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[EAST] First Time to PAX East? Stuff you may want to know lies within

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  • a fraking toastera fraking toaster callsign-KC1BDE Registered User regular
    what about a bus?

    [x] grayhound bus tickets
    [x] hotel
    [ ] cigars for cult of the leaf
    [ ] extra money for nerd swagger
  • antheremantherem Registered User regular
    Staki9 wrote:
    A few friends and I want to go to PAX this year, it'll be our first time. We're trying to find a good way to get there.

    We're in Toronto, Ontario, and we need an affordable way (not a plane) to get there, preferably a train.

    Is there any trains that run from Toronto to Boston?

    Thanks in advance c:

    Technically? Yes. But because the Toronto train only runs once a day, and doesn't line up with the Albany-Boston train that only runs once a day, you'd have to spend almost 24 hours in Albany. You're much better off driving to Buffalo and catching the Metal Gear line on the PAX East Train Alliance.

    Spectre-x wrote: »
    You are objectively wrong in this case. You are the silliest goose in the history of everything ever, everywhere, including all possible and impossible alternate realities, timelines, parallel universes, pocket universes and theoretical dream-worlds. You are a nexus of super-wrong, radiating your silly gooseness out over the internet with the force of a trillion supernovas of hyper-incorrectness.
  • RhileyRhiley Registered User regular
    This is not really a first time question but this seems like it would fit this thread. Has anyone discovered a way to carry stuff around that actually works? I want to carry a tablet, water bottle, portable systems and other miscellaneous small items without carrying a backpack and a jacket would be too hot. Messenger bags like like the most popular non-backpack option but they don't look like they are any more convenient. It seems like there is a need for portable wearable storage that is not being filled but hopefully I just don't know what to look for. Any suggestions?

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  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    Rhiley wrote:
    This is not really a first time question but this seems like it would fit this thread. Has anyone discovered a way to carry stuff around that actually works? I want to carry a tablet, water bottle, portable systems and other miscellaneous small items without carrying a backpack and a jacket would be too hot. Messenger bags like like the most popular non-backpack option but they don't look like they are any more convenient. It seems like there is a need for portable wearable storage that is not being filled but hopefully I just don't know what to look for. Any suggestions?

    If your backpack is making you hot, then you've got the wrong backpack. Go to your local REI or equivalent, those are meant to allow your body to breathe while still being quite load-bearing. The one I have works perfectly for PAX purposes and holds everything you describe with no problem at all.

    Messenger bags are okay but they can be unwieldy as you weigh them down, and they put unbalanced amounts of stress along your shoulders, which (IME) wears you out faster.

  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    Rhiley wrote:
    This is not really a first time question but this seems like it would fit this thread. Has anyone discovered a way to carry stuff around that actually works? I want to carry a tablet, water bottle, portable systems and other miscellaneous small items without carrying a backpack and a jacket would be too hot. Messenger bags like like the most popular non-backpack option but they don't look like they are any more convenient. It seems like there is a need for portable wearable storage that is not being filled but hopefully I just don't know what to look for. Any suggestions?

    I've been struggling with that with the two first PAX Easts :) In both cases I thought I came prepared only to fall short and I took some interest in all related discussions to see what other people came up with.

    The short answer is that there is no one good answer. Some favor courier bags, others swear by their backpacks, plus the above post is just one example of many that shows just how much thinking can go into the design of a good backpack.

    Here's the lesson I learned from my two previous Easts and other various conventions : The trick is to not over burden yourself. There are things that can be considered absolutes - like that bottle of water - but for the rest I suggest you take a closer look at what you really, really absolutely need and will definitely be using. Mind you, every time I go to a convention with that in mind, I still fail :)

    I always end up adjusting the contents of my courier bag and usually it's the "smaller stuff" that goes. I always seem to bring too many line games when I should only bring one, I bring a few MTG decks but I never use them (that could change at PAX but I want to stay away from MTG this time), etc.

