Here's what we're doing this year...
- Come by the desk outside of BYOC, and drop off one of your buttons for the yearly collection presented to Mike and Jerry. Additionally, pick up the official button seen above. Find me (JonXP) or leave it with another Enforcer, I'll brief the folks at the desk on what's going on.
- Official Picture Meetup at Juicy/the Rock Band stage. Before you line up for the expo hall, come by and we'll try to get a group picture at a time that doesn't conflict with most Enforcer schedules. This is new and we'll see how it goes!
- Presentation of the buttons to Mike and Jerry in the Queue Room. It'll be a small ceremony, with only about three marching bands and twelve elephants. It'll be right before their autograph signing that starts at that time.
Sun after the Omegathon
- Traditional Meetup outside of the convention center doors. Get the buttons you're missing, and get rid of the rest of yours. It's like being on the stock market floor, without the pressure of ruining the world's economy!
It's that time of year again, so let's get our designs rolling!
What is Buttoneering?
Buttoneering is a meta-game that takes place every year at PAX Prime (and to a lesser extent PAX East and other events). You play by printing up a large number of buttons with a picture that represents you, and then find other people at your event to trade with you. It is remarkably easy to do, and it's a great way to meet people. Additionally, you come away with a huge number of buttons that are a unique souvenir of your time.
What are the rules?
Well, there are only a couple. First, if you get a button you should give a button, and vice versa. This applies to the "avatar" button, which is the one that represents you personally. If you have made other buttons representing a group, game, or are just something special, you can set your own rules for what people need to do to get them. As usual, follow Wheaton's Law for maximum fun.
How did Buttoneering start?
It started out as a problem at PAX 2008 for members of the Pax Forum Community. They wanted a way to be able to pick each other out of the crowd of more than 55,000 gamers. The initial idea was for t-shirts with everyone's avatars printed on them. Once someone pointed out the added benefit of being able to smell fellow forum members coming, other ideas were proposed.
Finally, everyone settled on making buttons with their avatars on them. After some initial research, it was discovered that one could get bulk amounts of these created for relatively cheaply, and the idea of PAX Button Exchange was born!
Where can I get buttons?
We recommended PureButtons
because of their excellent customer service, good prices, and being all-around cool folks. No, we don't get paid to say that. If you're not in the U.S., feel free to ask in the thread to find info on providers closer to home, or if you're the trusting type, ask if you can ship the buttons to someone who is, to save yourself some shipping costs.
How do I participate?
There are four steps for participating in Buttoneering:
Other frequently asked questions:
- Choose your button size and shape, and make your artwork. 1.5 inch round buttons are by far the most popular, and are a good compromise between price and size.
- Order your buttons. 100 buttons is a good base amount, but feel free to go with more. Be sure to use our discount code Buttoneers2012 if you're using PureButtons!
- Upload your artwork to BUTTONEERING!, our official Buttoneering site. This is totally optional, but it provides a great way to keep track of your collection. Yes, it asks for an email, but I promise I will only use them for site communication (which has never happened, yet).
- At PAX, trade with other Buttoneers. It's MUCH easier than you would think.
Q. Why do you only list Purebuttons.com as a source of buttons? Are you banging the owner?
The Great Buttoneering Meetup(s):
You are free to have your buttons made by anyone, make them your self if you'd like. Our prior experience shopping around last year has shown that you really can't beat the price Purebuttons offers for buttons in bulk. If you can, let us know your insider info.
Q. How do I get a button? What are these "bonus buttons"?
The buttons fall in to two categories, the "avatar" or "main" buttons, and the "bonus" variety. While there are no set rules for trading them, these general guidelines are encouraged:
- Avatar buttons should be traded for other Avatar buttons, with no challenges or criteria expected to be fulfilled other than you are both Buttoneers.
- Bonus buttons may (or may not!) have special criteria for receiving them, and may go to people outside the button game who fulfill the criteria. This could be a challenge ("What is the flightspeed of an unladen swallow?"), a requirement ("You must be a member of the CEOs of America Club"), or one may just ask for one (remember to say "Please").
Q. I want to make people stand on their head, nude, while singing "Yankee Doodle" to receive my buttons! Can't I do that?
It is perfectly within your rights, but don't expect many people to trade their buttons back with you.
Q. Do I have to purchase hundreds of buttons to participate?
Purchase as many or as little as you want. As they say the more the merrier, more than likely you will only be able to recieve as many buttons as you have to give. Last year a somewhat active person could easily go through 100+ buttons.
Q. With 55,000+ people, how will I find you all to get my trade on?
Many if not most of us will be attending various community ran events. Feel free to stop by the Pre-PAX Dinner, the Pre-PAX Movie, Pre-PAX Pubcrawl, or the Pre-PAX Breakfast. We'll be there in droves. No one had any problems finding buttons last year. We stand out pretty hard.
Q. I want to make sure I get EVERY SINGLE BUTTON I can, will there be a Buttoneer meetup?
YES. The tentative plan is to meetup right after PAX lets out on Sunday in front of the WTCC. We'll be easy to find, there's gonna be a lot of buttons around. We can finish off our trade lists, and say our goodbyes.
Q. You said this is a game! How do we know who won?
Everyone is a winner! Especially you! You're so special, you know that?
Q. Will I be able to fly with my buttons. Are they considered an instrument of death?
As confirmed by the US TSA and experiance from last year, 1' -1.5' buttons are not classified as an instrument of death even if you have a 100, and can be carried on or checked (they did say that depending on the TSA Agent you may be asked [forced at gun point] to check the buttons).
But remember this only applies to people whose flight originates in the US. If you are flying into the US with buttons make sure you check with your TSA equivalent before bringing them on a plane. The TSA people here also highly suggested that you check with US Customs (contact via your local embassy) before you try and bring them into the country (they indicated that the problem isn't with the button it's with what you could be hiding in the button). Recap: If you’re in the US you can fly w/ buttons, if you’re not your probably better off mailing.
We are planning to have TWO meetups this year. One for a group picture (and optional trading) Saturday morning before the show (time and location TBA). The timing is to make it as easy as possible to get a picture done, and to have as few scheduling conflicts as possible.
The second will be the usual one on Sunday after the closing of the Omegathon, just outside of the front doors of the convention center. It'll be a "come as you are, stay as long as you want, leave whenever" kind of thing that'll mostly consist of trading until you run out of buttons!
As of 2011, our official Buttoneering website is http://buttoneering.org
. Usage is completely optional, but it does provide a number of benefits that make it worth the 60 seconds or so that it takes to sign up...
- Upload your buttons and see everyone else's
- Easily track the ones you've collected
- Lots of cool filters and sorting to help you find the button you're looking for
- Hosting for your finished button designs with the code to embed it in the forums
- Keep up with your collection from year to year, event to event, so you can see just how much awesome you've seen
This way, we have a very convenient way for everyone to see the buttons and hopefully build upon it with buttoneering apps and the like!
So sign up, (make sure to use your forum name from here!), check your email for the confirmation, and then upload your artwork.
Before clicking on any of the links below, be aware that there are some NSFW buttons
This year's designs (will be updated until it no longer fits!): Too many! See the link below for the official list.
Click here for the list of this year's buttons!
Click here for last year's buttons.
Are you not on the list? Then you didn't sign up at http://buttoneering.org
, so do it right away!