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PAX Impressions, Stories, Tales

2

Posts

  • MrBartokomousMrBartokomous Registered User
    edited September 2010
    It was kind of a bittersweet weekend for me. There was plenty of good (2500 people singing Still Alive in Benaroya, SpyParty, some great conversations on gaming and philosophy), but there was also plenty of bad (BO, poor sportsmanship, dickhead fanboys, etc.)

    Something that really concerns me is that with all the talk about how it's cool to be a geek or a gamer today, jackasses with no social skills take it as validation of everything they do. Which it isn't. The reason we sometimes get a bad rap as a subculture isn't because of the things we like, but how we express that interest, and I think too many geeks confuse societal acceptance of the content with societal acceptance of their actions.

    This was my third PAX, and the first where jackasses outnumbered the cool people that made my first two years such great experiences.

  • CowOfDeathCowOfDeath Registered User
    edited September 2010
    This was my first PAX, and it was really awesome. I assumed going in that the main point of PAX was the exhibition hall. I had heard about the community, but honestly I hardly ever actually meet people in big crowds like that.

    I was totally blown away by how amazingly friendly everybody was. If I was in line for something, the fellow in front of me would start up a conversation, and we'd end up sitting next to each other and hanging out for half the day. This happened more than once. If I randomly wandered into a board game room or a console game room, somebody would immediately insist I join them for a game of something that would be about to start. I ended up having company for lunch, dinner, and drinking every day even though I went to the con by myself. Given the stereotypes of gamers as insular nerds, the sort of inclusionary behavior going on was astounding. Completely unique experience, A+++ would PAX again.

    Random moments that stand out in my mind:
    * Tycho standing around in the exhibit hall signing badges.
    * Getting schooled in Settlers of Catan by a pastry chef loligoth.
    * Getting schooled at 4-player GoldenEye being projected onto a wall via R2D2.
    * Getting schooled at Steel Battalion, which apparently still exists.
    * Playing SpyParty (totally awesome)
    * "Would you like to buy a handful of broken cookie for charity?" (most delicious broken cookies ever, by the way)

  • ConstantCupcakeConstantCupcake Registered User
    edited September 2010
    This was my third PAX, and the first where jackasses outnumbered the cool people that made my first two years such great experiences.

    I'm not sure that they quite outnumbered them but there were certainly more this year. I always love the PAX community because geeks and nerds are cool, not in the hip hop cheerleader sense but in the sense that we love what we're doing and love doing it together. This year there were definitely some people who were there to be cooler than everyone else, who did not follow wil wheaton's rule, and who lived up to the whole "no bathing" stereotype (sorry I know that sounds cruel but I had some pretty uncomfortable elevator rides). Also people who did not stand to the right on the escalators and blocked me from walking up on the left (pet peeve of mine).

    That being said for every annoying person I met I met someone totally awesome who invited me to sit down, have a beer, and play some games. Or who saved my place in line while I ran to go pee. Or sold my friend a 3-day pass at face value (seriously scalpers you suck). Or who kept me from losing my wallet or schwag by chasing me down with it.

    I guess the moral is that we a true and full community now full of good and bad. I like to think we have more good still though. So to everyone who did something as little as smile at me thanks!

  • steesaltsteesalt Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Well, it was my first time there. It was a little awkward as I dressed pretty nicely, so I sort of stuck out like a sore thumb. I don't think I really knew what to expect as far as costumes, contextual shirts or anything, or all the weird memorabilia being passed around. Further awkwardness occurred when I stopped by the Behemoth and had a moment with Dan Paladin. I had seen some of his really old work years ago on an art forum we both posted on called eatpoo, and I mentioned that plus his handle, Synj. He was like, "Yeah, wow, that was like... 6 years ago." I said, "Yeah. Sign my pass?" Then we blankly stared at each other for 20 seconds, and then he signed it and I jet. I think he was expecting a further conversation, but whatever, I kind of prefer the awkward silence of that moment anyway.

  • TheMightyElkTheMightyElk Registered User
    edited September 2010
    This is year 2 at pax. unfortunately both years so far i have missed Saturday so my experience can only count for Friday and Sunday. i was actually a little disappointed, the vendors and developers just didn't seem to be too into it. The lines were way longer than previous, last year i was able to walk up and play a few games at least but even the lame games had hour waits. i was interested in seeing dead-space 2, fear3, deus ex, and a few others. i saw none. except a moment or two of game-play. i saw a poster for deus ex but i don't know if they were there anyway. i waited in like almost 3 hrs for the duke which was awesome but when we got done with the demo the belt-buckle that we were promised if we tweeted was non existent. in fact the duke girl rolled her eyes at me when i asked for it. she handed me a t shirt and walked away. she didn't even asked if i liked the game. i later found out the shirt she gave me was the wrong size, when i asked to see if she had a different size she acted like i was forcing her to mine coal. she glared at me "no were out", luckily my friend got a shirt a day later and his was my size so we traded. it seemed to be the mentality tho. i asked the guy at the guild wars 2 booth his response was a gruff "it'll come out when it does... when its ready" then he went back to talking to the other guy at the booth like i wasn't even there. in fact i had a lot of that happen, i would wait to talk to a developer or someone at a booth and they would just talk amongst themselves like i had knarlface or something. i went to the need for speed booth and watched 3 people get pictures with the hot chicks. i asked if there was a line, they said no and the chicks left when i got there. the guy yelled smile and quickly took the photo. i wont say im beautiful but im not that ugly lol.. there just seemed to be this unrelenting stonewall the entire time. jumping through ridiculous hoops for everything and no one really acting like they were having fun or even wanting to be there.

    tripwire studios was probably the best this year. i had a nice conversation with the ladies there and i enjoyed killing floor which i got for free. hawx 2 was another cool one overall tho no one i talked to had anything useful to say. when i asked "why should i play this versus other games like it" i usually got shrugged shoulders and things as such. the guys from valve were great as always and the person i talked to from dead space was great but bungie didn't seem too interested in talking to me much. i dunno i could have had a media badge this year but i went as a patron instead. its kind of unfortunate because i love the idea of pax and i want people to have the kind of experience i had last year.