    Then there's the space saving things you can do. If you want to bring handheld games, I suggest you don't go over board with all the accessories. Bring only what is necessary and try to find stuff like this that lets you save space all the while carrying most of your carts safely.

    Personally speaking I did three things to help this year. For one, I bought this but I will STILL try to fill it as little as possible. Second, I will buy the stuff I really don't want to miss out as early as possible and make a trip back to where I'm staying to dump it and not worry about carrying all of it for any amount of time. Third, I'm staying at the Westin, but that last one is just icing on the cake.

  • ChorazinChorazin Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Rhiley wrote:
    This is not really a first time question but this seems like it would fit this thread. Has anyone discovered a way to carry stuff around that actually works? I want to carry a tablet, water bottle, portable systems and other miscellaneous small items without carrying a backpack and a jacket would be too hot. Messenger bags like like the most popular non-backpack option but they don't look like they are any more convenient. It seems like there is a need for portable wearable storage that is not being filled but hopefully I just don't know what to look for. Any suggestions?

    I messenger bag would work for that, but if that's not what you're looking for I'm kinda out of ideas. I <3 my Bag of Holding!

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  • WolfieeWolfiee Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I don't think anybody is going to need winter coats this year. It's been friggin 50 degrees all damn winter D=< I want my snow!

    Wolfiee on
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  • WolfieeWolfiee Registered User regular
    Rhiley wrote:
    This is not really a first time question but this seems like it would fit this thread. Has anyone discovered a way to carry stuff around that actually works? I want to carry a tablet, water bottle, portable systems and other miscellaneous small items without carrying a backpack and a jacket would be too hot. Messenger bags like like the most popular non-backpack option but they don't look like they are any more convenient. It seems like there is a need for portable wearable storage that is not being filled but hopefully I just don't know what to look for. Any suggestions?
    Like someone else mentioned, there really is no "right way" unfortunately. I've been to all the PAX Easts' so far with my boyfriend and we've tried a few different things. So far, the best bag has been my Halo 3 Xbox bag (meant for transporting an Xbox and accessories), but even that was cramped of space.

    I definitely do NOT recommend a messenger bag, especially if you plan on carrying around your tablet and other electronics. Those things add up in weight and it will RUIN your shoulder and neck. I used a messenger bag all throughout high school and just the 10 second walks down the hallway were agonizing for me lol. Backpack is the way to go. I think I'm going to try my new camera backpack this year. I have a huge pet peeve about carrying things. Sweatshirts, water bottles, etc - it's why I don't own a purse lol. I like my hands to be free, especially at an event like PAX, so a backpack helps this.

    Like someone else mentioned - only carry the essentials. First year we brought stupid crap like a laptop (never used it), his Nintendo DS (which never got touched), way too much winter gear (which made it hard to stuff anything else in the bag), etc. So last year we broke it down to what we really needed - like water and food, and kept everything else to a minimum. We decided to suck up the cold weather and only wear light hoodies because it wasn't too far a walk from the T and it meant less stuff to carry. Worked like a charm. This year, with the winter weather we're having in MA so far, don't even bother with hats and gloves and winter coats.

    If you don't mind spending the money to eat, that will help relieve some space in your bag as well. My boyfriend and I are pretty cheap, so I packed us lunches and snacks to get us through the day. Took up some room, but we saved money lol!

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  • MrArcysMrArcys Registered User regular
    As was mentioned before, if you are going the backpack route, you're going to want a breathable backpack.

