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PAX East Information and FAQ (ASK QUESTIONS HERE!)

Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
edited March 2010 in PAX Archive
jinwk8.jpg

When: March 26th, 27th and 28th, 2010

Where: Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02115

What:
Wikipedia wrote:
The Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) is an annual gamer festival held in Washington. PAX was created by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, the authors of the Penny Arcade webcomic, because they wanted to attend a show that gave equal attention to video gamers, computer gamers, and tabletop gamers. No such show existed, so PAX was born.

Created in 2004, PAX has doubled in size each successive year and has been hailed as a weekend-long celebration of gamer culture. Defining characteristics include game-inspired concerts, panels on game industry topics, exhibitor booths, after-hours parties, tournaments, and freeplay areas.

The first PAX East Coast is scheduled for March 26 to March 28, 2010 at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Reed Exhibitions has been announced as a partner for the logistics of the expo. This event, first announced in August 2008, will be the first Penny Arcade Expo outside Washington.
Theros wrote:
PAX is awesome
ashridah wrote:
PAX is not your personal army
Liger wrote:
unless your name is Robert Khoo
HotSake wrote:
PAX is 50,000 friends you never knew you had.
In 2008 PAX had over 58,000 attendees.
In 2009 ticket sales were capped at 75,000 and sold out prior to the event.
Preliminary numbers for PAX East 2010 in Boston is 30,000

Links: Penny Arcade, PAX Website, PAX topic at Wikipedia

What this forum is: This forum is for the discussion of PAX, finding people to carpool, caravan or ride the train with, finding people to split the cost of a hotel room, and general questions and information about PAX as well as community events and gatherings.

What this thread is: This thread is a place for people to ask questions, and for the PAX experienced to provide answers (and some general PAX wisdom).

Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for the Official PAX East Page FAQ
Here's a community-based FAQ for those of you who don't want to comb through this thread to see if your question has been answered already.
Spoiler:
heels wrote: »
PAX will open at 2:00pm on Friday.

This is a fact!

Hey look everybody, it's the PAX World Map!

(click for embiggening)

13ynzgl.jpg

Moe Fwacky on
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Posts

  • origamikidorigamikid Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Ok I have a question...

    I am looking to come over to PAX East, I would be coming over from the UK and it would infact be my first trip over to the USA, however i was wondering a few things:

    Firstly - what is the scale going to be like compared to the normal PAX show? Will there be just as many video games etc on show and playable?

    Secondly - I will probs end up having to come over on my own, will there be enough here to keep me entertained all day all weekend?

    :D

    Thanks guys!

    -Josh

  • raist222raist222 Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Well due to time constraints our group will be driving, the only problem we are having is finding anything near reasonable parking, any suggestions?

  • mspencermspencer Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Josh, there will be so many things to keep you entertained you're going to have to make hard choices about which simultaneous awesome things to choose. PAX is heaven for even ADD-afflicted gamers. Even if you're standing in line, the social environment is awesome: everyone is a gamer, and after a couple hours everyone has become accustomed to everyone else being a gamer, so you can strike up conversations with practically anyone, play DS games, etc.

    I think it takes about two days after PAX is over and you're back in the "real world" for many people to readjust, and realize that in the less-awesome "real world" far fewer people are gamers and you have to relearn bottling up your interests and blending in again.

    If you've never been to PAX, it's a life changing experience. You MUST come, one of these years. Bring your DS but you don't really need anything else to keep yourself occupied.

    Edit: I missed answering part of your question. We don't know how big until more details are announced, but from what I've heard it will be "big enough." What does that mean?

    The only size metrics that we could possibly refer to are: attendance numbers, area of convention space, number of satellite theaters, number of theater seats, number of panels you care about, number of exhibitors you care about, size of console freeplay (lending library and seats), size of tabletop freeplay (lending library and seats), size of BYOC and PC freeplay, etc.