    last year i went to the fear booth for example, i talked to the vendor and learned a lot about the game that was coming out. he knew i was a big fan so he mailed me a shirt after pax because they were out. this year i was told i had to wait for hours to play a bunch of games i had no interest in to get anything.. i would have waited to play fear at least if i could have gotten something. a fear 3 shirt was the top of my bucket list.

    ill stop gripping but in my opinion if the attitude is crappy at least gimme something for putting up with it. i enjoyed parts of pax this year but there were a few times i almost bagged it and went home. ill be back next year but i truly hope that the vendors are nicer and maybe hand out more swag for standing for hours..

    last year i got 3 free games and 22 free t shirts
    this year i got 1 game and 8 shirts.

    i wonder what will happen next year.

    p.s. i am not trying to say that i only go to pax for free stuff, however that is a perk. i am trying to say the effort for this years pax just overall seemed sub par. :...:

  • JaydoJaydo Registered User
    edited September 2010
    So this PAX was great, but I, and the rest of my group all believed that this year had the most negativity involved...

    First I'll start off with the great stuff:

    THE PROTOMEN; I mean, dear god! I'm a total protofan, and my wife started the protoprime facebook group, so you'd think I'd know what to expect when they come around... But hell, I was FLOORED by their friday night concert and absolutely demolished by the jamspace show. And on top of all of that, every single one of them was an awesome person. They all dealt with us geeking out and having conversations, they all treated us like cool people, and Commander beat my ass so hard at arm wrestling, my badge flew off. I can not wait to see them again, and can not thank them enough for coming and being such badasses.

    "Unsung" Heroes like Bill Amend and Steve Jackson sitting in bandland for signings was such an awesome sight to see. I'm a little sad that I couldn't go and talk to Bill Amend while he was there, but I'm sure he'll be back next year. I'm so thankful to have gotten the chance to talk with Steve Jackson and get some free munchkin shtuff for not only myself but for my brother-in-law's upcoming birthday. Their presence really warmed my heart but it really pointed out something kinda negative that I'll touch on later in the bad stuff.

    I'm not that big of a fan of Duke Nukem, and I haven't bought borderlands because my friends are flakes and I know it would end up being unplayed like L4D was in our circle, but Gearbox is cool as hell. THANK YOU GEARBOX for not only providing us with an overwhelming mountain of free pizza, but for actually giving us a really cool story while we ate about how DNF came into your hands, I was actually very interested in the story and thankful we stumbled into the panel.

    Jamspace is one of the coolest additions to Prime and I really can not wait for it next year. Not only is it cool that the PAX musicians tend to take it over and play very intimate private shows, but being a musician who lacks people to jam with, this room is like a playground to me. I had a lot of fun Sunday afternoon playing with a few guys, one of which is a man I stood in line with at my very first PAX! He is a phenomenal harmonica player, and I'm so glad I got to jam with him. I normally play guitar, but that was taken so I hopped on the bass for probably 30 minutes before Metroid Metal played their secret show. I had a blast learning new songs and improvising with some kick ass musicians; especially the magfest member who played the keys and taught me the bass lines to songs I didn't know.

    The Magfest guys who ran the jamspace booth are all really cool as well, not just because they're excellent musicians, but because they're just like us. I really got the vibe that they were just as excited to be there as we were.

    On sunday I lost my backpack and thought that it might have been left in the jamspace room. Unfortunately their room was closed and locked, which kind of crushed my dreams. However I remember seeing the magfest guys going up the escalator earlier that day. I decided to go to bandland and see if they were smoozin' with the protomen or something, and sure as hell they were. They were all very helpful, led me to the room and unlocked it so I could search for my stuff, and I'm very thankful for them; unfortunately I didn't leave my bag there, so hopefully lost and found will be able to reconnect me with my belongings soon enough.

    Overall it was an amazing PAX, but there were a few things that seemed a bit off, and I hope the convention doesn't keep growing in their direction.


    The Bad:

    Benaroya hall was much bigger and had better acoustics than the expo hall for music... but the seats killed a lot of the vibe. Almost every one of my group was pretty bummed about it, and I am still a little on the fence on whether Benaroya was a positive or negative change.

    There were simply just too many "quests" this year. It seemed like if you wanted swag, you had to first figure out the crazy order of operations to get it, and then spend quite a lot of time to do so. I really wanted the free premium dolby axon memberships, as I actually use that program and am about to run out of surround pass, but the amount of badges I needed to get was just too time consuming, especially considering I attempted to get atleast three of the other badges and couldn't find anyone giving them out at all. I would just get ignored by booth attendants left and right, or stared at by them as they talked to other people. The axon badge was easy to get because those guys kick ass and are great at starting conversations, but everything else fell flat to me.

    Other booths just seemed to treat us like meat, way more so than I am use to. Nvidia, Harmonix, Bioware, Dust Off, and Netdevil all had some really cool attendants who were either just plain kind and courteous about what they were doing, or interesting people who made great conversation... But a lot of the rest of the booth attendants I encountered seemed really hollow, like they didn't really enjoy what they were doing, or like they HAD to get something out of us. I felt like was being sold something, instead of talking about something cool.

    The WoW TCG card tables were kind of sad to see, if you know what I mean; I don't want to get into detail, but I felt it was just awkward.

    Earlier I talked about how cool it was to have Bill Amend and Steve Jackson at bandland signing. What I didn't mention was that I never saw a noticeable line in front of their booths. WTF PAX? Bill Amend is part of the reason why a comic like Penny Arcade can be taken so seriously, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was quite an influence on Gabe and Tycho. Steve Jackson is a GOD among minions whose games are not only fun as hell, hilarious, but actually really great at bringing friends together to play something... Why was there so little interest? Do the majority of PAXers not know these people, or do they not care? It's sad to really only see the major lines forming for JoCo, Wil Wheaton, and The Protomen.(when all of them were at their booth) I really expected to see more attention to others than I saw.

    Overall, PAX feels a lot less personal than it use to... and a lot more E3 than it should be these days. I think part of this is because of the growth of the convention; as more and more people start to come, it's going to get less personal, I mean it HAS to.... But it doesn't have to in certain ways.

