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Reliving PAX West 2019

PAX West has come and gone, but we’re still riding the hype train. We got to meet so many Ambassadors at the Xbox Ambassadors Experience, played some games, listened in on panels, and just be present at PAX West in Seattle as fans. Let’s relive some of the memorable moments together!

ID@Xbox Open House
The doors opened at 5pm and the crowd dispersed into all corners of the Open House. You could feel the excitement in the air as people got in line to play the latest indie games and chat with friends about PAX West. With over 50 ID@Xbox titles, fans were able to play them and meet the developers behind some of the games. They were able to voice their opinions to the Xbox Feedback crew, join a panel moderated by Major Nelson, and had the chance to win some awesome prizes.

Xbox Ambassadors Experience
Enter the Sonora Room where fans were able to join in on the Xbox Ambassadors Experience! Hundreds of people swung by to spin our prize wheel and check out what the Xbox Ambassadors were all about. We had stations for information and swag, G4E, games, the lounge, and interviews.

We asked you to write what gaming for everyone means to you and here are some of the responses back:

Diversity | Less fighting, more kindness | A choice to play as a character that looks like me | Being able to enjoy games regardless of skill level | Ensuring that everyone feels like they belong on Xbox Live | Acceptance of others | A welcoming community | Empathy

The best part about the Ambassadors Experience was being able to meet people in person to talk about the program and spread awareness of the gaming for everyone mission. From younger to older attendees, people were excited to share their thoughts!

PAX West
The team was ready to be out and about on Sunday at PAX West. Some of our favorite things about PAX included the Overcooked 2 and Rocket League competitions, trying out new indie games, learning about how to build a healthy community, meeting different groups in the Diversity Lounge, and just seeing people standing in capped lines to play games they’ve been looking forward to. We even ran into our handy dandy Mister Sconnie who was waiting for almost two hours to see and play Borderlands 3. This was after already waiting 2 hours for the Gearbox panel that was on Friday. Now that’s dedication to his favorite game series of all time!

How to Build a Healthy Community Without Toxicity
We attended a one-hour panel that included 6 panelists from the gaming industry who all works in the community engagement field. We loved hearing from other people that also were passionate about their communities. Here are some points on how to build a healthy community:

Best Practices

  • Have clear rules and guidelines, and don’t be afraid to change the rules when needed. You can adjust the rules and guidelines based on feature releases and expected influxes in the community.
  • Be transparent. It’s always good to be honest and open with your community.
  • Be conscious of burnout. Managing a community can be mentally taxing so remember to take breaks and personal time.
  • If you run into an issue with a community member, utilize your colleagues to help in assessing your planned response for proper tone.

Tools for Channel Management

  • For analytics – Buffer or Hootsuite
  • For tracking – Tweetdeck
  • For project management – Trello, Air Table, or Meltwater
  • ly allows tracking conversion and can produce QR codes, which can be valuable at events
  • VidIQ gives you great stats for video reach and optimization.
  • Join the Community Manager Discord run my Discord’s community team to share best practices

Mod Recruitment

  • Focus on community members you know and trust
  • Ask candidates to give links to personal social accounts so they can be screened for red flag content
  • Ask candidates to answer situation questions in writing to see how they would handle different mod scenerios

Other Quick Tips

  • Create a physical “positivity wall”. This can help remind you why you love working within community and motivate you by seeing the great successes to lessen the impact of negative sentiment.
  • Take disagreements with specific community members to back channels and don’t argue in public spaces.

Diversity Lounge
We spent some time at the Diversity Lounge, a space dedicated to amplifying voices from underrepresented communities and a place where organizations can provide support and resources for those attending PAX. We visited and spoke to the booths to learn more about their organization and community. Here were some in attendance this year:

  • Geeks Out: An organization that seeks to rally, promote, and empower the queer geek community. They are the group behind the Diversity Lounge!
  • Take This: An organization whose mission is to decrease the stigma of mental health and provide support in the gaming community. They offer resources and information to those dealing with mental health issues or those who know someone who is dealing with them.
  • The AbleGamers Charity: A charity organization that helps children, adults, and veterans with disabilities access games with assisted technology.
  • Center for Suicide Awareness: An organization that is dedicated to preventing suicide through proactive education, training, emotional support, collaboration, and intervention.
  • GaymerX: An organization dedicated to celebrating and supporting LGBTQ+ people and culture in the gaming industry and community. They advocate for more LGBTQ+ representation in game content and in staff at major studios.
  • GeekGirlCon: An organization that works to encourage and empower women and girls to pursue what they love in any field they are passionate about.

For some great information, resources or just a safe space to relax, visit the Diversity Lounge, every PAX has one!

For those of you who went to the ID@Xbox Open House or PAX, we hope you had a wonderful time. And for those who didn’t, thanks for joining along with us on the ride from back home. Share your favorite PAX West moments below!

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