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First Year PAX

arwen_doll16_LOTRarwen_doll16_LOTR CommanderRegistered User regular
edited September 2010 in PAX Archive
For the newbies!
Introduce yourself here! Ask questions and maybe get an answer. Talk about your plans. What do you hope to see at PAX and what are you looking forward to the most?

For the veterans!
What should the rest of use newbies expect? What should be do? Not do? Which forums would be the most helpful to read? What to bring and not bring that you wouldn't normally think of? Groups to join? Overall advice to the noobs of PAX!

I would personally like to know about some of the traditions that are at PAX that newbies could join in on (without stepping on any toes)

arwen_doll16_LOTR on
I should go.
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Posts

  • arwen_doll16_LOTRarwen_doll16_LOTR Commander Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Thank you all for all the great answers and tips! Keep em coming!!

    Anyone know of any fun traditions that the newbies should look into?
    I have heard about the cookie brigade and about the buttons that people exchange with their usernames on them =)

    cookie brigade: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=117299&highlight=cookie+brigade
    buttoneers: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=117417&highlight=cookie+brigade

    What else is there that people should think about getting into?

    I also want to know what other things people should bring that is not normally thought of by first timers?
    So far I have heard things like gameboy, magic cards, deoderant (though I hope most people thought of this one lol.)

    I should go.
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  • SlickShughesSlickShughes Registered User
    edited June 2010
    deoderant (though I hope most people thought of this one lol.)

    You would hope that, yes. At the con, you will wish it. And after the con you will beg it of the newbies of next year.

    Houn wrote: »
    This is Penny Motherfuckin' Arcade. It's a better class of forum, and you know it.
  • hml151hml151 Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Thank you all for all the great answers and tips! Keep em coming!!

    Anyone know of any fun traditions that the newbies should look into?
    I have heard about the cookie brigade and about the buttons that people exchange with their usernames on them =)

    cookie brigade: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=117299&highlight=cookie+brigade
    buttoneers: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=117417&highlight=cookie+brigade

    What else is there that people should think about getting into?

    I also want to know what other things people should bring that is not normally thought of by first timers?
    So far I have heard things like gameboy, magic cards, deoderant (though I hope most people thought of this one lol.)
    PAX is a wonderful gathering of the most friendly gamers and great swag and games to us the geeks.

    There are so many things to do:
    Concerts (Friday and Saturday)
    Swag
    Speaks
    Penny Arcade Panel
    Obviously new games
    Rockband stuff (other games of similarity)
    Board gaming
    Game competitions with different gaming consoles
    D&D
    Bring your own computer (BYOC): this cost more money though and needs to be signed up for
    Pillow levels for rest and gameboys

    Tips for the area:
    If you are not familiar with Seattle, look into restaurants and places to see. You wouldn't have a lot time, but you’re in a new city. If you research your restaurants you will find better times to eat and lower cost and try new places (google is great: rates, cost, location).
    Lines are long in some cases. You should expect to get there early if you want to get in. Get that guide book at the beginning and map out want you want.
    If you have a camera and enjoy photos, plan to have to download your photos every night. People dress up (including my group) and there are awesome displays and people to meet.
    Of course toys too: gameboy, psp, laptop (we only bring one or two, limited space), magic cards, munchkins, etc
    Be prepared for lots of swag going home with you.

    Have a wonderful time, and of course if you see our School Girl Goodness group the first day, come and take photos with us. If you do want to see some of the last past 3 PAX I have flickr accounts (http://www.flickr.com/photos/schoolgirlgoodness/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/50801739@N04/) and we are already gearing up for this year.

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  • BrennaCeDriaBrennaCeDria Registered User
    edited June 2010
    ironfist wrote: »
    I'm thinking about going to PAX but i've never really been to a convention before and if I did end up going, I'd probably be going alone. Any tips or suggestions for me? Is it still cool going alone? Like, I'm not the most social person ever, but are people generally friendly and not like, closed off and clique-y and stuff?

    This is my second PAX, but when I was there in 08 I found not only everyone at PAX itself to be very open and more or less awesome overall, but also most of Seattle in general--and that's saying something since I'm from a city supposedly known for its "Southern hospitality". :D

  • RDubbRDubb Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Speaking purely as an East Enforcer and never having gone to a Prime, I can offer one bit of advice about the panel scheduling.

    One thing I noticed while working a satellite theater was that the lines for the majority of panels start half way through the previous one. This fact, combined with that of there being an occupancy cap for the rooms themselves, made it very difficult for some people to go to one panel and then try to get into another one immediately after.

