Dakota State University students walking around campus

Preparation + opportunity = success

That's the DSU equation. We're a four-year university with nationally recognized programs, cutting-edge facilities, and the brightest thinkers. But we're also a tight-knit, inclusive community. Small class sizes mean hands-on training and individualized attention. All this with an affordable, public school price that's among the best values in the region.

Majors & Degrees

DSU English for New Media student reports at PAX

February 19, 2014

DSU English for New Media major, Alissa McAloon, a senior from Huron, S.D., has been a fan of video games since she was young. So, it was a dream-come-true for her to attend and report at one of the largest community- driven video game conventions in North America, the 2013 Penny Arcade Expo (PAX Prime), in Seattle, Wash.

According to McAloon, the attendance at PAX Prime was estimated at around 85,000 people. “It was my third time attending the convention, but my first time going as a member of the press.”

Being a member of the press at the convention was a very different experience for her than attending as a member of the general public as in previous years.

“I was totally unprepared for just how busy I'd be. As an observer I got to sleep in, buzz around from area to area whenever, meet up with friends, and generally just do what I wanted to. As a member of the press I had a very scheduled plan for each day. I had interviews and previews scheduled every few hours, time blocked off to write on the games I had played, and even had to attend certain industry parties in order to network with developers and other members of the media.”

“At PAX, I got my first experiences with conducting hands-on previews and video interviews,” McAloon explained. “I'd never done a video interview before, so I was initially a little freaked out. But I ended up doing two of them and held my own. The games I played at the event were mostly unreleased titles. I wrote on many of the games I played, talked to con attendees, and worked on networking with other journalists and game developers both.”

Her work from the convention includes the following:

Always Sometimes Monsters Developer Interview

Adventure Time Developer Interview

Always Sometimes Monsters Hands-On Preview

Hotline Miami Hands-On Preview

Adventure Time Hands-On Preview

Strife Hands-On Preview

Resogun Hands-On Preview

Crypt of the NecroDancer Hands-On Preview

The opportunity to be a member of the press at PAX came about through a website she writes for in her free time, Twinfinite. The website focuses on general video game news as well as providing opinion pieces and reviews.

McAloon first discovered Twinfinite on Twitter. In December of 2012, they published a tweet stating that they were accepting applications for writing positions. She applied, but didn't make the cut. Last summer they started taking applications once more, and this time with some better and more current writing samples in hand, she applied and was hired on as a writer, and was recently promoted to associated editor.

“I know that my work for Twinfinite and my progress as an English for New Media major affect each other positively, allowing me to gain experience and excel in school and work,” explained McAloon.

In April 2014, McAloon will head to Boston, Mass. as a member of the press at the PAX East 2014 located at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.