    You're going to want to try to avoid school-type backpacks. They'll defiantly work, but are intended hauling around books from class to class and are not very breathable. I took one to Prime 2011 and had to deal with a sweaty back the entire time. D:

    If you're shopping around, take a look at hiking daypacks. They should be light weight, and are designed with breath-ability in mind.
    Look for options like this: Mesh covered ridged foam backpanel with central air chimney

    Cords on the front of the back/daypack are also wonderful for keeping a light sweater jacket/hoodie handy:
    backpack.jpg

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  • sycksydejuggalosycksydejuggalo Registered User
    edited February 2012
    this is my first PAX, but i been a gamer my whole life. im driving 4 hrs to get there but its gonna be awesome i know it but what is there to do??? besides the concerts that are gonna rock...

  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    This thread is just for you. I strongly suggest you read (at least) the first post.

    You should definitely check the basic PAX East 2012 FAQ as well.

    Optional:
    If you still crave more information, the first "Stuff you should know" thread is here, but the above covers everything you need. Last but not least, this thread by Sary is also very interesting to know.

    Frugus on
  • SpectacledBearSpectacledBear Registered User regular
    Staki9 wrote:
    A few friends and I want to go to PAX this year, it'll be our first time. We're trying to find a good way to get there.

    We're in Toronto, Ontario, and we need an affordable way (not a plane) to get there, preferably a train.

    Is there any trains that run from Toronto to Boston?

    Thanks in advance c:

    I make the trek from Kitchener-Waterloo by car. It's about 10-11 hours one way and last year it cost about $250 total (for gas and tolls). Divided by many people makes it pretty cheap.

    Currently playing Fire Emblem, Paper Mario Sticker Star and Pokemon White.
  • RhileyRhiley Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I have thought about the item carrying situation a bit more and have started to think that maybe Chewbacca had the right idea. It looks like a few companies have started making bandoliers with integrated pockets for carrying small things around instead of carrying ammo. There are also sling style bags that are smaller than backpacks or messenger bags that look like they might be the right size for convention stuff. Anyone have any experience with anything like these? (Not referral links, just regular Amazon links)

    http://www.amazon.com/Kangatek-GO-Go-Bandolier-Sling/dp/B003MQN8BC
    http://www.amazon.com/baby-bandolier-Baby-Bandolier-black/dp/B0046ISWXE
    http://www.amazon.com/Fantasybag-Urban-sport-pack-Grey-SB-6826/dp/B004USR79U/
    http://www.amazon.com/UTG-Multi-functional-Tactical-Messenger-Bag/dp/B003TWZGRI

    Rhiley on
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  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Rhiley wrote:
    I have thought about the item carrying situation a bit more and have started to think that maybe Chewbacca had the right idea. It looks like a few companies have started making bandoliers with integrated pockets for carrying small things around instead of carrying ammo. There are also sling style bags that are smaller than backpacks or messenger bags that look like they might be the right size for convention stuff. Anyone have any experience with anything like these? (Not referral links, just regular Amazon links)

    http://www.amazon.com/Kangatek-GO-Go-Bandolier-Sling/dp/B003MQN8BC
    http://www.amazon.com/baby-bandolier-Baby-Bandolier-black/dp/B0046ISWXE
    http://www.amazon.com/Fantasybag-Urban-sport-pack-Grey-SB-6826/dp/B004USR79U/
    http://www.amazon.com/UTG-Multi-functional-Tactical-Messenger-Bag/dp/B003TWZGRI

    All of these items seem nice for carrying your own items (DS could fit, carts, line games, snacks, etc), but you should also be mindful of swag. They come in all shapes and sizes, particularly code cards and specific brochures that you may want to keep. I'd say you would have a hard time keeping those things on you with the first two items you posted.

    On the other hand, there's a fair chance you will be handed various swag bags too so you can always combine things and you should be fine just as much.

    Speaking of which, and unless I did not see it I'm sorry, but I did not see anyone post anything about bringing a cardboard tube for bringing back posters. Maybe the free stuff won't interest you, but there are vendors that might have something to your liking. I would not necessarily want to carry a tube with me the entire day but I would definitely want one back at my hotel room for proper storage.