    I wish more of the booths were manned by community managers and developers that really bleed for their products, not employees who might be reluctant to be there in the first place.

    Seeing company figureheads like Seth Killian really gets me excited about the expo hall and the games being presented, and I wish more people like them would show up to PAX.

    The PATV series really did a good job of detailing how tight-knit our community is, how tight-knit PA as a company is, and how awesome we all can be as people. I feel like that spark is still present, but over time it's fading. I use to get that feeling in so many parts of PAX, where the marvel of human personality, imagination, and heart can really result in truly epic things... Now I only really get that with a handful people around the convention, and sometimes while waiting in line. I use to get that feeling a lot more in prior years.

    I really hope that PAX grows more in a positive way next year.

  • NopeNope Frankfort, KYRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    A general portion of stories I have happened Sunday.

    I got up at the crack of dawn to be first in line for the Major Nelson Podcast down at the Main Theater.

    6:30am I showed up, and one dude had already gotten there. For the next hour him, me, and his friend talked about all the stuff at the convention and generally just geeked out, we did all of this in 54 degree weather with no warm clothes mind you. One of them was cool enough to offer me a breakfast burrito, which in the cold was greatly appreciated. Eventually the green coats opened up the MT doors and we were let in outta the cold. As the Enforcers gradually showed up, the line grew inside more. One of the Enforcers asked us how early we had gotten there and was amazed. Eventually the Enforcer from before was tellin us per usual to bunch up so more people could get in line and he made a fatal flaw at one point.. utterring the words "an now you know"

    Immediately half of us replied "AN KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE. GGGGGG IIIIIIII JOOOOOOOOE!"

    Was funny as heck.

    Eventually we got into the theater and got up in the front row. The two guys who had been there before me had really been hoping for some swag of some sort but immediately were bummed when all of us were told the swag was gonna be given away randomly. The podcast show overall was fun but the one guy was still kinda bummed that he didn't get a controller. Almost right after the show ended a guy from Microsoft (DMZilla) was about to give him a controller "Were you first in line" he asked....the guy hesitated for a moment "No, my friend here was" *he pointed to his right*. The controller was given to his friend but a second later DMZilla came back with another controller "I am giving this to ya because you actually were cool an honest about who was first". I thought that was cool. I was bummed I didn't get a controller but part of me was still glad I got to see that all go down. Later on I saw the guy who had actually been first in line run around trying to get his controller signed by a bunch of Microsoft/PA people, I talked to him a bit an apparently he was gonna donate it to Child's Play.

    I didn't win any swag for showing up early but I nevertheless felt good the rest of the day having kinda seen all of this. This I guess is why I love PAX, everybody acts decent to one another and does things just to be nice, it's infectious. I sorta passed this on to a kid who really liked my Halo Reach poster, he seemed really jazzed when I gave it to him and I'd like to think he passed that feeling on to someone else.

    Ok, sorry for the long story. I shall go back to my lurking.

  • MelesMelesMelesMeles Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Another cool story:

    I was wandering through the tabletop library and out through the room next-door. I saw a table with some books for a game I wasn't familiar with: Eclipse Phase. Turned out to be a really awesome transhumanist RPG with crazy fun group dynamics (I ended up as a space octopus getting hit with an asteroid after my team turned on each other over a misunderstanding :P)

    Anyway, I saw the game, and mentioned to the guys at the table that I hadn't played it before. The guy tells me to come back in a couple hours when he's going to run a game for folks. I come back later, and 5 minutes into the game, it turns out that he is actually the co-writer/co-creator of the whole freaking game system. He obviously wasn't even going to mention it except that somebody asked how long he'd been playing.

    Pretty awesome :)

  • MatevMatev I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE ALIVE AS I WAS SAYINGRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    MelesMeles wrote: »
    Another cool story:

    I was wandering through the tabletop library and out through the room next-door. I saw a table with some books for a game I wasn't familiar with: Eclipse Phase. Turned out to be a really awesome transhumanist RPG with crazy fun group dynamics (I ended up as a space octopus getting hit with an asteroid after my team turned on each other over a misunderstanding :P)

    Anyway, I saw the game, and mentioned to the guys at the table that I hadn't played it before. The guy tells me to come back in a couple hours when he's going to run a game for folks. I come back later, and 5 minutes into the game, it turns out that he is actually the co-writer/co-creator of the whole freaking game system. He obviously wasn't even going to mention it except that somebody asked how long he'd been playing.

    Pretty awesome :)

    I wanted to check out that game so badly cause it reminded me of Altered Carbon and that universe. Very sad I missed hitting it amidst the giant robots and other stuff.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Spoiler:
  • MelesMelesMelesMeles Registered User
    edited September 2010
    It was pretty swoot (a delicate combination of sweet and woot).

    Their system is completely CreativeCommons licensed, so you can download the torrent of all their books/character sheets for free, and totally legally. The guy was very enthusiastic about people doing this, so you should definitely check it out! They also have a pretty cool webforum community that looks to be fairly active/supportive, so that may be useful too.
    Matev wrote: »
    MelesMeles wrote: »
    Another cool story:

    I was wandering through the tabletop library and out through the room next-door. I saw a table with some books for a game I wasn't familiar with: Eclipse Phase. Turned out to be a really awesome transhumanist RPG with crazy fun group dynamics (I ended up as a space octopus getting hit with an asteroid after my team turned on each other over a misunderstanding :P)

    Anyway, I saw the game, and mentioned to the guys at the table that I hadn't played it before. The guy tells me to come back in a couple hours when he's going to run a game for folks. I come back later, and 5 minutes into the game, it turns out that he is actually the co-writer/co-creator of the whole freaking game system. He obviously wasn't even going to mention it except that somebody asked how long he'd been playing.

    Pretty awesome :)

    I wanted to check out that game so badly cause it reminded me of Altered Carbon and that universe. Very sad I missed hitting it amidst the giant robots and other stuff.

  • MatevMatev I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE ALIVE AS I WAS SAYINGRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    MelesMeles wrote: »
    It was pretty swoot (a delicate combination of sweet and woot).

