[PRIME] PAX PC Ideas

David CoffmanDavid Coffman Registered User, Penny Arcade Staff, PAX Staff regular
edited July 2009 in PAX Archive
Just wanted to ask all you pc gamers out there what kinds of events and/or contests you'd like to see at PAX, and specifically, if you have any awesome ideas we haven't done yet.

At this point I'm mostly interested in things that are feasible for our BYOC crowd, and I'm not specifically talking about tournaments, but certainly don't hold back any good pc related ideas you may have. =)

One thing I'd be keenly interested in is seeing a bunch of wow guys get together and run a raid. I know, that might take some server transfers and the like, but it doesn't seem entirely unreasonable, and I'm sure we could come up with some ways to award prizes to participants.

Or perhaps a "make your own webcomic" perhaps with a given theme so we can make sure you're writing and drawing it at the event. We could announce specifics then leave it open until Sunday when we throw them on a projector and subjectively award away.

Just some random ideas floating in my head, to hopefully get you started.

David Coffman on
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  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Okay, this could be WAY out there... but I think it'd be neat if we had a massive game development effort at the BYOPC. Similar to the 48 hour Game-making competition.

    EDIT: It could either have teams, or possibly the whole group (of whoever wants to) making one game. We might be able to get one of the companies that makes popular engines to pitch in and donate a (even a temporary one) license so we'd be able to cut past the low-level stuff and get straight to designing, making, and creating art for the game(s).

    VThornheart on
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  • BigRedBigRed Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Okay, this could be WAY out there... but I think it'd be neat if we had a massive game development effort at the BYOPC. Similar to the 48 hour Game-making competition.

    EDIT: It could either have teams, or possibly the whole group (of whoever wants to) making one game. We might be able to get one of the companies that makes popular engines to pitch in and donate a (even a temporary one) license so we'd be able to cut past the low-level stuff and get straight to designing, making, and creating art for the game(s).

    Thats not really feesable considering the crowd that PAX BYOC usually draws. THat would mean people would have to devote most of PAX to something.
    Granted some people would do it but there wernt many people that I saw that stayed in the BYOC room the whole time.

    BigRed on
    <MoeFwacky> besides, BigRed-Worky is right
  • mentok1982mentok1982 I could never leave you PAX baby. BaltimoreRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You could try to get everyone to do something cool at the same time on all of their PCs.

    Folding for example. Form a PAX09 BYOC folding group, get everyone to download the client and join
    the group and then see how many FPs you can amass in like an hour or something.


    Put on a play for the PAX 2009 DVD.

    Everyone in the BYOC is an actor in a movie like Diehard 4. The world's Internets are in danger and
    the BYOC room is the eTerrorist Situation room. Cheesy lines, furious keyboard strokes weird on
    screen displays are a must.

    Simmons: "Sir! He just haxored Mexico's drinking water."

    The Boss: "What are you talking about Simmons! Give it to me in plain English damn it!"

    Simmons:"Sir! He's routing all of Mexico's drinking water to the US. Millions of people will be
    inadvertently drinking sub-standard Mexican water!"


    The Boss: "Who cares Simmons! I drank some water when I was in Mexico once and all I got was
    a mild case of diarrhea."


    Simmons:"You don't understand sir! This situation could become a shit storm of epic proportions in
    just a few minutes. Millions of US citizens will being shitting to the point of dehydration, which will
    then force them to drink more water. Some will just continue drinking their tap water, but the rest
    will try to buy water at nearby stores, which will end up causing riots once the supply runs out. Half
    the population will be shitting themselves to death by dehydration, and the other half will be rioting
    on the streets with liquid shit running down their legs."


    The Boss: "Oh.......my.........God!!

    mentok1982 on
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  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Hmm... I see where you're coming from on that Red. That is true.

    Ooh, how about an "accelerated" game of Legend of the Red Dragon?

    Host a Telnet BBS on a system in there, and then start a new "day" every hour, for each hour that PAX is open. The player with the most XP and/or Dragon kills wins at the end.

    If you're quick with it and don't want to really "get into it", running through all your actions for a day in Legend of the Red Dragon only takes a few minutes, and can be done while playing other games... but it could still form some entertaining and interesting feuds and competition throughout the event.