    Frugus on
  • ChorazinChorazin Registered User regular
    I recommend after a trip through the expo hall you take all your swag and purchases back to your hotel if you can. No matter how comfy your backpack is, it'll get tiresome weighed down so much.

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  • EscoBladesEscoBlades Registered User regular
    Chorazin wrote:
    I recommend after a trip through the expo hall you take all your swag and purchases back to your hotel if you can. No matter how comfy your backpack is, it'll get tiresome weighed down so much.

    I think i'll be heeding this advice. Quite a few people have said the same thing to me in the last few weeks, haha.

    (doing my level best to contain my excitement)

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  • xenardxenard Registered User regular
    Frugus wrote:
    Speaking of which, and unless I did not see it I'm sorry, but I did not see anyone post anything about bringing a cardboard tube for bringing back posters. Maybe the free stuff won't interest you, but there are vendors that might have something to your liking. I would not necessarily want to carry a tube with me the entire day but I would definitely want one back at my hotel room for proper storage.

    Great idea! Of all the things I've thought about bringing, a cardboard tube was no where in my mind.

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  • KoalaBro2KoalaBro2 Registered User regular
    xenard wrote:
    Great idea! Of all the things I've thought about bringing, a cardboard tube was no where in my mind.

    But, but, the tube is civilization!

  • RhileyRhiley Registered User regular
    The other option for the cardboard tube is buying one in Boston and then shipping it back to your home. There is a fedex store right by the convention center so you can buy your tube on Friday and prepay for your shipping so you can just drop it at your hotel or a fedex box before you leave. Since cardboard tubes probably won't fit in your carry on you don't have to worry about it counting as one of your 2 allowed items if you do it that way.

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  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    Chorazin wrote:
    I recommend after a trip through the expo hall you take all your swag and purchases back to your hotel if you can. No matter how comfy your backpack is, it'll get tiresome weighed down so much.

    A thousand times this.
    (Chorazin we should hang, or something).

    I don't have that many plans for PAX East, but when I do... (insert joke).
    - Buy all the stuff I know I want and do not want to miss out on. This includes PA merch as the scarves and large size T-shirts have a very short shelf life.
    - Go back to my hotel room and dump that stuff as soon as I have an open window of opportunity (no panels that fit the above "can't miss" category). I would be ready to make some sacrifices
    - Come back to the expo
    - Profit.

    Bonus points if I can acquire swag along the way before going back (don't over do it)

    Bonus points if that helps you adjust your carry bag to unload items you already see as unnecessary and cause burden.

    This "stuff" may also include large items that could have easily been found on Sunday but the possible hagle or savings would not be worth the annoyance. Plus, if I really don't want to miss it, I won't risk it.

    Personally speaking it would not matter if my hotel was at the ass end of Boston. If it were the case I would bring my car to the expo if it would help. YMMV.


  • DemonWolfDemonWolf Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I live in the suburbs and commute to Boston daily. A few tips, some kind of have been touched on:

    Driving is a nightmare. Boston is very old and was never laid out to be a major metropolitan city with cars. Many of the streets were simply com paths that were paved over. Drivers are rude, inconsiderate, and idiotic. We also seem to have a phobia concerning street signage. Parking can be worse and expensive (although I'm told the convention center has reasonable rates). Avoid driving if possible. I do.

    Boston is very walkable, and what isn't close enough to walk to can easily be reached by the "T." (We call the public transportation system, such as city buses, subways, trolleys, the T. T locations are usually marked by a white circle that has a black T in the middle.

    The T is very efficient within the city and does no really suck as much as Bostonians like to say it does. That said, some stations are dark and deserted at night. Boston, like any big city has some crime. Use common sense and take proper precautions when alone.

    The T shuts down around 1am. The last subway car departs the first station at 12:45. Plan accordingly.

    T service may not be easily available outside the city, but most hotels will have a shuttle to the airport. The airport has a subway stop.