    Their system is completely CreativeCommons licensed, so you can download the torrent of all their books/character sheets for free, and totally legally. The guy was very enthusiastic about people doing this, so you should definitely check it out! They also have a pretty cool webforum community that looks to be fairly active/supportive, so that may be useful too.

    Guess what I'm doing when I get home :)

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Spoiler:
  • MarySueMarySue Registered User
    edited September 2010
    This was my first PAX. I traveled alone, as is my wont. I'd say most of my memories of the weekend bring about a massive amount of joy and happiness at the experience. I played my first ever DnD campaign, I learned Zombie Dice with color commentary from Steve Jackson, leveled 25 pins in Mingle Mode of TWEWY, and spent most of MC Frontalot's set talking smack in Pictochat.

    But it's all tainted by the fact I spent most of Saturday afternoon wandering around the Tabletop Freeplay area, trying to find a group to play with. Every time I walked into a room, I was greeted with silence and sometimes outright hostile glares.

    As I had no one to confide in (as I was flying solo), I turned to Twitter where I posted, "Feel like making a sign, 'I have no friends, will you play a game with me?'" . While typing that out on my phone, I started crying. The last time I cried was when my grandfather died in 2008. But there is not much worse than feeling so alone in the middle of so many people.

    Everyone told me how great and welcoming and nice PAX people are. I didn't get that experience.

    Portland, Oregon, and sloe gin fizz. If that ain't love, then tell me what is.
    +++BRONYS BEFORE BROS!+++
  • MatevMatev I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE ALIVE AS I WAS SAYINGRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    MarySue wrote: »
    This was my first PAX. I traveled alone, as is my wont. I'd say most of my memories of the weekend bring about a massive amount of joy and happiness at the experience. I played my first ever DnD campaign, I learned Zombie Dice with color commentary from Steve Jackson, leveled 25 pins in Mingle Mode of TWEWY, and spent most of MC Frontalot's set talking smack in Pictochat.

    But it's all tainted by the fact I spent most of Saturday afternoon wandering around the Tabletop Freeplay area, trying to find a group to play with. Every time I walked into a room, I was greeted with silence and sometimes outright hostile glares.

    As I had no one to confide in (as I was flying solo), I turned to Twitter where I posted, "Feel like making a sign, 'I have no friends, will you play a game with me?'" . While typing that out on my phone, I started crying. The last time I cried was when my grandfather died in 2008. But there is not much worse than feeling so alone in the middle of so many people.

    Everyone told me how great and welcoming and nice PAX people are. I didn't get that experience.

    That's horrible to hear. I certainly had times where I felt alone in the Con, and I know how harrowing that can be.

    It bites that you had to deal with such inclusive people. While I'm shy myself, I like meeting new people and would gladly have welcomed people to my table if I was running a game that. Don't let that bad experience paint your perception of the PAX community as a whole.

    "Go down, kick ass, and set yourselves up as gods, that's our Prime Directive!"
    Spoiler:
  • CybitCybit Main Theater Underling BellevueRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    MarySue wrote: »
    This was my first PAX. I traveled alone, as is my wont. I'd say most of my memories of the weekend bring about a massive amount of joy and happiness at the experience. I played my first ever DnD campaign, I learned Zombie Dice with color commentary from Steve Jackson, leveled 25 pins in Mingle Mode of TWEWY, and spent most of MC Frontalot's set talking smack in Pictochat.

    But it's all tainted by the fact I spent most of Saturday afternoon wandering around the Tabletop Freeplay area, trying to find a group to play with. Every time I walked into a room, I was greeted with silence and sometimes outright hostile glares.

    As I had no one to confide in (as I was flying solo), I turned to Twitter where I posted, "Feel like making a sign, 'I have no friends, will you play a game with me?'" . While typing that out on my phone, I started crying. The last time I cried was when my grandfather died in 2008. But there is not much worse than feeling so alone in the middle of so many people.

    Everyone told me how great and welcoming and nice PAX people are. I didn't get that experience.

    I am sad to hear that.

    This year everyone seemed as happy and inclusive as ever before; ironically, all the line waiting fostered a hell of a lot of connections and talking to people that might not have happened before. The Salmon Security deal was hysterical, and I'm looking forward to what the group will think up of next.

    Next time you come, drop me a line, My posse ( :-D ) and I will make sure you have someone to hang out with. :)

  • DrBallsDrBalls Registered User
    edited September 2010
    MarySue wrote: »
    Everyone told me how great and welcoming and nice PAX people are. I didn't get that experience.


    Awww, that sucks. I'm sorry. I now have heard two stories about people crying at PAX. There isn't supposed to be any sad crying at PAX! I think the "don't be a dick" rule needs to be better enforced. Although both were from places I never visit. The tabletop areas and the BYOC. In my experience the bext vibes to be had are at the handheld lounges and the open mic rock band in the atrium. I spend a lot of time in both places. I'm a picochat whore. If your experience hasn't soured you to PAX for next year you are more than welcome to hang out with my crew, as long as you're not a psycho killer or something. We already have one of those :)

  • PunkJrPunkJr Decepticon Infiltrator Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The Good:

    I had a wonderful weekend. I've been to nearly every PAX, and while I didn't get to experience everything I wanted to, I still had a blast.

    Being a Head Boy for Ravenclaw in the Tri-Wizard Drinking Tournament was SO much fun. I loved running into fellow Ravenclaws on the show floor or heading to panels & sharing a quick "Ka-Kaw" moment.

    Playing in the console freeplay room & joining tournaments is always fun.

    Playing the Assassin's game was also fun, but I didn't see nearly as many other players as I anticipated.

    The After-Hours with Scott & Kris was seriously the highlight of my weekend. I even had a VIP pass to the Acquisitions Inc. game, and that still takes 2nd place to that panel. Those two are awesome, and I could listen to Scott speak any day of the week. He makes me laugh all the time.

    The Bad:

    I was a little disappointed with the stacking of some of the high profile panels. If you were in the Acquisitions Inc. game, it was impossible to get into Wil Wheaton... Things like that.

