On our last day at PAX East, we decided to so something we really should have done more of throughout the weekend – wander around the upper floors more. We got nostalgic in the classic gaming lounge and took a trip back to the 80s in the arcade room, among other things. One thing that I would have to say definitely stood out in the minds of all of us who experienced it, although only briefly, was wandering into the Jamspace room when A_RIVAL was playing what is termed “8-Bit Hip-Hop”. Yes, you read that right.
Like chip-tune, which is taking 8-bit-sounding tunes and turning them into larger musical pieces, this “chip-hop” brought back the melodies of our childhood while, at the same time, astounding us. We were in the room for only a few minutes, but I think by the time we left our jaws were on the floor and we wondered what exactly it was that we just witnessed. The DJ (I’m assuming it was A_RIVAL), along with many dancers, were thrashing around and dancing to the tunes that were being blared out across the sound system. The room flashed psychedelic with strobe lighting and a large projector that held seizure-inducing images.
PAX East was more than just a way to speak directly to the developers and publishers of video games on the expo floor, it was a way to experience a culture and, if you’re still following me, various sub-cultures within the gaming sphere itself. That is what the convention was about. While I was rather speechless when I walked out of the Jamspace room, I thought it was rather…interesting? Others in our company didn’t react so nonchalantly. Yaris, for example, had a hard latching on to the whole thing, saying, “That’s the worst experience I’ve ever had in my entire life. Never again, dude.”
Whether you love it or hate it, it was definitely something to experience there at PAX. If you’re into chip-tune or, as they call it, “chip-hop”, and want to check out more, A_RIVAL’s site is the place to be, so check it out. In the meantime, here’s a video I took that really doesn’t to the experience justice, but you’ll get the general idea of what was going on inside that room.