Good morning, and welcome to PAX Prime 2012 everyone! By the time you read this, I’ll be knee deep in Enforcer hullabaloo in the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington, surrounded by tens of thousands of gamers and having the time of my life.
It'll be as much fun as when Tycho groomed Felicia Day. Source.
I feared that this write-up would come off far too brag-y, so here’s my solution to fix things: today’s article is about my favorite aspects of PAX. Its purpose is to entice you to attend some year, or get you super pumped about attending next year if you were unable to obtain tickets for the 2012 show.
It’s not easy to narrow down the innumerable fantastic things about PAX, but I’m going to do my best. Keep in mind that this is in no way a definitive list, and everyone’s experience varies! No matter how you prefer to spend your time, PAX has something fantastic to offer. This is but a tiny sampling of an ever expanding table of geek nourishment.
1. The Vendors
Have you been eyeing a specific shirt, dice bag, or other piece of nerdy accoutrement? Chances are that a vendor at PAX will have exactly what you’re looking for. Better yet? A reasonable price and free shipping*! My personal favorite? Sanshee, the New England based nerd clothing and accessory company. Last year I purchased a shirt, earrings, and bumper sticker from them. This year I anticipate many more shirt purchases!
*free shipping because you'll be carrying it. Get it? Heh.
2. The Expo Hall
I love video games. They’re exciting and fun and I can’t wait to get my hands on the upcoming titles from my favorite companies. PAX provides opportunities for the general public to play games before they’re released. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft are always on the scene with the latest and greatest, so you can bet they’ll be bringing something exciting. PAX 2005 I played Twilight Princess for the Gamecube before the Wii version was announced (a whole year before the game was released) and it remains one of the most glorious moments of my life.
3. The PA Q&A Panel
Gabe and Tycho, your gracious hosts. Source.
Mike and Jerry, or Gabe and Tycho as they’re better known online, are the founding fathers of PAX, and indeed the creative duo behind Penny Arcade, the webcomic from whence PAX sprang. Every year they host a Q&A panel where excited attendees can ask whatever questions they want. More often than not, people share deep, personal, touching stories, and it’s quite the experience to be in the room as the tales unfold. Additionally, Mike and Jerry wax hilarity and share entertaining behind the scenes information about their ever-expanding empire.
One entire floor of the convention center is dedicated to tabletop/board games. Dice, mats, and player tokens as far as the bespectacled eye can see. Practically any game you could imagine playing will be present at PAX, and you, my friend, will have the pleasure of playing. Friday and Saturday night PAX is open until 2 am, so there’s practically no limit to how many games one could get in (OK that's not true, some games take hours upon hours). And it gets even better. You know those vendors I mentioned earlier? Well, a lot of them sell board games, too.
Cozy socialization. Source.
It’s amazing knowing that I’m with friends when I’m at PAX. Even if I end up wandering alone, I am surrounded by friendly faces. Lines are long, but tempers don’t run high. It’s difficult for me to strike up conversations with strangers, but at PAX I don’t even hesitate. Everyone is friendly and willing to talk. It’s the most accepting place I’ve ever been. If you find yourself in the handheld lounge desperately seeking a beanbag chair to relax in, don’t be afraid to ask for a spare one. These people are nice, and they’re willing to share.
So there you go, my favorite things about PAX. If you’re still really upset that you’re not attending, then please follow us on twitter and instagram (both @abitofgeek)! We’ll be doing our best to post highlights and entertainment throughout the weekend. If you ARE at PAX and you managed to read this, then I thank you and we should find each other and say hello!
What are your favorite things about PAX?