    I'm going to reserve up for BYOC either way this year I think (though with the cookies, I probably won't be IN there as often as one might want to be =( ), but I would gladly set up and host such a system if people wanted it =)

    VThornheart on
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  • David CoffmanDavid Coffman Registered User, Penny Arcade Staff, PAX Staff regular
    edited February 2009
    BigRed wrote: »
    Thats not really feesable considering the crowd that PAX BYOC usually draws. THat would mean people would have to devote most of PAX to something.
    Granted some people would do it but there wernt many people that I saw that stayed in the BYOC room the whole time.
    Lets let people brainstorm a bit, maybe ideas that aren't necessarily feasible will lead to things that are. =D

    David Coffman on
  • David CoffmanDavid Coffman Registered User, Penny Arcade Staff, PAX Staff regular
    edited February 2009
    Hmm... I see where you're coming from on that Red. That is true.

    Ooh, how about an "accelerated" game of Legend of the Red Dragon?
    I think this idea sounds totally epic.

    I wonder how many people have played in the BBS's of yore?

    David Coffman on
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    DiscoDave wrote: »
    Hmm... I see where you're coming from on that Red. That is true.

    Ooh, how about an "accelerated" game of Legend of the Red Dragon?
    I think this idea sounds totally epic.

    I wonder how many people have played in the BBS's of yore?

    Thanks! =) Good question. I know a lot of the forum frequenters here were around for at least the tail end of the BBS days... anyone else here fellow fans of LoRD? =) (We could run a sweet game of Usurper using this "lightning round" concept too, if the guy who has the rights to it ever releases it as freeware like he's been planning to do for the past year)

    EDIT: On this subject, I was talking to some Phalla people about setting up a BBS a few months ago... but I couldn't get LoRD in because I couldn't get a hold of anyone at Metropolis (the people who currently own LoRD) to get my registration code. BUT I wouldn't mind shelling out another 15 bucks to get another one, and I have the patches that you need to make LoRD run on a modern system if you wanted one of the attendees to host it. Otherwise, if you guys would rather host it I could snag that stuff anyways and pass it over to you =)

    VThornheart on
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  • MrBartokomousMrBartokomous Registered User
    edited February 2009
    I worked in a few different net cafes when I was younger and my only suggestion would be one of layout: This is completely based on my subjective experience, but the atmosphere when you've got circular tables of 4-6 PCs is a lot better, and leads to a lot more pickup games where you'll have pod vs. pod going into CS or TF2 or what-have-you. As I recall the PC area was just rows and rows this past year, but if it can be logistically accommodated to do pods (may require more space or fewer seats or both) I think it really improves the atmosphere in the room.

    MrBartokomous on
  • JonnyNeroJonnyNero Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    MAybe a team tournament of DefCon...teams of 4 and it will basically be a warroom (in which there is no fighting mind you) type atmosphere. We could all be our own mini governments

    JonnyNero on
  • Qs23Qs23 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    JonnyNero wrote: »
    MAybe a team tournament of DefCon...teams of 4 and it will basically be a warroom (in which there is no fighting mind you) type atmosphere. We could all be our own mini governments

    We could have it running in Office mode so the game lasts for one day of PAX, but you're able to do other things during the day.

    Qs23 on
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  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    This DefCon game sounds epic. I'm in full support of this.

    VThornheart on
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  • MrBartokomousMrBartokomous Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Qs23 wrote: »
    We could have it running in Office mode so the game lasts for one day of PAX, but you're able to do other things during the day.

    This is a BRILLIANT idea.

    MrBartokomous on
  • redhaloredhalo Registered User
    edited February 2009
    DiscoDave wrote: »
    Hmm... I see where you're coming from on that Red. That is true.

    Ooh, how about an "accelerated" game of Legend of the Red Dragon?
    I think this idea sounds totally epic.

    I wonder how many people have played in the BBS's of yore?

    Thanks! =) Good question. I know a lot of the forum frequenters here were around for at least the tail end of the BBS days... anyone else here fellow fans of LoRD? =) (We could run a sweet game of Usurper using this "lightning round" concept too, if the guy who has the rights to it ever releases it as freeware like he's been planning to do for the past year)

    EDIT: On this subject, I was talking to some Phalla people about setting up a BBS a few months ago... but I couldn't get LoRD in because I couldn't get a hold of anyone at Metropolis (the people who currently own LoRD) to get my registration code. BUT I wouldn't mind shelling out another 15 bucks to get another one, and I have the patches that you need to make LoRD run on a modern system if you wanted one of the attendees to host it. Otherwise, if you guys would rather host it I could snag that stuff anyways and pass it over to you =)

    I would totally be down for LORD, or TradeWars even. I think this is a fantastic idea.

    redhalo on
  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    TradeWars for the win as well, definitely. I ***DO*** still have the registration codes for that, somewhere in my E-Mail box. We could run both =)

    VThornheart on
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  • David CoffmanDavid Coffman Registered User, Penny Arcade Staff, PAX Staff regular
    edited February 2009
    We love DefCon, could easy work something out like that.

