SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio streets were flooded Friday with Super Mario Brothers, Street Fighters and other popular virtual characters as the fifth annual PAX South gaming convention kicked off.
Tens of thousands of gamers flocked to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center for a jam-packed day of panel discussions hosted by game developers, first glances at new releases and all \-out battles for bragging rights. Attendees cosplayed as their favorite characters and took every opportunity to snag a selfie with other characters from other fictional universes.
"PAX, as a brand, is the largest consumer gaming event in the country, and PAX South is the first one we do every year," said Ryan Hartman, Penny Arcade director of events. "We have video games here, board games here, RPGs. We have interactive RPGs like an escape room upstairs."
Other PAX events take place in different cities across the country and even expand abroad as far as Australia. The annual tour has traditionally kicked off with PAX South in San Antonio.
KENS5 inquired about trends in the gaming industry from developers and social media influencers such as iPodKingCarter, a gaming trend-setter with more than 572,000 YouTube subscribers.
In discussing the secret sauce that made "Fortnite" its fortunes, he responded, "(The difference with "Fortnite" is that) you can let your child play it. As long as you can innovate culture into your games, your games will always win out."
He alluded to the iconic dance moves, characters and skins applauding the game developers' consistency with adding new, catchy features.
"It never gets boring," he said.
The event schedule extended throughout the weekend, and PAX coordinators are bracing for crowds of more than 20,000 people each day.