    Line management was still fairly terrible, but the entertainment crew was fantastic. They had me laughing more than once. :)

    PunkJr
    Ravenclaw Death Eaters Head of House
    Pirate, Stormtrooper, Decepticon
  • NijhazerNijhazer Sunnyvale, CARegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    MarySue wrote: »
    As I had no one to confide in (as I was flying solo), I turned to Twitter where I posted, "Feel like making a sign, 'I have no friends, will you play a game with me?'" . While typing that out on my phone, I started crying. The last time I cried was when my grandfather died in 2008. But there is not much worse than feeling so alone in the middle of so many people.

    Everyone told me how great and welcoming and nice PAX people are. I didn't get that experience.

    That is the experience that I had at the first two PAXes I attended. I still remember the PAX West Coast Train Trip in 2008-- how fucking miserable I was, being on that train by myself... When I got back, I posted something very similar to what you've written here. And after writing all that out, after thinking about it over the next few days, what I realized was that the problem wasn't PAX-- the problem was that I am Godawful at making friends.

    PAX folks are super-friendly. They're much nicer and more accomodating than at any other con I've ever attended. But they're human beings, and you can't expect them to respond differently than anyone else you know. If you don't ask for something, you'll never get it. If you can't present yourself with confidence, people won't feel comfortable around you. You can't blame PAX for that, because if you do, then you're going to continue to have this experience everywhere else you go.

  • Lucky MarketLucky Market Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Just wanted to chirp in and say as a fellow PAX n00b this year, the 'Welcome Home' signs described my feelings exactly. I felt like a little kid christmas morning all three days! Ahh gamer heaven. I don't see how I could miss a year now..

  • Mystral721Mystral721 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Jaydo wrote: »
    Earlier I talked about how cool it was to have Bill Amend and Steve Jackson at bandland signing. What I didn't mention was that I never saw a noticeable line in front of their booths. WTF PAX? Bill Amend is part of the reason why a comic like Penny Arcade can be taken so seriously, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was quite an influence on Gabe and Tycho. Steve Jackson is a GOD among minions whose games are not only fun as hell, hilarious, but actually really great at bringing friends together to play something... Why was there so little interest? Do the majority of PAXers not know these people, or do they not care? It's sad to really only see the major lines forming for JoCo, Wil Wheaton, and The Protomen.(when all of them were at their booth) I really expected to see more attention to others than I saw.

    Don't worry about Bill Amend and Steve Jackson not getting any love in Bandland. I ran into a friend and his wife waiting to get Bill's signature at the end of a line of at least 40 people on Sunday. It was going pretty slowly since he seemed to be doing little sketches for everyone but no one minded the wait.

    A little later on I was by there again and my friend had just gotten done with the line. His wife pointed out that Steve Jackson was signing right behind us. I went over and had him sign my copy of Zombie Dice. We were talking for a little while when I glanced behind me and saw that a line of 15-20 people had formed!

    Oftentimes the Bandlanders don't get much attention until after their panel or concert and then they're mobbed. At PAX East I had the Protomen all to myself for a while since no one knew who they were. Same happened to Paul and Storm before their PAX Prime '09 concert and JoCo before his '07 one. Don't worry - these guys are getting lots of love!

    "Little baby Cthulhu hopping through the forest, picking up the field mice and Sucking Out Their Souls"

    http://www.logicalcreativity.com/jon/plush/01.html
  • BatskeetsBatskeets Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I think the part of this year's PAX that stood out most for me was the fact that I spent a LOT of time alone. I had a lot of difficulty getting in touch with my friends (and I had quite a few different groups of friends attending PAX this year), and the sketchy wireless service was making it virtually impossible to find the familiar faces I wanted to see. It was great meeting new people, as it was in 2009, but part of the fun of last year was enjoying the experience both with new people *and* with dear friends. It sucked that those dear friends were missing from a lot of it, this time around.

    Anyhoo, on a more fun Story Time sort of note:

    On Saturday, while wearing my Psylocke costume, I stopped to take photos of the guy working on the Metroid drawing, over by the DeLorean, with my Canon 5D. Being the rabid pro photographer that I am, I wanted to document his gorgeous work.

    After ducking down to snap a few photos, I stood up and was about to walk away, when he stopped me. He asked if I'd go back to my previous photo-taking stance for a moment, so he could take a picture of me with his point-and-shoot. He apparently wanted to post it to his blog, and "show them what [he] saw when [he] looked up just now."

    Here he is, taking that snapshot:
    Spoiler:

    I was pretty darned amused by the whole exchange, and I wish I'd thought to get the guy's name.

  • Lucky MarketLucky Market Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I almost forgot, much much more chiptunes, and gamer dubstep mixes. For example, Inspector Gadget Dubstep Mix by Chrispy Inspector Gadget Dubstep Mix by Chrispy

    **Warning**Best Enjoyed With Stereo Bass Set To MindNumbing**Warning**

    And Id be willing to bet you could barter a multipass and a planeticket to get him over here

  • xibalbaxibalba Registered User
    edited September 2010
    The best thing to happen to me at PAX happened at the Portal Booth. I have a companion cube tattoo on my right arm so Portal 2 was a requirement for me to check out. My plan was friday and sat to check out and just walk around mostly through all of the booths, Sundays are my wait in long lines day. So sunday i swung by the Portal 2 booth and was standing there contemplating on going into the booth (while watching the outside video) I had one of the developers/booth guys from Valve come up to me and complement me on my tattoo. He asked if i have checked it out yet and i said no i usually don't like waiting in lines especially for something i know im going to get day one. He said during the session that they pick one person to play the demo for the audience and that if i wait in line ill def be one of the lucky ones. So i waited and finally got in but the guy had picked someone else because he didn't think i would get in that quickly.

    After the demo of the co-op the guy from Valve that was co-opping with the person they picked came up to me and handed me his business card with a code on it said to take a picture of the card and my tattoo and email it to him and he would send me some sweet stuff. Needless to say i did check the video out again and the second time i did get picked to play it. Afterwards i saw a valve employee with curly hair (i had seen him at pax west 2009 at the L4D2 booth he took a pic of my companion cube tattoo) and i got him to trade me his valve lanyard for my behemoth one. Best experience of pax ever.