    Bars are required to close at 2am. Nearly the whole city is shut down. There will be no T service. Keep this in mind and pay attention to the time. Plan accordingly.

    Boston has many excellent restaurants for whatever your taste. Some are pricey, some are cheap. Quality can vary. Sites like Urban spoon (which has a cool app) and yelp, and others, can help you find food or drink that suits your desires.

    Cabbies are rude. T personnel are often brisk, which may seem or even be rude. T people are there to help, so don't be afraid of the rudeness, they will still give you the best info.

    Most people are friendlier than they seem.

    Some bars may not let people under the age of 21 in. I think it's a city ordinance.


    DemonWolf on
  • tvethiopiatvethiopia Registered User regular
    DemonWolf wrote:
    I live in the suburbs and commute to Boston daily. A few tips, some kind of have been touched on:
    Spoiler:


    having lived in the area my whole life, i have to agree that this is all excellent advice and is totally consistent with my experience. very well done.

    <3 Daintier. Smarter. Better dressed. <3
  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    DemonWolf wrote:
    I live in the suburbs and commute to Boston daily. A few tips, some kind of have been touched on:
    Spoiler:


    Wow nice! That stuff should be mandatory reading for all new attendees :)

  • KiashienKiashien Registered User regular
    DemonWolf wrote:

    Some bars may not let people under the age of 21 in. I think it's a city ordinance.

    If a bar's primary function is drinking, with maybe some bar snacks, it's no one under 21 normally. If they do have a full restaurant menu, it's normally no one under 21 after around 7 pm.

    I think it has something to do with whether they have a restaurant license or just a bar license.

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  • PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    In relation to the concerts, I heard one of the bands and they sounded pretty upbeat. How does the crowd react to people dancing? (Assuming we don't get in anyone's grill)

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  • ChorazinChorazin Registered User regular
    In relation to the concerts, I heard one of the bands and they sounded pretty upbeat. How does the crowd react to people dancing? (Assuming we don't get in anyone's grill)

    No problem as long as you're not "that guy."

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  • dalaamprincedalaamprince Registered User regular
    In relation to the concerts, I heard one of the bands and they sounded pretty upbeat. How does the crowd react to people dancing? (Assuming we don't get in anyone's grill)
    Listen to the other bands too! http://goo.gl/ZQ0k1

  • DemonWolfDemonWolf Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Frugus wrote:

    Wow nice! That stuff should be mandatory reading for all new attendees :)

    Thanks. I can't give much advice about conventions or PAX, but Boston I know. Which reminds me. Yankees gear is always a bad idea and after last week, Giants gear might be avoided too. :p

    Love that dirty water!

    DemonWolf on
  • PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    Chorazin wrote:

    No problem as long as you're not "that guy."

    I'll be honest, I like to skank. Would that make me that guy? Or would I be that guy if I was the only one? I REALLY don't wanna ruin someone else's experience.

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  • ottoman673ottoman673 Registered User
    Chorazin wrote:

    No problem as long as you're not "that guy."

    I'll be honest, I like to skank. Would that make me that guy? Or would I be that guy if I was the only one? I REALLY don't wanna ruin someone else's experience.

    skanking?

    ...and i thought ska was dead. regardless, you will probably be that guy.

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  • ChorazinChorazin Registered User regular
    ottoman673 wrote:
    Chorazin wrote:

    No problem as long as you're not "that guy."

    I'll be honest, I like to skank. Would that make me that guy? Or would I be that guy if I was the only one? I REALLY don't wanna ruin someone else's experience.

    skanking?

    ...and i thought ska was dead. regardless, you will probably be that guy.

    Yeah, you'd be that guy. You'd prolly want to go behind the crowd to do that, dancing like that takes up more space than you realize.

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  • PayneTraynePayneTrayne Canuck Registered User regular
    ottoman673 wrote:
    skanking?

