PAX EAST 2013 Information and FAQ (READ THIS FIRST, THEN ASK ALL QUESTIONS HERE)
So here it is, the big new FAQ Thread. If you guys still have suggestions for things to put in here, please post them. If you're just somebody with a question to ask, please ask it here.
*Note: and yes, we mean any sort of question, especially if it's not covered by the FAQ. Please do NOT make a new thread to ask your question, just post it here. I promise it will be answered promptly.
When: March 22,23,24th 2013
Where: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Boston MABCEC
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.
PAX is awesome
PAX is not your personal army
unless your name is Robert Khoo
PAX is 50,000 friends you never knew you had.
In 2008 PAX had an attendance of over 58,000.
In 2009, PAX had 60,750 attendance.
In 2010, PAX East sold out at over 52,000 in its first year.
Also in 2010, PAX Prime sold out at 67,600.
PAX East 2011 sold out with 69,500 attendance.
And frankly, after that we’ve stopped counting. PAX Is huge.
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 or caravan 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 QuestionsClick here
for the Official PAX 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.General StuffWhen will x be announced?
Soon. Don't expect any definite announcements any sooner than 4-6 weeks before PAX. Don't expect a final schedule and show map until about two weeks before PAX. If you're curious if your favourite game developer, journalist, internet personality is going to be there, shoot them an e-mail and ask, because if it hasn't been announced, we don't know either.How do I register for PAX?
Soon, registration will be open [url=”http://east.paxsite.com/
”]on the PAX East site[/url]When do Passes go on sale?
Now!When will I get my passes in the mail?
Passes will start getting mailed out 2 to 3 weeks before the show.Do the PAX passes have my name on them?
No.It's after Feb 15th, if I order my ticket online, where do I pick it up?
TBAI’m from outside of the US and I did not choose the FedEx shipping option, where do I pick up my pass?
Will call will be located at the registration desk, which will be located near the front entrance of the BCEC. (Based on PAX East 2011)Can I volunteer to help out at PAX this year?
If they open up enrolment, an announcement will be made with a link to the application on the main PA site.What are the hours of PAX?
Friday, 10am to 2am
Saturday, 10am to 2am
Sunday, 10am to 7pm
EXHIBIT HALL HOURS
Friday, 10am to 6pm
Saturday, 10am to 6pm
Sunday, 10am to 6pm
Please make the following updates to the BYOC Section. Note Link and Twitter feed have changed.What does BYOC stand for?
Bring Your Own Computer, the PAX LAN. You can find more information here.What is the EXPO floor like?
The exhibition hall is full of awesome. There are upcoming games, and hardware showcased as well as things for sale from games, to guides, to t-shirts, to dice. Prices are comparable with standard retail pricing, or a little cheaper, even. Also, there are tons of free shirts and other swag being handed out by various companies.I live outside the United States. How do I fill in my phone number on the registration form?
You just have to split it up the way US numbers are split (###-###-####). It's a 10 digit number if I'm not mistaken. If you've got more than 10 digits, I don't know.The ticket says the Exhibit Hall closes at 6pm but the Event stays open until 2AM. Does this mean there will be actual things happening and things to look at until 2AM or does it just mean people are allowed to co-mingle in the building until they close the doors at 2AM?
Once you hit the later hours, the Expo Hall will be shut down. However, you'll still have the Concerts, Panels, Console/PC Freeplay, Handheld Lounge, Tabletop Lounge, etc. In previous years, there have also been movie/webisode screenings fairly late as well. Basically, it's "Make your own fun with people time!"How do we transfer tickets? I bought a registration and BYOC pass, but recently found out I won't be going, and have a friend who wants to buy my tickets from me, but neither of us have any idea how to get the ticket to be transferred.
BYOC ticket registration is done differently than the 3-day pass, look to the BYOC thread for your answer. For the 3-day pass you just have to mail it to the guy when they are shipped out. If you would like to transfer the ticket it's a little more involved. If you have or are buying tickets that must be picked up at will call, email [email protected]I have moved since buying my PAX passes. How do I change my address information to ensure that my passes get mailed to my current address and not my previous address?
First, you should submit a change of address through the USPS. This will ensure all mail sent to your previous address is sent to your current address. As far as changing your registration you can log back into your registration page using your confirmation number. Once you've logged in you will be able to edit your address.I didn’t receive my PAX Badges in the Mail!! What do I do?
If you live outside of the US, or you purchased your pass after the cut off date for badges to be mailed, you will need to pick up your badge at Will Call using your paper ticket with the Bar Code on it AND a valid piece of photo ID. If your badge really is lost in the mail, email [email protected]I have my badge; do I need the paper ticket with the bar-code on it?
Nope! You’re good to go.Will there be WiFi accessible at PAX?
Yes. BCEC has an impressive free WiFi infrastructure. It could get a little slow at times, however last PAX east it was fairly consistent.Are there iphone/android apps for pax?
From the creators of the Conventionist.Are there going to be a ton of people this year?
There's going to be a ton of people.Will just one day will be enough PAX?
No matter who you ask on this forum, we're all going to say no. If you don't want to believe us, that's fine, but when you get to PAX for that one day and realize you could have had three days of that, you're going to regret not buying a three day pass.I'm disabled/ have a mobility impairment/ use a wheelchair, how easy will it be to get around PAX?
No problem, apply for a medical pass, and you get special accommodation getting into panels and the like. You can apply for a pass for yourself and a +1 so you can have someone help you. To register, email [email protected]I have an amazing idea for a panel!! Who should I contact?!?
if you just have an idea email [email protected]
with your pitch! If you actually want to run your own panel head over to panels.paxsite.com
with your proposal. If accepted you and your participants will receive a complimentary Speaker Pass for PAX East 2012. Good luck!Just how BIG is PAX?