    In nearly all cases, as long as everything is sized appropriately for the number of attendees (or vice-versa) then even if the con is half the size of PAX 09, there will still be such a wealth of things to do and see that each attendee will still enjoy themselves greatly.

    Tenuous logic, and not a proof by any means, but I don't know how to explain it any other way.

    MEMBER OF THE PARANOIA GM GUILD
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  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited September 2009
    raist222 wrote: »
    Well due to time constraints our group will be driving, the only problem we are having is finding anything near reasonable parking, any suggestions?
    There is no such thing as rational parking is Boston. Good luck to you.

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Moe Fwacky wrote: »
    raist222 wrote: »
    Well due to time constraints our group will be driving, the only problem we are having is finding anything near reasonable parking, any suggestions?
    There is no such thing as rational parking is Boston. Good luck to you.

    Totally wrong, especially since on Saturday and Sunday you can park for as low as $5 at South Station. This site offers good tips and you can park a lot of places for the (week) day for $30, between a few people that's nothing. Under the Common is pretty good for all day parking and is centralized and Post Office Square is pretty organized. Parking at the Pru can get pretty crazy, so while it will be tempting, I wouldn't recommend it. On the weekend you can also park for free by nabbing a visitor spot anywhere in the city.

  • plagasplagas Registered User
    edited September 2009
    How are bands submitted for this event?

  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited September 2009
    I think bands are contacted by PA or Reed directly.

  • undeadundead Registered User
    edited September 2009
    I'm wondering if I should pre-reg or wait.

    The sutuation:

    I'm still awaiting word or a sign that there will be an ability to sign-up for staff. Also, I am starting a convention news business that may qualify me for a press badge. Also, I'm an MIB and a Gozarian and I would be running some demos from both companies.

    If worse comes to worse, and I pre-reg next month, would I be able to get a comp for 2011 after performing my duties at PAX East 2010?

    As I am, so shall ye be.

    Yahoo group GCIACST
  • BigRedBigRed Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    There might be, just keep watching the front page.

    if there is a signup for staff and you get accepted, you can get a refund on a pre-reg. or just sell it to someone else.
    it wont be comped to a different year.

    <MoeFwacky> besides, BigRed-Worky is right
  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I have some questions, they might not be answerable right now though:

    - Are Tycho and Gabe going to be at PAX East?
    - Are there going to be concerts at PAX East?
    - If the initial estimate proves to be extremely conservative are they cutting off ticket registration, is the convention center able to make room, or is everyone going to be massively packed in?
    - Can any regular Boston-ites give an estimate on the cost of getting from the airport to the convention center area by taxi? Are there any locals' secrets for better ways to get back and forth from the airport?
    - Is Wizards of the Coast going to be present/will they be running a Dungeon Delve thing at this one? Somewhat related, it sounded like a lot of the games in the tabletop game area to borrow were provided by enforcers, will there be an equal selection (or any idea of how equal a selection it'd be) at PAX East?
    - Is there going to be a keynote speaker at PAX East? I know it says that things will be a bit different at East Coast so it isn't a direct copy, is there any way we can get idea of what the differences (other than no Omegathon) will be? Example: Still tournaments? Panels? Keynote? Concerts? Q&A sessions? Draw a Strip? Free play? Sumos for handhelds? PAX10?

    A lot of this is just curiousity, but they're things I've been wondering about. :)

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Hypatia wrote: »
    I have some questions, they might not be answerable right now though:

    - Are Tycho and Gabe going to be at PAX East?
    - Are there going to be concerts at PAX East?
    - If the initial estimate proves to be extremely conservative are they cutting off ticket registration, is the convention center able to make room, or is everyone going to be massively packed in?
    - Can any regular Boston-ites give an estimate on the cost of getting from the airport to the convention center area by taxi? Are there any locals' secrets for better ways to get back and forth from the airport?
    - Is Wizards of the Coast going to be present/will they be running a Dungeon Delve thing at this one? Somewhat related, it sounded like a lot of the games in the tabletop game area to borrow were provided by enforcers, will there be an equal selection (or any idea of how equal a selection it'd be) at PAX East?
    - Is there going to be a keynote speaker at PAX East? I know it says that things will be a bit different at East Coast so it isn't a direct copy, is there any way we can get idea of what the differences (other than no Omegathon) will be? Example: Still tournaments? Panels? Keynote? Concerts? Q&A sessions? Draw a Strip? Free play? Sumos for handhelds? PAX10?