  • DracilDracil Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    PAX Train: I'm not exactly extroverted so at the station I hung back waiting for my friend to show up but they were friendly and invited me up to join the group to play some games. I had a good time playing card/board games with people until we got to Seattle where they helped me get to the hotel and invited me to a party in their room which I had to decline because I was already doing the pre-pax board game night. I also ran into two different sets of PAX Trainers during the convention. One night after the friends I were with were going back home, I ran into them after forgetting one of my bags at the tabletop freeplay and we played a game of Betrayal at House on a Hill. On Sunday, my friend ran into another set of them and we went to Gameworks and used a card he'd won and then we played some more Death Angel after that before going to the Post-PAX Party.

    Pre-PAX board game: Since I arrived late, I found it somewhat hard to get into any games though I eventually took over for someone who was playing Basari and had fun doing that.

    PAX: After the initial line to get the swag bag, I pretty much avoided anything with a big line. Got some nice swag for playing stuff. Only attended one panel because my friends were going to that (Bombcast). Tabletop freeplay had the same issues as pre-pax board game night. It was great whenever I came across a group just starting a game, but otherwise it was a bit hard to join in on a game. Can't describe it, but it's a little harder than, say at my local FLGS's board game night, where I feel more comfortable just sitting in on a table and waiting till they're done and joining their next game. I think partly it's because I'm more familiar with the people at my FLGS, and also because I *know* they'll stick around after the game. Tabletop freeplay, there's less guarantee they won't be leaving after that game. Also the table setup means there wasn't always space to sit in on a game.

    Post-PAX party: The beef was incredibly delicious. Because of poor planning I had a weird schedule so I didn't stay that long though.

  • MarySueMarySue Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Nijhazer wrote: »
    If you can't present yourself with confidence, people won't feel comfortable around you. You can't blame PAX for that, because if you do, then you're going to continue to have this experience everywhere else you go.

    The last thing anyone who knows me would accuse me of is not being confident. Mary Sue is not just my name, it's my way of life.

    I'm most assuredly planning to attend next year, and I'm going to try and come up in time for the Triwizard.

    Portland, Oregon, and sloe gin fizz. If that ain't love, then tell me what is.
    +++BRONYS BEFORE BROS!+++
  • JucJuc Registered User
    edited September 2010
    MarySue wrote: »
    I'm most assuredly planning to attend next year, and I'm going to try and come up in time for the Triwizard.

    Join up with ravenclaw, and find me, I'm sure we can round up another couple people to get some table top games done.

    hell if you want we can play some internet tabletop games. There's some play by e-mail things that I do with the guys at work from time to time.

    I found that joining the TWDT was the best decision I made for PAX since I met a ton of great people there.
    The ones I hanged out with the most were people I met around a hufflepuff that we needed to get an ambulance for(he drank far, far too much)

  • KjeldorKjeldor Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2010
    Regarding the person who asked about the Metroid Artist - his name is Eric Maruscak - you can find his site over at http://www.pepperink.com/

    Two stories, both happened outside of PAX itself. First, sunday morning my friends and I went up to Top Pot for some donuts (pricey, but sooo delicious). On the way back, as we were passing in front of the westin, we saw a cabbie fight. Apparently one of them was trying to take a fare out of order, and another cabbie got out of his cab and ran up and started mother-f'ing the guy and yelling at him. It quickly turned to shoving, then a punch or two was thrown, a few kicks. They were separated by the other drivers, but then went back at it again. This happened a few times, then one of them went back to their cab and pulled a knife out and was waving it around! No blood was spilled, but it was pretty f'd up to see.

    Then at the post-pax party at the taphouse, my friend was sitting there talking to two guys about PAX, games played, etc. They got on the topic of the Dragon Age 2 demo, and then they started really grilling him about what he thought, asking him a bunch of questions. My other friend and I picked up pretty quickly that the guys worked for Bioware, but my friend that was being grilled didn't realize it until they said thats where they were from. It was pretty awesome to have that experience, of talking to the game devs outside of PAX in a more informal setting.

  • ZionadZionad Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    onceling wrote: »
    I think my most memorable are the bad stuff this year :( IMO this year wasnt nearly as good and Im pretty sure Im not the only one.

    You are not the only one. This would be my third year and by far the worst.

    I have posted some positive stuff in other threads about some things I thought were awesome but my overall impression is that if you're not willing to push people around, cheat the system or be aggressive you miss out on a bunch of the swag, a lot of the exhibitors were completely unprofessional and rude to people like me that are new to their franchises or games, there's no hope of getting a seat at a panel, and the parties were reserved for media people or 2 hour waits in line. What's the point? Maybe its just not for me anymore, either way it will be my last visit so I guess it doesn't matter.

    Lol three PAX's and you haven't gotten line savvy? This was the first pax that I planned out my days properly and literally saw everything I wanted to see and more and made off with a ton of swag!
    This was my favorite pax yet! (#4)
    you can't just wander around and hope for the best, especially when there is literally thousands who want the same things you do.

    I do it all for the pew pew
  • JucJuc Registered User
    edited September 2010
    My stories are going to be point form since I"m kinda bad at telling stories.

    -Met a bunch of cool people in the TWDT, found some awesome bars that all turned out to be gay bars, not that there's anything wrong with that
    -Got tickets for the CCP parties for my friends
    -Gave a ticket to a girl and her friend for a kiss (I would have given the ticket anyways but wanted the kiss :P)
    -Drank 30 year old scotch
    -Got smashed for the first time in around 2 years (it takes a LOT of alcohol to get me really drunk)
    -Played Raskulls and had a lot of fun
    -Played some board games with some enforcers after the exhibition hall closed down, cool folks
    -People watched quite a bit, even at the CCP party.
    -Gave away several hundred inflatable swords and temp tattoos even though I didn't have to do any work at the bioware booth.
    -Saw the quarterly report for eve, it's like a small phone book, it's just a small thing that's boring to most but it impresses the hell out of me the support CCP gives their communities.

    most of my stories are just strings of lucky things happening that would take far too long to describe in detail, met some really cool folks and enjoyed the whole thing.

