Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

PAX Prime 2012 Planning Tips, Part Two - Being Social

Hello future PAX attendees! Today brings PAX tip number two to help you get the most enjoyment out of Prime 2012. Have you seen yesterday's tips for scheduling yet? Be sure to check it out, then let's get going!

Be Social: bring a handheld system, wander the tabletop areas, and ask questions in the exhibition hall.

Any one of these folk can be your friend, you just have to say hello! Photo by Kiko Villasenor.

The second, and probably most profound, reason for even attending this con is to be social. This is the friendliest convention in geek history and if you’re here, you’re family. If you’re shy and need some coercing you can break the ice passively by doing any number of things.

-Join the Buttoneers! A ragtag crew of people who trade buttons! You’ll start up hundreds of conversations and get to know people really well simply by asking... “What does your button mean?” This one does require some forethought and planning since you have to design and then purchase buttons to distribute. If you're interested, be sure to do it for next year!

-Join the cookie brigade and sell cookies for Child’s Play. This is a sure fire way to make some fast friends while supporting an amazing cause. Last year they brought in an astounding $14,276 at PAX Prime, maybe you’re all they need to bump it up over $15k.

-Bring pocket games to play with fellow line waiters, nearby groups, tabletop gamers, or lunchtime doddlers. If you have a game in the public eye and you’re all by yourself people WILL approach you and become your best friends. (On a side note if you forget your pocket games: keep an eye out for the line Enforcers, they often have items to hand out to help keep people occupied and happy!)

Everyone is your buddy when you have a Nintendo DS! Photo by Lisa Juvinall.

-Bring a handheld gaming device! (preferably with multiplayer games) The airwaves will be swimming with DS gaming requests, Vita challenges, and the occasional Zune Tetris Tournament. Even though one of the best parts of online gaming is not wearing pants, please be sure to attend PAX fully clothed. Thanks.

If all of these techniques fail, you can fall back on old reliable: talking. Try to start a conversation with one of the many people around you. There are no strangers at PAX, just nerdy friends you haven’t met yet. Just for you dear viewer we’ve compiled some good lines to break the ice if you’re shy...

How many ears does Captain Kirk have?
Three! The right ear, the left ear and the final front ear.

If you were a Transformer, you'd be Optimus Fine.

Or my recent favorite:
How do you organize a space party?
You planet!
(please note this works best with a visual)

Does anyone out there have any great stories of meeting new people while waiting in line at PAX? I'd love to hear them :D Tomorrow is the final tip (staying energized!), and also marks one week until the first day of PAX Prime 2012!



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