    A lot of this is just curiousity, but they're things I've been wondering about. :)

    Reed Expo implied there will be concerts and a keynote speaker just different ones from Seattle. They also asked about tabletop gaming and were given a resounding 'yes' that they were still wanted. It has been implied there won't be an Omegathon but there will be an equally big but different event. Gabe and Tycho have apparently been out here a few times to check things out and Khoo has said he's here more than he tells us so I assume they will most likely be at PAX. After all they were at Comic Con NY this year, so they'll probably be at their own con.

    Taxi from and to the airport blows because of the airport fees. It cost me almost $40 to go from Beacon Hill to the airport. If you take a cab to/from the airport I'd carpool. Taking the shuttle to the T is really easy though. Everything is labeled (including the shuttles) and that will cost you $2 only. You could wait anywhere from 5-10 minutes for the shuttle and the T to show up.

  • shugaraeshugarae Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Taxi from and to the airport blows because of the airport fees. It cost me almost $40 to go from Beacon Hill to the airport. If you take a cab to/from the airport I'd carpool. Taking the shuttle to the T is really easy though. Everything is labeled (including the shuttles) and that will cost you $2 only. You could wait anywhere from 5-10 minutes for the shuttle and the T to show up.

    Could you elaborate on this a little bit more? As someone who's never been east of the Mississippi, and is a total public transportation noob, I have no idea what "the T" could be. Seriously, the only public transportation I've ever used was in Seattle at PAX, and one time in San Francisco, and I had a friend to guide me.

    My group will be flying in to Boston Logan airport.

    Is there maybe a van shuttle operated by the Sheraton that just goes back and forth between the airport and the hotel?

    What about the subway...thing? Would that even be practical with luggage?

    Speak to me like I'm 5... also, any maps or pictures or anything would be enormously helpful.

    Omeganaut class of '08. Fuck Peggle.
    The Best in Terms of Pants on JCCC3
  • undeadundead Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Not sure about the shuttle van. A lot of hotels have them, though. Most likely, you'd have to call the hotel and request the service, though, and I don't know if one is available or how much it would cost.

    The T stands for the MBTA, the general public transportation system for Boston and surrounding towns. Subway, bus, commuter trains, and water shuttles are all in the mix. You would be interested in the subway if you're taking the T.
    To take the T, you have to find the bus that takes you to the station (anyone know where to catch the bus. I assume it stops outside the front doors of the terminal).
    The airport is on the blue line. You take the inbound train. You need to switch to the green line at Government Center (that's the name of the stop in question) and take one of the outbound trains (anything but the E line. Do not grab the E train or you'll have to get off and come back).
    Luggage on the T is fine, so far as I know, but it's not exactly a short hop, and there is some walking involved.
    When you leave the train, you should be on a bridge (been a while since I was there. If anyone knows the name of the street please post). Take a left. Turn left at the corner.
    You'll be walking over the Mass Pike. After taking that left at the corner, you'll see a huge building further down on your right. That's the Hynes. Dalton St. is the leading edge of the building. If you take a right down that street, you'll pass the bowling alley on your right and the Sheraton will be at the end of the block on your left.
    The MBTA's website is www.mbta.com. I do apologize if this is against policy for the forums but anyone from out of town should take a very good luck at the subway map.

    And, he was right about the cabs. You will be charged a fee for going through the tunnel on top of the normal fees (which are nothing to sneeze at).

    As I am, so shall ye be.