  • MelesMelesMelesMeles Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Matev wrote: »
    MelesMeles wrote: »
    It was pretty swoot (a delicate combination of sweet and woot).

    Their system is completely CreativeCommons licensed, so you can download the torrent of all their books/character sheets for free, and totally legally. The guy was very enthusiastic about people doing this, so you should definitely check it out! They also have a pretty cool webforum community that looks to be fairly active/supportive, so that may be useful too.

    Guess what I'm doing when I get home :)

    I really don't want to speculate. But once you get done, you should get Eclipse Phase.

  • ArdeArde Registered User
    edited September 2010
    MarySue wrote: »
    This was my first PAX. I traveled alone, as is my wont. I'd say most of my memories of the weekend bring about a massive amount of joy and happiness at the experience. I played my first ever DnD campaign, I learned Zombie Dice with color commentary from Steve Jackson, leveled 25 pins in Mingle Mode of TWEWY, and spent most of MC Frontalot's set talking smack in Pictochat.

    But it's all tainted by the fact I spent most of Saturday afternoon wandering around the Tabletop Freeplay area, trying to find a group to play with. Every time I walked into a room, I was greeted with silence and sometimes outright hostile glares.

    As I had no one to confide in (as I was flying solo), I turned to Twitter where I posted, "Feel like making a sign, 'I have no friends, will you play a game with me?'" . While typing that out on my phone, I started crying. The last time I cried was when my grandfather died in 2008. But there is not much worse than feeling so alone in the middle of so many people.

    Everyone told me how great and welcoming and nice PAX people are. I didn't get that experience.
    I'm actually thinking on making a thread of either "Adopt the lone PAXer" or "Alone and wanna be in a group? Post here" type of thing.

    This was also my first PAX although I went with a friend, but we both agreed that without a group it would've been less eventful than it could be.

    Also, MarySue, understand that most of these people are geeks and nerds currently enjoying/flaunting their nerddom in nerd-topia, and let's just say it's quite true that some geeks/nerds don't have the best social skills.

    Anecdote of my own: My friend and I went to the tabletop at the WOC building on lvl 3 to sign up for the DnD learn2play (yes, I've never played DnD before and it was a blast).
    We talked to the women in charge of the booth and since there wasn't anyone waiting in line, I then introduced myself to them and asked their names.
    Something really simple and nothing earth-shattering.
    My friend later on told me that when we started walking away, the two women were shocked that someone actually asked them their names since no one's bothered to do that the whole day they were manning the booth.

    What I'm saying is, don't take it personally - some geeks don't have the social skills, some do. Some are dicks, most aren't, though some might not have the social skills to show their kindness.



    In any case, any lone PAXer here interested in a "Group Gathering" thread specifically for lone wolves?
    The idea is pretty simple, we try to gather up pretty similar minded people in interests but not a big group - preferrably around 4 at the least to 6 people at most.
    That way it's easy to group together again when you split up to your respective interests.
    Since this is going OT, just PM me whoever is/might be a lonewolf for the next PAX and we'll see how many people we got to see if it's worth a thread.

    Wii code:3004 5525 7274 3361
    XBL Gametag: mailarde

    Screen Digest LOL3RZZ
  • ArdeArde Registered User
    edited September 2010
    MarySue wrote: »
    Nijhazer wrote: »
    If you can't present yourself with confidence, people won't feel comfortable around you. You can't blame PAX for that, because if you do, then you're going to continue to have this experience everywhere else you go.

    The last thing anyone who knows me would accuse me of is not being confident. Mary Sue is not just my name, it's my way of life.

    I'm most assuredly planning to attend next year, and I'm going to try and come up in time for the Triwizard.

    Just a quick thing for the triWizard, unless you're in a group or you already know some of the people there to make a group, don't.

    The group this year was too big for its own good so everyone pretty much stayed within their own circles and since the bar was so crowded, there wasn't really any space nor place to talk and get to know one another.

    Definitely one of my most dissapointing PAX experience this time around and I enjoyed the heck out of PAX.

    If the group was separated into smaller chunks, I'd suggest you to do it but unless you know the people there, you're not going to enjoy it as much as those who have circles there.


    Juc wrote: »
    My stories are going to be point form since I"m kinda bad at telling stories.

    -Got smashed for the first time in around 2 years (it takes a LOT of alcohol to get me really drunk)

    most of my stories are just strings of lucky things happening that would take far too long to describe in detail, met some really cool folks and enjoyed the whole thing.

    A very easy way to get drunk is to either get some shots of Bombay Gin (not Bombay Sapphire), or just one shot of Jim Beam Black Bourbon (cheap and fucking nasty drink).
    If you go with Jim Beam, go with water to soothe the pain a bit - that thing will literally burn your throat, lungs, and head.
    After one shot of Jim Beam though, most people are literally out for the night.

    Wii code:3004 5525 7274 3361
    XBL Gametag: mailarde

    Screen Digest LOL3RZZ
  • JucJuc Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Arde wrote: »
    Juc wrote: »
    My stories are going to be point form since I"m kinda bad at telling stories.

    -Got smashed for the first time in around 2 years (it takes a LOT of alcohol to get me really drunk)

    most of my stories are just strings of lucky things happening that would take far too long to describe in detail, met some really cool folks and enjoyed the whole thing.

    A very easy way to get drunk is to either get some shots of Bombay Gin (not Bombay Sapphire), or just one shot of Jim Beam Black Bourbon (cheap and fucking nasty drink).
    If you go with Jim Beam, go with water to soothe the pain a bit - that thing will literally burn your throat, lungs, and head.
    After one shot of Jim Beam though, most people are literally out for the night.

    Well it took me roughly 50 shots of sambuca to put me on my butt(that I can remember), and that's about 84 proof which is only slightly weaker than that jim beam black bourbon. if I remember right.

    In all honesty it'll probably be years if ever before I get drunk like that again. I don't really drink much to begin with anyway, most of the time I just go to pub or bar to talk with friends and eat nachos .... mmmmm .... nachos.

    Now I really want some nachos.