    ...and i thought ska was dead. regardless, you will probably be that guy.
    Fuuuu- Looks like I'll enjoy the music by crossing my arms over my chest and bobbing my head. Damn all y'all.

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  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    You can dance, just don't be that guy. The crowd gets pretty active during bands like VGO and The Protomen. Just be mindful of the other people around you, is all.

  • ChorazinChorazin Registered User regular
    ottoman673 wrote:
    skanking?

    ...and i thought ska was dead. regardless, you will probably be that guy.
    Fuuuu- Looks like I'll enjoy the music by crossing my arms over my chest and bobbing my head. Damn all y'all.

    That's how I enjoy every concert, along with some respectful toe tapping. I will also happily put my hands in the air when called upon by the band to do so.

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  • KhadourKhadour Dinosaur Cupcake Boston, MARegistered User regular
    Chorazin wrote:
    That's how I enjoy every concert, along with some respectful toe tapping. I will also happily put my hands in the air when called upon by the band to do so.
    *gasp* Scandalous! Will you even wave them like you just don't care, if asked?

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  • cocowoushicocowoushi Registered User regular
    Speaking of bags, I rocked this last year http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/travel-outdoors/c616/

    Worked well and kept my DS, Wallet, and phone all closeby. Especially good for me for the concerts, where I didn't want a big backpack in the crowd.

  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    cocowoushi wrote:
    Speaking of bags, I rocked this last year http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/travel-outdoors/c616/

    Worked well and kept my DS, Wallet, and phone all closeby. Especially good for me for the concerts, where I didn't want a big backpack in the crowd.

    I bought one of these with xmas money for this PAX. Looking forward to seeing how it works out.

  • FrugusFrugus Podcaster Registered User regular
    Christopher (aka @lamournumerique on Twitter) wrote a nice piece of blogging relating his last PAX East experience. You may want to take a peak as there are some lessons in there.

    Of note...
    You are merely a mortal: No matter what physical state you are in, you need rest and regular meals. This sounds like pretty dumb advice, and perhaps that is because I am pretty dumb, but I neglected to pay much attention to this repeated lesson in the forums. I figured that, as a generally active person, I would cope fine with undaunting concepts such as ‘You will be standing a lot’. That’s okay, guys, I stand all the time. Yeah, but when you’re carrying about 3 or 4 different bags, packed full of all the dreck of the day, it turns out that wandering around non-stop for 15-18 hours (and longer) a day is actually pretty exhausting. After a 9-hour overnight bus ride, a daytime tour of the sights in Boston, and a bun for dinner before a frankly amazing Pokémon-themed pub crawl, I was running on empty all of Friday. Friday being the first day of PAX, I burned myself out by Saturday midday. Saturday evening was spent physically shaking in my hotel lobby, keeping up with events through Twitter. So be sure to get plenty of rest, and perhaps make the effort to eat outside of the convention centre. The food there really wasn’t the best, in my humble opinion.

  • BarmaceBarmace Registered User
    Hey I wanted to tell you that my daughter and I are complete GEEKS. Leaving the wife at home and we are gonna let our inner geeks fly. I have no idea what to expext. if anyone can give me personal tips that would be great!. We will be checking out these post alot. I am a bit nervous because I have never been to PAX East. We want to see it and experience it all :)

    Barmace

  • zerzhulzerzhul Old General Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator, SolidSaints Zerzhul mod
    Barmace wrote:
    Hey I wanted to tell you that my daughter and I are complete GEEKS. Leaving the wife at home and we are gonna let our inner geeks fly. I have no idea what to expext. if anyone can give me personal tips that would be great!. We will be checking out these post alot. I am a bit nervous because I have never been to PAX East. We want to see it and experience it all :)

    Barmace

    Well, you'll see and experience a LOT of fantastic things. However, you can't go into PAX expecting you will see and experience everything. There is SO MUCH to do and see at PAX that invariably you will miss something cool. Not to worry though, that's why PAX is twice a year! :)

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