    What does everyone think of the seating layout idea? I don't want to set ya'll up for disappointment (we all know how in demand real estate is at pax), but I can see it being -possible- we could at least set up a specific area for that? For BYOC, friends coming together, or for freeplay trying to group people together playing the same game?

    Again, I see this mainly as a brainstorm thread, so don't get too excited yet, it -probably- won't be feasible, but the idea is definitely interesting to me. I'm definitely a fan of trying to keep the smaller community feel as the lan continues to grow. Any other ideas along those lines would also be of keen interest to me.

    David Coffman on
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    edited February 2009
    It would make it easier for the IRC group to talk to each other, that's for sure.

    Moe Fwacky on
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  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I don't know if you guys already try this... but I bet exhibitors or companies might be interested in using the BYOC gamers as "semi-public testers".

    They come to PAX toting with them test copies of games in development, late beta, or even just feasibility testing stages. Pass them out to BYOC attendees and have them play with the games right there on the spot. It'd be exciting for BYOC gamers while also providing an interesting testing ground (and even free advertising) for game creators.

    There'd probably be some issues with doing that, but just tossing the idea out there again =)

    VThornheart on
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  • BigRedBigRed Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I don't know if you guys already try this... but I bet exhibitors or companies might be interested in using the BYOC gamers as "semi-public testers".

    They come to PAX toting with them test copies of games in development, late beta, or even just feasibility testing stages. Pass them out to BYOC attendees and have them play with the games right there on the spot. It'd be exciting for BYOC gamers while also providing an interesting testing ground (and even free advertising) for game creators.

    There'd probably be some issues with doing that, but just tossing the idea out there again =)

    Dont remember battlefield heroes last year? :P

    Unless its a highly controled web based thing like that, It cant really happen for BYOC anyway. Too difficult for them to control their unreleased data.
    On the freeplay machines however....

    BigRed on
    <MoeFwacky> besides, BigRed-Worky is right
  • Qs23Qs23 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    DiscoDave wrote: »
    We love DefCon, could easy work something out like that.

    What does everyone think of the seating layout idea? I don't want to set ya'll up for disappointment (we all know how in demand real estate is at pax), but I can see it being -possible- we could at least set up a specific area for that? For BYOC, friends coming together, or for freeplay trying to group people together playing the same game?

    Again, I see this mainly as a brainstorm thread, so don't get too excited yet, it -probably- won't be feasible, but the idea is definitely interesting to me. I'm definitely a fan of trying to keep the smaller community feel as the lan continues to grow. Any other ideas along those lines would also be of keen interest to me.

    Damnit, this means I'm going to get sucked into DefCon again this summer. And what other types of seating arrangements are there? All the LANs I have been to have always had everybody in rows.

    Side note: what was with the whole Gabe vs Tycho thing last year? I really wasn't paying too much attention to that since BigRed had me running all over PAX for his scavenger hunt.

    Qs23 on
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  • VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    BigRed wrote: »
    I don't know if you guys already try this... but I bet exhibitors or companies might be interested in using the BYOC gamers as "semi-public testers".

    They come to PAX toting with them test copies of games in development, late beta, or even just feasibility testing stages. Pass them out to BYOC attendees and have them play with the games right there on the spot. It'd be exciting for BYOC gamers while also providing an interesting testing ground (and even free advertising) for game creators.

    There'd probably be some issues with doing that, but just tossing the idea out there again =)

    Dont remember battlefield heroes last year? :P

    Unless its a highly controled web based thing like that, It cant really happen for BYOC anyway. Too difficult for them to control their unreleased data.
    On the freeplay machines however....

    I wasn't in BYOC last year =( I'm looking forward to doing it this year though. =)

    VThornheart on
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  • ashridahashridah Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    BigRed wrote: »
    I don't know if you guys already try this... but I bet exhibitors or companies might be interested in using the BYOC gamers as "semi-public testers".

    They come to PAX toting with them test copies of games in development, late beta, or even just feasibility testing stages. Pass them out to BYOC attendees and have them play with the games right there on the spot. It'd be exciting for BYOC gamers while also providing an interesting testing ground (and even free advertising) for game creators.