    To avoid possible disappointment, I would recommend prioritizing which panels you want to see most and allow for a "buffer time" between them. For example, if your three favorite panels are going on in three consecutive time slots, don't get your heart set on seeing the second one. Queue up for the first, see it, then go to free play for half an hour. Then come back to the theater where Panel #3 will be at and start the line. This way, you'll be in for 2 out of the three.

    Some panels were less popular (though definitely not less interesting) than others and didn't have this problem. I found that, generally, the more well-known the speakers, the more popular (and therefore more packed) the panel. I remember the Naughty Dog panel line starting even before the panel before it began and reaching capacity within 15 minutes. On the flip side, the D&D dungeon masters panel never got past a couple dozen attendees.

    You get the idea. Plan accordingly and you'll be golden.

  • chrisstiechrisstie Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Last year PAX09 in Seattle was my first PAX and this will be my second.

    I would like to say if you're a newbie, don't be afraid! Be relaxed, casual, and come with an open heart and good attitude. Chances are you will be so overwhelmed you'll never get to see everything. I would plan one day to simply wander the convention center to get your bearings, see where everything is, scope out food/bathrooms (I'd bring an empty water bottle so you can fill up at fountains to keep hydrated, this is more important than you would think and easy to forget! I don't believe the convention center policy lets you bring in outside water but whats wrong with an empty bottle?)

    Figure out where you will park/how to get to the convention center early, the downtown area will be very busy. There are nearby restaurants and Westlake Mall that has a food court that will offer quick nourishment without as many lines as convention center food if you're in a hurry. its only 2-3 blocks away.

    While at the con in regards on what to bring, i'd have with you portable hand sanitizer, tissues, earplugs for you or young ones for any concerts or loud events. A large bag to carry swag and your electronics around. Make sure you have a way to identify your things in case they get lost! Put your name on your stuff with contact info JUST IN CASE.

    Make sure you have a notepad and pen/phone or other media device to take down peoples contact info. You'll likely meet people you'd like to keep in touch with to keep gaming with after the convention.

    If you decide to cosplay (you're very welcome to even if you are a newbie there is a place for every kind of geek when you come home to PAX!) make sure you have a *comfortable* costume and that there are no bits that would be the end of the world to have fall off or get lost. It can be rough wearing it. Keep track of your props and if your costume is cumbersome please arrange for a spotter (friend, spouse, kind stranger looking for company) to make sure your guns/wings/etc don't put someone's eye out.

    Money - you may need this for various contests to buy into as well as the PAX memorabilia booth.

    Emergency items- pain killers, pepto in case you eat bad con food, etc - always a good idea to have a travel size of these because with the energy you will burn and the amount of things you will see chances are you will get at least a headache and you don't want to miss out or be in pain!

  • SlickShughesSlickShughes Registered User
    edited June 2010
    chrisstie wrote: »
    Money - you may need this for various contests to buy into...

    Something seems not right here...

    Houn wrote: »
    This is Penny Motherfuckin' Arcade. It's a better class of forum, and you know it.
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited June 2010
    The only contests I'm aware of that require "buying into" are the Magic tournaments, because you're buying cards to participate.

  • heelsheels Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, PAX Staff mod
    edited June 2010
    From the PAX FAQ
    Your PAX badge is all-access, and is good for all PAX-run events, concerts, parties, panels, and freeplay areas. That said, some sponsor-run events, such as "Sealed deck" and other ranked tournaments, may have an additional fee.

    AKA: what Moe said.

    < devious1> heels: you are worst idea person ever

    http://twitter.com/h_e_e_l_s

    www.reedpop.com
  • chrisstiechrisstie Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Yes sorry meant that, should have been more specific but I am super secret ninja posting from work. MTG, food, drinks, Seattle trinkets go into that list :)

  • TenaciousGGTenaciousGG Registered User
    edited June 2010
    This will be my first year in attendance of PAX, and I can't even find the words to express my excitement for it.

    I've been a huge PA fan ever since about a year after it started up online. I was a huge console gamer in middle school to about halfway through HS (got sucked into a korean MMO that took me out of the console VG loop). I'd sometimes fall behind by a year or two and spend weeks catching up on the comics. I'd heard and read about PAX before, but never even imagined I'd get to experience it myself--that is, until I met some awesome people who are PAX vets! My boyfriend (who I began seeing right after PAX Prime 2009) got me super hyped up and invited me along with their annual PAX group. We're going to take a plane from Los Angeles to Seattle. Apparently he didn't know about PAX Train, which I read about a couple weeks ago on these forums. He is on board for the train next year (if they end up doing it again), since we've already secured plane tix.