    Yahoo group GCIACST
  • KalgarooKalgaroo Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Shugarae, check the thread, The PAX East Bible, below this one. We should probably copy a lot of the information from there to here, but for now, it's where you'll find tons of info. It sounds like people are putting together guides and things, I assume they will be a compendium of that thread and this one.

  • shugaraeshugarae Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Awesome! Thanks to both of you :D

    One more question, after glancing at the PAX East Bible (and maybe this was covered there...), is the shuttle from the airport to the T free? If not, how much does that cost?

    Omeganaut class of '08. Fuck Peggle.
    The Best in Terms of Pants on JCCC3
  • Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Question: I have my hotel booked through the PAX website and got my confirmation email from them. But still I don't trust anything that's not the hotel itself. I feel like I am going to show up to the hotel and they'll have no idea what I am there for and not have a room for me.

    Is there a way to confirm that I actually do have a room?

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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited September 2009
    shugarae wrote: »
    Awesome! Thanks to both of you :D

    One more question, after glancing at the PAX East Bible (and maybe this was covered there...), is the shuttle from the airport to the T free? If not, how much does that cost?

    It is, the T itself is $2. Also if any of you stay at a hotel by the airport they usually include free shuttle to the airport and the airport T.

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited September 2009
    shugarae wrote: »
    Taxi from and to the airport blows because of the airport fees. It cost me almost $40 to go from Beacon Hill to the airport. If you take a cab to/from the airport I'd carpool. Taking the shuttle to the T is really easy though. Everything is labeled (including the shuttles) and that will cost you $2 only. You could wait anywhere from 5-10 minutes for the shuttle and the T to show up.

    Could you elaborate on this a little bit more? As someone who's never been east of the Mississippi, and is a total public transportation noob, I have no idea what "the T" could be. Seriously, the only public transportation I've ever used was in Seattle at PAX, and one time in San Francisco, and I had a friend to guide me.

    My group will be flying in to Boston Logan airport.

    Is there maybe a van shuttle operated by the Sheraton that just goes back and forth between the airport and the hotel?

    What about the subway...thing? Would that even be practical with luggage?

    Speak to me like I'm 5... also, any maps or pictures or anything would be enormously helpful.

    The T is typically referring to the subway portion of the MBTA. Their website is awesome so peek around their a bit. I've been in and out of Logan so many times with varying amounts of luggage and have never had a problem.

    Call the Sheraton to see if they do a shuttle, I only know that the ones near the airport do them, I don't know about downtown.


    Any hotel specific questions you should definitely call your hotel and the specific one. We have some hotel groups with multiple hotels in the city so call the one you will literally be sleeping in.

  • YoshipantsYoshipants Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Lord Jezo wrote: »
    Question: I have my hotel booked through the PAX website and got my confirmation email from them. But still I don't trust anything that's not the hotel itself. I feel like I am going to show up to the hotel and they'll have no idea what I am there for and not have a room for me.

    Is there a way to confirm that I actually do have a room?

    I've done plenty of 3rd party hotel reservations in my time, and I've never had any troubles. However, if you'd like reassurance for your peace of mind, I'd suggest calling the hotel and simply confirming with them that they received and processed the reservation request.

  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited September 2009
    In the case of PAX Prime this year, the block is reserved by the third party reservation company and the individual details of reservations are sent to the hotels all at once a few weeks prior to PAX. So, the hotel may not have your individual reservation just yet. Make sure you save your confirmation e-mail, just in case.

  • dyaballikldyaballikl PAX Main Theatre House & Security Manager • PAX Community Cartographer Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Lord Jezo wrote: »
    Question: I have my hotel booked through the PAX website and got my confirmation email from them. But still I don't trust anything that's not the hotel itself. I feel like I am going to show up to the hotel and they'll have no idea what I am there for and not have a room for me.

