming technology.
I am hoping to meet some industry/research professionals if they have any discussions or displays at PAX (do they?)
I am also hoping to find media/web site that wants a local Bostonian to attend PAX and wants free labor! (Any suggestions for online publishers other than big time IGN-types? Any that would actually take a freelance guy?)
If you're more interested in the academic angle, you'll probably want to focus on academic conferences and summits. Luckily for you, these seem to be held in Boston quite a bit.
As for going the press route, are you an active member of any online gaming communities? If they do reviews/editorials and have a proper business license, they may be able to help you with credentials in exchange for writing. You will likely have to pay your own way, but there are gaming events in the Boston area (PAX East!) and covering them is a good way to build your portfolio/credibility.