    Mike and Jerry are freaking rad, I've met them twice--last year at SD Comic Con 09, and at a book signing they did for their 11.5th Anniversary book (which I bought for my BF for V-Day) in a small Los Angeles comic book store. Didn't get to chat too much with them either time, but my sister did let out a Freudian slip when we got our pictures with them at SDCC (she said "You guys can be on top" when we were trying to figure out how to arrange ourselves for a picture--the photo caught their facial reactions perfectly). I can't wait to go to their panels, they really know how to engage a crowd (from what I saw at their book tour and videos of other PAX events/panels).

    Since I was an MMORPG gamer for about 7 years straight with hardly any console play, I feel like I'm just starting to get back into handheld and console gaming. I got a PS3 for Christmas and dusted off my DS that I used to hardly play, which I now play at least 3 times a week. I'd call myself a casual gamer, I love Pokemon (more into the old-school TV series and TCG), but I've never really gotten into the video games for it; and I'm a huge fan of the Zelda series. I'm afraid I'll be somewhat out of place with regards to most of the big video game-bonding topics (like the Pokemon DS games and Guitar Hero, which I suck at), but I'm hoping I'll end up having fun and trying out new things, and perhaps making new friends.

    Also, I can't wait for the concerts; my BF plays the songs from Anamanaguchi all the time, which I thoroughly enjoy, and I love concert atmospheres in general--even better if it's mixed with the awesomeness of video games and the energy that PAX is sure to infect the crowd with.

  • stankerbellstankerbell Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    @tenaciousgg

    Don't worry about it. One of the things I love about PAX (among many) is how diversified everyone is in regards to what they play. PAX isn't about just console gaming; it includes a huge net that includes everyone who simply loves gaming. Welcome aboard!

  • Bob JackassBob Jackass Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Socializing is always a first recommendation. It's what makes PAX the experience that it is; something more than just a gathering of gamers.

    I'd also recommend these:

    - Don't forget the charger for your handheld! You may end up using your handheld more than you think and you don't want to have to run back to your hotel to get it.
    - There will be an information kiosk (on the second floor at Prime, IIRC). If you find something, bring it there. If you lost something, go there.
    - Obviously, don't forget your badge. But if you lose it, don't fret. PAX is run by cool people and cool people like Robert Khoo can help you out.
    - Pace yourself. There will be things you want to see but will miss. Don't tire yourself out by trying to run everywhere and do everything. I made that mistake once and paid for it by sleeping through most of MC Frontalot's concert.
    - Finally, be prepared to feel sad when PAX ends. It's a normal feeling. But rejoice in the friends you've made and the knowledge that you're only 6 months away from another PAX.

    Check out my actual, real life rock band!

    Xbox Live - Bob Jackass || Playstation - Cosby__Sweater || Steam - Bob Jackass

    Twitter
  • degreesplatinumdegreesplatinum Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I've been going to PAX since year 1 (2004). The first year, I went with a couple of friends. But from year 2 til this coming Labor Day weekend, I have been going by myself.

    Now... "by myself" is really an exaggeration. Yes, I do go to PAX on my own, but I end up staying and hanging out with some of the most awesome Canadian folks I know that are from the 604/778 area (as well as the Sealab folks). I haven't been a huge PA fan/reader the last couple or so years (IRL issues, bleh) but you don't even need to be a PA fan to enjoy PAX. As long as you like video games (or anything sort of like it) then PAX is for you.

    If you're worried about socializing, that's normal. That's why we have a PAX forum. Most of the folks that I hang out with during PAX are regular forumers (sadly, I'm not a regular here). So if it helps, start acquainting yourself with the folks around here. Participate in several forum activities here. I know that the button exchange is a great way to meet people. And next thing you know, you'll be hanging out with them during PAX.

    PAX is like this very huge convention where it feels like you know everybody. As a not-so-social guy myself, that's saying a lot. It's always nice to run into people here and there and exchange stories, even if it's just for a minute or so.

    And there's my two cents on this. I'm sure I have more advice, but this is all I can think of right now.

  • arwen_doll16_LOTRarwen_doll16_LOTR Commander Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Anyone know of specific events or games they are looking forward to previewing and seeing?

    I should go.
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  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited June 2010
    Eventually, mentok will post a thread detailing games he expects to see demos of based on release dates and the like.