    There'd probably be some issues with doing that, but just tossing the idea out there again =)

    Dont remember battlefield heroes last year? :P

    Unless its a highly controled web based thing like that, It cant really happen for BYOC anyway. Too difficult for them to control their unreleased data.
    On the freeplay machines however....

    Yeah, it'd take me about 2 seconds to hit the "make iso" button, and I doubt they're going to have the time and manpower to setup DRM for that kind of thing.

    Usually, when a developer is doing beta testing like this, they want to get as much feedback as possible. They'll setup demo studios, where the gamer's screen and voice and video of his facial expressions, etc, can be recorded, etc. Doing it in a live setting like the byoc won't net as much data, except a general survey, and possibly hardware testing for a random cross-section of hardware.

    pity though, it'd be nice to give it a shot, I've done a small amount of game beta testing before.

    ashridah on
  • MrBartokomousMrBartokomous Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Qs23 wrote: »
    DiscoDave wrote: »
    We love DefCon, could easy work something out like that.

    What does everyone think of the seating layout idea? I don't want to set ya'll up for disappointment (we all know how in demand real estate is at pax), but I can see it being -possible- we could at least set up a specific area for that? For BYOC, friends coming together, or for freeplay trying to group people together playing the same game?

    Again, I see this mainly as a brainstorm thread, so don't get too excited yet, it -probably- won't be feasible, but the idea is definitely interesting to me. I'm definitely a fan of trying to keep the smaller community feel as the lan continues to grow. Any other ideas along those lines would also be of keen interest to me.

    Damnit, this means I'm going to get sucked into DefCon again this summer. And what other types of seating arrangements are there? All the LANs I have been to have always had everybody in rows.

    Side note: what was with the whole Gabe vs Tycho thing last year? I really wasn't paying too much attention to that since BigRed had me running all over PAX for his scavenger hunt.


    If you want a sort of visual, here:
    interior.jpg

    It's not the clearest shot, but it's definitely good for 4v4 games and could probably be easily adjusted for 6v6. I know this place (where I used to work a few years back) had 32 rigs, and we'd split the room down the middle for BF42 nights.

    If you can wrangle the space to make it feasible, I highly recommend it.

    MrBartokomous on
  • leafleaf Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    The only thing I would like to see is a rough schedule of WE PLAY THIS GAEM NAO

    12-2, bf2142
    2-6pm, SoaSE
    6-8pm, CoH
    8-9, Defense Grid
    etc

    I mean it's not like it would be a "you have to do this", but it would help a ton for getting people somewhat organised and searching for lan games at a specific time and have a time to aim for to having the games installed and ready. Maybe I'm just oblivious last year and didn't notice this?

    I mean it's obvious there is going to be constant L4D, tf2 and CoD4, it's not like those will need a specific schedule since servers would be up the entire time. But it would help for the games that are being phased out due to age and popularity, but people still want to play.

    leaf on
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  • David CoffmanDavid Coffman Registered User, Penny Arcade Staff, PAX Staff regular
    edited February 2009
    Qs23 wrote: »
    Side note: what was with the whole Gabe vs Tycho thing last year? I really wasn't paying too much attention to that since BigRed had me running all over PAX for his scavenger hunt.
    It was basically a big metagame. We split up the room between a Gabe team and a Tycho team. Throughout the weekend, we ran a series of smallish contests, and kept track of the individual winners and what team they were on. Then at the end of the event, we tallied up the scores and gave some of the prizes to the random members of the winning team.

    David Coffman on
  • Qs23Qs23 Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    DiscoDave wrote: »
    Qs23 wrote: »
    Side note: what was with the whole Gabe vs Tycho thing last year? I really wasn't paying too much attention to that since BigRed had me running all over PAX for his scavenger hunt.
    It was basically a big metagame. We split up the room between a Gabe team and a Tycho team. Throughout the weekend, we ran a series of smallish contests, and kept track of the individual winners and what team they were on. Then at the end of the event, we tallied up the scores and gave some of the prizes to the random members of the winning team.

    Oh? Who won?

    Qs23 on
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  • David CoffmanDavid Coffman Registered User, Penny Arcade Staff, PAX Staff regular
    edited February 2009
    Haha, I only remember that it was -extremely- close...don't recall which team pulled out in the end.

    David Coffman on
  • BamboozaBambooza Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I do believe it was Gabes team that came out ahead at the end.

    One thing that always seems to be under utilized is the intranet website for the BYOC, and if there was a way to get access to it with ones web enabled phones that would be a huge plus, even if its only by an internal wireless network.