    Is there a way to confirm that I actually do have a room?

    not even the oakland raiders could overtake you room :)

    a.k.a. dya
    "Riding a mongoose reminds me of having sex with a man, which is something I do frequently because I am gay!" -Gabe

    Robot Ninjas Assassins Twitter
  • FacelesscogFacelesscog Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Hey there. My wife and I are long time attendees of various RPG-style conventions, and we were both wondering what sort (if any) of tabletop RPG game sessions could be expected at PAX East? Is it strictly a video-game environment, or is there also some outlets for traditional RPG'ing?

  • ElectricTurtleElectricTurtle Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Considering that PAX prime has an entire floor dedicated to tabletop games including but not limited to RPGs, board games, and CCGs, I would be very, very surprised if similar features were lacking at PAX East.

    Spoiler:
  • BigRedBigRed Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Hey there. My wife and I are long time attendees of various RPG-style conventions, and we were both wondering what sort (if any) of tabletop RPG game sessions could be expected at PAX East? Is it strictly a video-game environment, or is there also some outlets for traditional RPG'ing?

    Theres a section of pax thats reserved for tabletop games.

    <MoeFwacky> besides, BigRed-Worky is right
  • Goose!Goose! Yeah I wrote that Its called I Wanna Rock Your Body (till the break of dawn)Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    How early before doors open on Friday should one arrive to get an armband?

  • dyaballikldyaballikl PAX Main Theatre House & Security Manager • PAX Community Cartographer Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Goose! wrote: »
    How early before doors open on Friday should one arrive to get an armband?
    i think just about everyone in the queue room got one, even those arriving shortly before 10. either way, everyone wound up getting into the concerts, especially those who didn't arrive right at the start time. i would show up at about 8, though, since there is pre-show entertainment.

    a.k.a. dya
    "Riding a mongoose reminds me of having sex with a man, which is something I do frequently because I am gay!" -Gabe

    Robot Ninjas Assassins Twitter
  • Firestorm88Firestorm88 Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    dyaballikl wrote: »
    Goose! wrote: »
    How early before doors open on Friday should one arrive to get an armband?
    i think just about everyone in the queue room got one, even those arriving shortly before 10. either way, everyone wound up getting into the concerts, especially those who didn't arrive right at the start time. i would show up at about 8, though, since there is pre-show entertainment.
    That'd be incorrect. I was in the queue room early on Friday, but left to grab food. I found out the end of the line was no in the queue room but went outside and out into the street. Nobody after 9:15 - 9:30 got a band for sure.

  • Jkyr12Jkyr12 Registered User
    edited September 2009
    I once read/heard that at PAX you are allowed to suggest games and ideas to game developers and stuff.....Is this true? Also, does Nintendo attend?

  • eelektrikeelektrik Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    There is a Pitch your Game Idea panel, which has different game developers attend each year, but its not for getting them to use your idea, but for fun and/or getting critiquing for an idea you want to develop yourself.

    steam_sig.png
  • LTAcostaLTAcosta Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    eelektrik wrote: »
    There is a Pitch your Game Idea panel, which has different game developers attend each year, but its not for getting them to use your idea, but for fun and/or getting critiquing for an idea you want to develop yourself.

    The pitch your game idea is where you pitch the most absurd game you can think of, and you either get criticized or praised lol... its all for fun, your game will not be made, and if yours is one of the funniest or craziest, you could win a prize.

  • IzzieIzzie BostonRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I was considering asking ye old "HOW DO I VOLUNTEER LULZ" question, but I know that answer already ["just wait, newb!"] So instead, I will ask a few other questions ABOUT volunteering from those who've done it at prime:

    ~What is the experience like?
    ~What sort of departments are there?
    ~Do volunteers get rooms or do they pay for their own?
    ~Does previous experience staffing cons help in getting "accepted?"
    ~After hours orgy in the back room, y/y?

    Just curious. =D

    http://izziebytes.net // http://twitter.com/izziebot // G+
    Terrorizing the Gaming Universe one post at a time...
  • BigRedBigRed Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Izzie wrote: »
    I was considering asking ye old "HOW DO I VOLUNTEER LULZ" question, but I know that answer already ["just wait, newb!"] So instead, I will ask a few other questions ABOUT volunteering from those who've done it at prime:

    ~What is the experience like?
    ~What sort of departments are there?
    ~Do volunteers get rooms or do they pay for their own?
    ~Does previous experience staffing cons help in getting "accepted?"
    ~After hours orgy in the back room, y/y?