  • HeleorHeleor SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I think Guild Wars 2 is the only officially announced game so far. We should wait at least until after E3 for everything else.

  • sunnykodasunnykoda Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    This is also my first year to PAX, and my first trip to the USA! I am really looking forward to it and will be documenting the event. I'll also be catching the PAX train and probably spending a lot of time in industry panels as I am a young concept artist with no connections outside of Australia. Looking forward to meeting you all soon =)

    I am filming a documentary about gaming culture and need help from gamers: http://www.sunnykoda.com/L2PUSA/index.html
  • SolelronSolelron Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    As a 2nd year attendee, I can agree to just about everything everyone else has said.

    The only other thing I could say is: Make sure to not focus all your time on one section. Get out and see all that PAX has to offer. Even if you aren't a panel person or a console junkie, wander through and see what they are playing or go listen to the Keynote. This will let you have the FULL Experience.

    I ended up spending most of my first PAX in Board gaming, barely branching out, and I'm going to make up for it this year, even with still holding up my responsibilities as an MIB with the SJ Games crew.

    The entire thing is worth the experiences you will have. So have fun, relax, socialize and be ready to PARTY :)

  • SlickShughesSlickShughes Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Solelron wrote: »
    Even if you aren't a panel person or a console junkie, wander through and see what they are playing or go listen to the Keynote. This will let you have the FULL Experience.

    The keynote comment is misleading: it's hard to just drop by on it. I think I spent 3+ hours waiting to get into the wheton keynote at pax e, other popular panels will be similar.

    I do support the general intent there though, make an effort to see some of everything.

    Houn wrote: »
    This is Penny Motherfuckin' Arcade. It's a better class of forum, and you know it.
  • WingedillidanWingedillidan Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    First time doing BYOC for PAX Prime.. This really can fit into both topics sooo... how much does it cost to ship a ATX cross country from New York and how long? Finally, when to ship?

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
  • takoayakotakoayako Registered User
    edited June 2010
    If I am able to make plans to attend PAX -- this would be my first year.

    Hi!

    My friends and I have been thinking about going to PAX -- we're pretty much accepted the fact that we are attending. But it being about 2 1/2 months away, it is still too early for us to make plans since we all work and attend school. What I'm nervous about is that we wait too long and tickets will be sold out. When is the last possible "safe-ticket-purchasing" time? I'm thinking we'll be safe if we buy our tickets by early August. But, I'm just so nervous waiting that long for them to make up their mind!

    Thanks :)

  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited June 2010
    It's hard to say exactly, your best bet is to keep an eye on the forums and the @Official_PAX twitter feed. When tickets start getting low, there will be announcements stating so.

  • takoayakotakoayako Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Okay! Thanks for the tip!

  • heelsheels Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, PAX Staff mod
    edited June 2010
    I *highly* suggest buying tickets prior to August.

    < devious1> heels: you are worst idea person ever

    http://twitter.com/h_e_e_l_s

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  • freakish lightfreakish light Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    takoayako wrote: »
    If I am able to make plans to attend PAX -- this would be my first year.

    Hi!

    My friends and I have been thinking about going to PAX -- we're pretty much accepted the fact that we are attending. But it being about 2 1/2 months away, it is still too early for us to make plans since we all work and attend school. What I'm nervous about is that we wait too long and tickets will be sold out. When is the last possible "safe-ticket-purchasing" time? I'm thinking we'll be safe if we buy our tickets by early August. But, I'm just so nervous waiting that long for them to make up their mind!

    Thanks :)

    Isn't early the best time to start making plans? Notify teachers and professors you will be out of town that weekend, and if there's anything you can do to stay on top of the work. Start requesting days off work so that it's down and scheduled. You really want to get your travel plans and accommodations sorted early, while they are a) somewhat cheaper and more importantly b) still available at all.

  • ImperfectImperfect Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    First PAX this year, but not the first one I planned to go to. I even bought a ticket last year, but every previous year, I have been hampered by loss of job or other revenue-shattering issues. This year I'm MOVING the month before, but have a wonderful job and can thus still afford PAX.

    So.

    Enthused.

    'scuse me while I go haunt the hotels thread.

  • BlackWolfBuddhaBlackWolfBuddha Registered User
    edited June 2010
    First year at PAX. I will be going with a PAX vet should be awesome fun.

  • LoonyEclipseLoonyEclipse Self-important blowhard Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Hoy all.

    This'll be my first PAX Prime (I attended East this year). Technically a solo trip, but I have a few friends I'll likely link up with in Seattle.

