Adam Johns and I have been avidly attending PAX Prime since we first heard it existed, and this year we were struggling to secure passes to attend because of the rising popularity of the convention. I had just about given up hope on being able to attend at all, or maybe finding someone who would let me buy their Monday pass.
See, PAX Prime is not only a place where we can find out about the latest releases of video, board, and card games, see and meet celebrity guests from the geek community, and play games with new friends. It’s also a place where we can share with the gaming community about the kind of work that we do. One of the challenges of being an organization on the frontier of therapeutic gaming/gaming therapy is the difficulty of sharing the concept with the larger community in a clear and concise way to people who have no reference point. PAX is the opposite. PAX is a place where we can say, “We offer theraputic groups to help teens build social skills using role playing games.”
And the person listening says, “AWESOME! How can I help!?”
We were discouraged about being able to attend PAX this year…Until we checked our email and saw the subject line we’ve been waiting for since we started Wheelhouse Workshop.
This year we will not only be attending one of the best gaming convention in the hemisphere, we will be hosting a panel!
We cut our panelling teeth at Emerald City Comicon in April to an over-full room of 200+ in a panel called Geeky Games for Growth, and this year at PAX our panel will be called Please Don’t Punch The DM: Adventures in Gaming Therapy. We will be joined again by Johnny Spangler (aka Johnny Knowing) and we will be moderated by Zachary Zelinski. Here’s a description of the panel:
Games like Minecraft and Dungeons and Dragons are often regarded by pop culture as unsocial wastes of time, but our panel of experts use them therapeutically to improve their clients’ lives. They’ll tell tales of gaming therapy – hosting a dinner party for introverted dwarves and using creepers in the fight against bullying. You’ll ask questions about improving your own gaming experience. Together we’ll learn how the games we love can be more than just games.
If you are going to be at PAX Prime this year, make sure to stop by Cerberus Theatre on Friday, August 28th at 4:30pm!