Hi all, first time poster (I think, I made this account 2 years ago). I drove down in a crew of 9 from Ottawa; it was my second PAX, but for most it was their first.The Downs:
- Waiting in the line Friday morning, the swag bag organization was a little... unorganized. Following the "do not be a dick" rule, my group kept passing the bags along to the far end of the line. However, we saw that a bunch of people ahead of us were just keeping bags instead of passing them on. This resulted in the middle of the line not getting a bag. We spoke with 3 enforcers who passed through, all of whom said "uh, sorry, don't really know whats going on, but I'll let someone know." This resulted in us not getting a bag. We were told to drop by any time that day to pick it up, but when we returned there was a line 4 rows long. (story continues in the "The Ups" section)
- The BCEC security guards. I have no doubt that their jobs must be tough; I know I wouldn't want to be responsible for the safety of tens of thousands of people. That said, every single one that I encountered was gruff, short-tempered, and wielding their authority like mace.
- Waiting in a Queue room for the "Gaming and Education" panel. The doors open for us to leave and walk over to the panel room, and they decide to let the people sitting around the edge of the room to go first. The logic was to create a bit of space so that the line could snake out after. However, no Enforcers stayed in the room to ensure this was followed, so the back of the line decided to attached itself to the outside group, so that we ended up snaking out back to front. As the front realized what was happening, everyone decided to just walk to the door, resulting in a mass of people trying to get out. (story continues in the "Ups" section)
- Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Friday night they kicked everyone out of the lobby gaming area so that they could do maintenance. Saturday night 2 false fire alarms went off at 3 am. The house-cleaning staff would regularly knock on your door at 8:30 am to clean (We had the Do Not Disturb signs up, but their were pretty loud in the halls). $12.50 per device for 24 hours of slow internet? Maybe I've been lucky with my prices up til now, but that was excessive.The Ups:
- Continuing from the Swag Bag story, a friend and I went up to one of the Enforcers who was organizing the Swag line. We explained our story, and he immediately went and grabbed 2 bags for us. Simple stuff like that really goes a long way
- Continuing from the Queue story, one of the enforcers who had been outside the room saw what had happened, and proceeded to ensure the rest of the queues went out in an orderly fashion. I didn't get his name, but I did shake his hand as we were filing out, so if you post on here then take your due, the line leaving that room was the most orderly I saw all weekend :P
- The small game developers. I usually avoid the Exhibit floor, as I don't like waiting 2 hours in line to play a 5 minute demo. However, the sheer number of small games booths was amazing, and each one had its own flavour and intrigue. I could have spent another day or two checking them all out
- The Table top/CCG area was great. It was always full but rarely too full, which meant it was a great opportunity to try new games with strangers, rent a board game we'd never seen before, and generally bask in the glory that is the table top game
- The Exhibitors on Sunday. I don't know how you manage to go three very full days and still manage to be energetic, upbeat and helpful, but almost every exhibitor I came across on Sunday was a pleasure to interact with. Special shoutouts go to the WotC booth, the DDO booth, the Intel booth, and the DM who ran our session on Sunday
- PA Staff. I know I got a picture with Jerry while he was playing some Yu-Gi-Oh, it was the only time I had seen him all weekend and I really wanted a picture, but I also knew that he was in the middle of a game and must have been approached over 9000 times that weekend. After standing and deliberating for about 3 minutes, I finally walked over and apologetically asked for a picture with him. He was nothing but gracious, and made it seem like this wasn't the nth time he had been interupted by a stranger. My hat is off to those guys.The Left-Overs:
- Was there a Child's Play booth? If not, has there been any discussion in setting one up for information as well as donations? I imagine you could raise a good amount of money at PAX
- The Boston Aquarium is pretty awesome.
- I had no idea basketball tickets were so expensive ($72 for the absolute highest row in the arena), but my first basketball game was pretty awesome. KG is a monster
- My friends and I started an acheivement game for this PAX. Badges included things like: The Howard Hughes Award: Do not go outdoors for 12 hours straight, The J. Jonah Jameson Award: Get a photo with yourself and Gabe and/or Tycho, and The Khaaaaaaan Award: Yell "Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!" in a public place. Has anyone else set up something like this for the PA readers at large to follow (so we can get some more ideas for next year). If not, would there be any interest in us setting up a page so that people could claim their own badges?
- The Cos-play has improved immensely over the years (as in it was very good, and now it is amazing), I`m considering one for 2013
- Have any other RPG groups applied to have a station at PAX? It would be neat to see White Wolf there
If you`ve read this far, I appreciate the stick-to-it-iveness!