    So, for those who have attended both, how different are the two?

  • JolieBlancJolieBlanc Registered User
    edited June 2010
    I've been to both, and I have to say I think I prefer the atmosphere in Prime a little better -- it's definitely _bigger_ which is awesome. East's showfloor was kind of sparse compared to Prime, though that may change the next time they do it.

    Definitely bring the hand sanitizer, and use it frequently; bring something fun to do in lines, and talk to your neighbors; and -listen-. I didn't get the "Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaason" joke from East until I got home and heard my husband playing Heavy Rain, and it twigged. :D Anyway. It's a fantastic convention. This'll be my 4th and I'm super excited already. Long live PAX!

  • DeciusDecius Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Well I have all my ducks in a row as it were, and will be enjoying the full PAX experience on my first trip out. Now that I've got everything setup I'm legitimately excited! See you guys in Seattle!

    camo_sig2.png
    I never finish anyth
  • arwen_doll16_LOTRarwen_doll16_LOTR Commander Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Update!

    I got ahold of my sister this weekend to find out that she has officially moved to Seattle! My boyfriend and I are going to stay at her house (which is about 20 blocks away from the convention center). After I pay rent this month we are going to get our plane tickets. I wanted to book the plane tickets and hotel at the same time to get a deal but since we don't need a hotel now that deal is out the window.

    I also emailed our band director (our college has a football game that weekend and we can lose our grade by not going to the game to play in the halftime) to try to convince him to let us go to PAX without punishment to our grades. We will see how he takes it and if he accepts our absence. If he asks why we are missing (I highly doubt he will accept a convention as an excuse).....my sister might be having an impromtu wedding that weekend >.<

    I have also updated my costume progression if anyone is interested at
    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?p=15493838&posted=1#post15493838

    Hope to see everyone there!

    I should go.
    534159_4247466298641_1660805487_n.jpg
  • casper702casper702 Registered User
    edited June 2010
    This is going to be my first year going to pax.
    I've always wanted to go and it never will worked out. For once it is going to I just found out I'm being stationed at fort lewis which is less then an hour away

  • FaceballMcDougalFaceballMcDougal Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    This may as well be my first year. Last year I did as much as I could but had a travel companion that was a little slower and not that enthused about games.

    xbl/psn/steam: jabbertrack
  • TwoDollarCutsTwoDollarCuts Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Is PAX worth going to for only Saturday and half of Sunday? I am going to start the school year (working) the last week of August and I probably won't be able to take the 3rd of September off in order to come in on Thursday. If anything, I'd fly in around 6 on Friday and head straight to my hotel. Maybe go to the convention center if I had time. Is one and (maybe) a half day worth it? Any recommendations or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • hml151hml151 Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    This may as well be my first year. Last year I did as much as I could but had a travel companion that was a little slower and not that enthused about games.
    Tell your partner that it is like eating as a chip, try one of everything and get alot of swag on the way. So you may die too many times to count.

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  • hml151hml151 Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Is PAX worth going to for only Saturday and half of Sunday? I am going to start the school year (working) the last week of August and I probably won't be able to take the 3rd of September off in order to come in on Thursday. If anything, I'd fly in around 6 on Friday and head straight to my hotel. Maybe go to the convention center if I had time. Is one and (maybe) a half day worth it? Any recommendations or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    As soon as you can start, get there. There is so much to do and get. I have a group of 11 last year and it took all weekend just to get through all o the floor exhibits plus some panels. There are concerts on Friday and Saturday (starting a 7pm to 2am), completely awesome. As soon as possible!

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  • DarkCascadeDarkCascade Registered User
    edited June 2010
    Hi everyone!

    I registered specifically to throw my hat in this ring here. I'm looking at attending my first PAX ever.

    One question (that I don't think has been answered yet): What would a relatively good guess be for the average age of the expo-goers? I'm guessing I'm just a teensy bit older than the average, but I could be wrong.

  • HeleorHeleor SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    The average age is actually a bit older than would be expected. There's plenty of people of all ages, of course, but there's a lot less under-16s running around than say, at an anime convention. I'd guess 18-24 is a pretty big majority, but there's plenty of 30,40, and 50+ as well.

  • DarkCascadeDarkCascade Registered User
    edited June 2010
    That was one fast reply.

    That demographic seems about right -- I should fit right in! I was mostly trying to get a sense of who was gonna stick around for the 7p-2a concerts and such. Given that information, I suspect these events will be packed.

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