PAX was once again a brilliant three days, the best part of my year. I am in love with it completely. There's one thing this year, though, that really bothered me; the beach balls people smack around in line. I don't really post on the forums here, but I just had to say something about it.
Like many people who suffered through a week of hell after PAX '09, I make an effort to keep my hands sanitized, avoid touching things I don't have to, etc.. Con flu is no fun, even when it's not as severe as H1N1. Getting smacked in the face while looking down at my DS with a ball that 20 people have touched in the last minute seems to make that relatively pointless.
On top of that, some people are clearly Being Dicks and trying to hurt others. Yeah, it's just a light ball, but I saw one cosplayer get repeatedly targeted since the pain she experienced when the ball smacked into her head piece, driving pins into her scalp, seemed to amuse some people.
I get that there's a bit of a tradition with it, but it's a tradition that was ensconced before thousands of us discovered how rapidly a nasty pathogen can spread amongst tens of thousands of people sharing space. It's not even something that's uniquely PAX, since I see these at virtually any large gathering of people attend. There are so many fun things to do in line beyond portable gaming thanks to the Enforcers (the pipe cleaners were an inspired idea) and my fellow attendees, can this whole germ-ball thing please just fade away quietly?