    I know personally the past couple of years it was difficult to hook up with others to play any sort of game so if others where playing a game around me that I had then i would tend to play a while with them otherwise I found myself taking with others before the next event i was interested in took place. As it was I never knew what was happening in the BYOC unless i happened to be in there when something was announced and even then it was extremely hard to hear or understand what was being announced at the back of the room where the irc club gets placed.


    Perhaps another idea would be to put up some projection screens to show whats happening in some of the games at the moment (spectator mode) or whats going on in the main theater. (especially given what happened last year with the waits and no guarantee of getting in)

    Bambooza on
    The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?
  • jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Yeah, who sets up the network for BYOC? If it's not some pro outside company, I would love to volunteer to help out with that so we can get broadcasts and such working correctly.

    jonxp on
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  • CortanaVCortanaV SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    "Pimp my PC" would be awesome. Perhaps some sort of competition and the winner gets their crappy PC pimped out? :p

    CortanaV on
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    edited February 2009
    But all of us have crappy PCs lying around. I'm sure everybody here could scrounge up some old parts and make a shit machine to bring if it meant winning something awesome.

    Moe Fwacky on
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  • BigRedBigRed Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    jonxp wrote: »
    Yeah, who sets up the network for BYOC? If it's not some pro outside company, I would love to volunteer to help out with that so we can get broadcasts and such working correctly.

    Intel does it.

    What do you mean broadcasts working correctly?

    BigRed on
    <MoeFwacky> besides, BigRed-Worky is right
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    edited February 2009
    I think he's talking about some of this
    Bambooza wrote: »
    I do believe it was Gabes team that came out ahead at the end.

    One thing that always seems to be under utilized is the intranet website for the BYOC, and if there was a way to get access to it with ones web enabled phones that would be a huge plus, even if its only by an internal wireless network.

    I know personally the past couple of years it was difficult to hook up with others to play any sort of game so if others where playing a game around me that I had then i would tend to play a while with them otherwise I found myself taking with others before the next event i was interested in took place. As it was I never knew what was happening in the BYOC unless i happened to be in there when something was announced and even then it was extremely hard to hear or understand what was being announced at the back of the room where the irc club gets placed.


    Perhaps another idea would be to put up some projection screens to show whats happening in some of the games at the moment (spectator mode) or whats going on in the main theater. (especially given what happened last year with the waits and no guarantee of getting in)

    Moe Fwacky on
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  • David CoffmanDavid Coffman Registered User, Penny Arcade Staff, PAX Staff regular
    edited February 2009
    I'd also like to get a bit of additional clarification.

    David Coffman on
  • jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Stuff broadcasting across the network, advertising of local hosted games, shares, whathaveyou.

    I was unable to see any broadcasts messages that didn't originate from the same table as me. (I was testing because I wanted to do a little Simpsons multicasting)

    jonxp on
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  • ghrogghrog Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Bambooza wrote: »
    Perhaps another idea would be to put up some projection screens to show whats happening in some of the games at the moment (spectator mode) or whats going on in the main theater. (especially given what happened last year with the waits and no guarantee of getting in)

    I think this is a great idea. Maybe have two projectors going - one that has the "what's happening" (we had this going on at BGF) and another that is TVing (specing) the GOTH.

    Also we could use it for casting tournament finals :-}

    ghrog on
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  • David CoffmanDavid Coffman Registered User, Penny Arcade Staff, PAX Staff regular
    edited February 2009
    jonxp wrote: »
    Stuff broadcasting across the network, advertising of local hosted games, shares, whathaveyou.

    I was unable to see any broadcasts messages that didn't originate from the same table as me. (I was testing because I wanted to do a little Simpsons multicasting)
    Really? You weren't able to see any game server broadcasts that didn't come from your table?

    Hrm...

    David Coffman on
  • jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    It's entirely possible that only our particular switch/router/hub was borked.

    jonxp on
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  • BamboozaBambooza Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I do know that there was something wrong with the network for the first few hours after check in at the back corner, but after letting BR know about it was quickly resolved and after that no other issues where experienced.

    It still amazes me how far the BYOC has come over the years with the number of prizes and tournaments and just random stuff happening that it makes it oh so hard to choose where to be next.

    Maybe this year we can get FDA approval on installing cloning vats?

    Bambooza on
    The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?
  • ghrogghrog Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Hey dave, why don't you make a PAX PC Room 2009 Steam Group.

    And use it.

    ghrog on
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  • SovietMudkipzSovietMudkipz Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    An on-the-spot modding contest using the Source SDK. It will be very interesting to see what people come up with.

    SovietMudkipz on
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