    Just curious. =D

    JUST WAIT FOR THE FRONT PAGE ANNOUNCEMENT N00B!

    :P

    Experience is what you make of it. You get to help out with something awesome, you can do the minimum or go all out and work the entire time, mostly up to you.

    Ever been to pax? (console freeplay, BYOC, pc freeplay, theaters, expo, VIP assistance, etc. those are some of the depts)

    You pay your own.

    Kinda, depends. Good referrals can help. Terrible referrals will get you pwned. But if you have been working a convention more than once I doubt you will have those.

    Only if you bring your mom.

    <MoeFwacky> besides, BigRed-Worky is right
  • IzzieIzzie BostonRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Haha, extremely helpful.
    I've never been to PAX, no, but i'm psyched about going.
    Hopefully I'll be able to volunteer and meet everybody, awoowoo

    something tells me my mom wouldn't go for that...worth a shot. XD

    http://izziebytes.net // http://twitter.com/izziebot // G+
    Terrorizing the Gaming Universe one post at a time...
  • mspencermspencer Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    What-you-make-of-it is spot on. Volunteering for PAX is really a beautiful thing -- you're helping make something incredible happen.

    LOLtextWALL warning:
    Spoiler:

    It's amazingly rewarding, and can be incredibly hard work if you let the work consume you. If you're the right sort of person, emotionally rewarded and motivated by that feeling of putting on an awesome party for your gamer friends (x1000), I can't recommend it highly enough. There's a good reason most conventions have to scramble for their volunteers at the last minute, and we have to turn people away. :-)

    MEMBER OF THE PARANOIA GM GUILD
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  • RicinRicin Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I was just curious, with seatlle's con there was a great deal where you could book your airport transit to hotel via the web. I was looking either for something similar for PAX East or for suggestions on a good towncar service from logan. Also if anyone can give me an estimate for what a trip from logan to hynes convention center would cost that would be great.

    Any help is appreciated

    Ricin

  • dardordardor Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I would suggest using the T (Boston's subway system) as it's pretty cheap, fast, reliable, etc. You can find info on other types of transportation here. For more info, both the PAX East Info and FAQ thread as well as the PAX East Bible thread have much more specific instructions on how to get to the Hynes from various places using public transportation.

    The T is $2 per ride, $9 for an unlimited daily pass, and $15 for a 7-day unlimited pass.

    I'll take a potato chip and eat it!
  • LTAcostaLTAcosta Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    There is a free shuttle that will take you from the airport to the Blue Line. Take the Blue Line inbound to Government Center, switch to any of the green lines accept the E train, and get off at Hynes Convention center. If you accidentally get on the E train, thats fine too, just get off at Prudential, and walk through to the other side. Its all really easy to do, even if youve never been ona subway before. Oh, and here's an insider tip, when you get to the Airport station, after getting off of the shuttle, go inside and go to the guy in the little booth on the right. Ask him if he has any Charlie Cards. He'll give you an empty charlie card, and then take that to the machine and load money onto it. When you use a card instead of a ticket, you get 30 cents off on each ride.

  • dardordardor Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    You can also buy a CharlieCard online and get it shipped to you via USPS/Fedex =P

    I'll take a potato chip and eat it!
  • LTAcostaLTAcosta Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    dardor wrote: »
    You can also buy a CharlieCard online and get it shipped to you via USPS/Fedex =P

    Yeah, but you have to buy them with like 20 dollars pre loaded, and people might not need that much money for 3-5 days. Getting one there for free is better, because they can just load however much they want on to it

  • dardordardor Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Def true. It comes in denominations of $5, $10, or $20 shipped though.

    I'll take a potato chip and eat it!
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