  • ManoaManoa Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Mystral721 wrote: »
    While waiting in line for the Wil Wheaton panel to start, Jerry (Tycho) and his wife walked down the clear aisle left in the center of the hallway. Maybe it was a combo of people not recognizing him and respecting his privacy, but no one said a word to him. He looked a little surprised at that reaction. I was glad for him since he and Mike have said several times that they'd rather be fellow attendees than celebrities at their own con.

    I think for the most part we were just trying to ignore him. We smiled as he walked past but that's about it.

    My favorite con moment was in the line. You have to understand that was the only line I stood in (Spent the whole con on the hidden level getting my gamma on) and it was totally worth it. A completely bad ass enforcer was entertaining us and giving out prizes. At one point he's like "I have a d20 in my pocket, I am going to roll it and point to random people, if I point to you call out the number and if you're right get a prize!"

    Amazingly pretty much everyone waited to be called on, except one guy who screamed "SEVEN!" the enforcer called out "Who said seven!?" guy got called up and we were commenting how terrible this would end for the enforcer because now everyone would just scream out numbers. But when the guy got up there the enforcer infected him with a sticker and said "That's for speaking out of turn!"

    It was hilarious and the newly infected guy took it with grace and humor. Awesome.

    OMG...the line for Wil Wheaton was probably the most fun I've had in line in, well, ever! Such an awesome group of people to be "stuck" in line with. :) Chatted for quite a long while with some nice folks that were next to me in line. Some people near us ordered pizza and were so increadibly kind to share with others sitting nearby. And the line games were super fun. I even pushed my shyness aside and mustered up enough bravery to volunteer for the "what's your thing?" Did a little bit of hula...just basic moves, totally made it up as I went along and by far not one of my best performances. But a girl in another part of the line who happened to be from O`ahu came up to me after I was done and complimented me on my hula. I felt so bad not hearing her "hana hou!" ("do it again") when I was up there, but her coming up to me after to chat for a bit totally made my day! <3

  • HeleorHeleor SeattleRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    MarySue wrote: »
    Everyone told me how great and welcoming and nice PAX people are. I didn't get that experience.

    I'm sorry you didn't get that experience. I've no experience with tabletop games, but I was hoping PAX people were more welcoming than that.

  • TeletheusTeletheus Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Juc wrote: »
    MarySue wrote: »
    I'm most assuredly planning to attend next year, and I'm going to try and come up in time for the Triwizard.

    Join up with ravenclaw, and find me, I'm sure we can round up another couple people to get some table top games done.

    hell if you want we can play some internet tabletop games. There's some play by e-mail things that I do with the guys at work from time to time.

    I found that joining the TWDT was the best decision I made for PAX since I met a ton of great people there.
    The ones I hanged out with the most were people I met around a hufflepuff that we needed to get an ambulance for(he drank far, far too much)

    Hey, feel free to count me in as one of those "couple people." I've been to two PAXes now and I still haven't done tabletop gaming like I'd like. And I was thinking of going Ravenclaw for the TWDT anyway. :)

    PSN/XBL/Steam/Twitter: Teletheus
  • MarySueMarySue Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Arde wrote: »
    MarySue wrote: »
    I'm most assuredly planning to attend next year, and I'm going to try and come up in time for the Triwizard.

    Just a quick thing for the triWizard, unless you're in a group or you already know some of the people there to make a group, don't.

    The group this year was too big for its own good so everyone pretty much stayed within their own circles and since the bar was so crowded, there wasn't really any space nor place to talk and get to know one another.

    Thinking that when next Triwizard planning thread comes around, I'll put out the call for the lone wolves to rally to a specific house (or within their specific houses) YAY CLIQUES OF LONERS!

    (Cliques of Loners is the name of my Newfound Glory cover band)

    Portland, Oregon, and sloe gin fizz. If that ain't love, then tell me what is.
    +++BRONYS BEFORE BROS!+++
  • MelesMelesMelesMeles Registered User
    edited September 2010
    MarySue wrote: »
    Arde wrote: »
    MarySue wrote: »
    I'm most assuredly planning to attend next year, and I'm going to try and come up in time for the Triwizard.

    Just a quick thing for the triWizard, unless you're in a group or you already know some of the people there to make a group, don't.

    The group this year was too big for its own good so everyone pretty much stayed within their own circles and since the bar was so crowded, there wasn't really any space nor place to talk and get to know one another.

    Thinking that when next Triwizard planning thread comes around, I'll put out the call for the lone wolves to rally to a specific house (or within their specific houses) YAY CLIQUES OF LONERS!

    (Cliques of Loners is the name of my Newfound Glory cover band)


    Or you can take my approach. Run an event as a PAX virgin with no conception of how many people will show up, then get horrifically drunk at the first challenge after doing two doubleshots of dark rum in 90 seconds and spend the rest of the weekend cursing the name of Ravenclaw.

    For example.

    Also, I tweetled at you :) I <3 that you treat MarySue as a way of life :P

  • KrathoonKrathoon Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I think the volume of people going to it now is starting to sap the fun. The 2 hour waits on some of the panels and demos was making things a little absurd. Also, I was getting annoyed with the leeches (scalpers, musicians, and special interest groups) that were lurking around the main entrance. Aside from that, it was still enjoyable.

  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Krathoon wrote: »
    I think the volume of people going to it now is starting to sap the fun. The 2 hour waits on some of the panels and demos was making things a little absurd. Also, I was getting annoyed with the leeches (scalpers, musicians, and special interest groups) that were lurking around the main entrance. Aside from that, it was still enjoyable.

    Leechers are a common thing in seattle. If you go to a club, expect to see your car adorned with no less than 3 advertisement cards.

    LaRouche supporters have also found their asskicking being weighed against a jail sentence in my mind.

    I hate this city sometimes, Thank you Pax for making me love it.

  • TeletheusTeletheus Registered User
    edited September 2010
    MarySue wrote: »
    Thinking that when next Triwizard planning thread comes around, I'll put out the call for the lone wolves to rally to a specific house (or within their specific houses) YAY CLIQUES OF LONERS!

    (Cliques of Loners is the name of my Newfound Glory cover band)

    What a coincidence: Call for the Lone Wolves is the name of my Duran Duran cover band!

    PSN/XBL/Steam/Twitter: Teletheus
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