Excellent question! this may be of interest to you
. (Credit goes to @”dyaballikl”)
How early should I get in line each day?
Getting in line is something that should be decided by YOU, so many of us can't tell you exactly when you should show up.
However, I would recommend getting in line fairly shortly after the doors open. If not, then feel free to show up whenever you wake up.
If you are the more social geek, I would highly recommend getting in line as soon as you can.
The people are what make PAX, and there is no better way to meet/converse/trade pokemans with these people than being in line. Remember, you are all there showing your love for games in some way, shape or form, so feel free to strike up a conversation with the person next to you!
However, if you end up befriending these people, I would highly suggest getting their contact info, as I have lost many potential friends this way, watching the people I just spent 3 hours with in line fade off into the crowd of gamers.
NOTE: doors to the building don't open until 8am!
My Gods! The Lines! The Crowded Crowded Lines! What do I do about the Lines?
Whichever venue PAX is in, on whatever coast in whosoever dimension, Crowding is almost omnipresent. Recent PAXes have sold out weeks in advance, and the various convention centers have been unable to contain their awesomeness in a roomy manner. There are lines for almost everything, including lines in order to get into lines (I'm talking to you, Merch line PAX East). There is little you can do to avoid them.
Neither is there a hard and fast rule for when you need to get in line for a panel or event, as it depends on demand for the individual panel, as well as what day of the Con it's on, what's going on at the same time, and whether Wil Wheaton is involved in any way. For most Panels an hour beforehand is quite sufficient, and you might be able to get away with 30 minutes, if you're lucky. The Make A Strip Panel, any Wil Wheaton Panel, and Scott Kurtz are likely to require a little more time. If you want to get into the keynote on Friday, you'll need to arrive at the convention center when it opens at 8:00am, and go straight to the Main Theatre line.
Advice for surviving the lines
There are of course some people who find it impossible to wait in line for any reason. If you have a medical condition which precludes lines, talk to the enforcers, who may well be able to accommodate you. If you are simply temperamentally unsuited to waiting, or don't want to take the time to do so, there are ways to enjoy yourself at PAX without waiting around. Many freeplay areas, especially Tabletop, can easily be navigated without having to wait at all, or with a simple sign-up sheet. Large portions of the expo halls also, and the Concerts have generally been accessible 20 minutes or so after the line has gone in. Play tests for the major developers are essentially impossible to get into You may need to sit or stand nearer to the back of the hall, but if you hate lines you probably aren't all that fond of mosh pits either. Not all the sessions fill up to capacity, especially later in the con. As long as you avoid the big ticket sessions, and are prepared for disappointment, you may simply be able to ask the enforcers on the door if there is any space inside.
Are the theatres cleared in-between panels / concerts?
YES! Except for a few back to back panels in the main theatre (ie, the Keynotes goes right into the first PA Q&A) all theatres are cleared out between panels.
I heard the concerts were loud. Is this true?
Yes, and maybe. It's all relative, but the concerts can get pretty loud. It's a big space, with a lot of people, and everyone wants to be able to hear, right?
Can you turn the volume down? It's hurting my ears!
No, unfortunately, the volume cannot be turned down; the knobs on all the amps were taken off by sneaky Rock Gremlins. If you think that volume might be an issue, we suggest this time-tested concert junkie trick: bring a set of earplugs to help muffle the sound. Convenient personal sound dampening, available in several fun colors! Make sure you get "musician's earplugs" or "high-fidelity earplugs". These are earplugs with channels in them that attenuate all frequencies equally. Basically, they just make everything you hear quieter, without changing how it sounds. These can be found on Amazon for about $10.
How do the concerts work?
Much like everything else at PAX, concerts are first come, first served. However, please don't attempt to line up for them more than a reasonable time prior to the start of the concerts. Ask an enforcer in the area where the concerts will be taking place and they can tell you when you will be allowed to start lining up.
What happened to concert wristbands?
Wristbands have been done away with in favour of the new first come first serve system.
How Late do the concerts go?
Concerts are scheduled to end around 2am, though sometimes they can run late.
Where will the concerts be?!?
At PAX East 2011 and 2012 the Main Theatre was located in the Grand Ballroom of the BCEC, and likely will be located there again this year.
The PA merch booth has ITEM X that I really really really want. When should I get it?
As soon as you can. Typically this means Friday morning on your way to the queue line. If what you want is guaranteed to be in limited supply (like the PAX East scarves, merch hats, or uncommonly sized tee shirts) get it first.
What will be for sale at the official merch booth?
The PA booth generally stocks a healthy supply of the books , the most popular tee shirts from the website in sizes S-4XL for men and S-2XL for babydoll, some other items limited items such as merch hats and select hoodies (hats are one size, hoodies are unisex sizes S-3XL), and of course the coveted, limited PAX-specific goodies such as tee shirts and/or scarves.
Will there be a PAX exclusive item?
Maybe. Follow @Official_PAX twitter and they may give sneak peeks!
The merch line is longer than longcat! When will it die down?
There may be a lull on Sunday afternoon, when much of the stock is depleted. Don't worry! The line moves quick and it's a good way to meet other people with pokewalkers/magic cards/beach balls/THAT THING YOU LIKE. The Merch booth outside the expo hall tends to stay open fairly late as well.
Why is ITEM X sold out?! I really wanted it!
A lot of other people wanted it too. Brian the Awesome Merch Master Guy does his best to estimate demand, but he is a genuine meat human. If you really want ITEM X, buy it early and don't wait until the end of the show. If it is not PAX-specific, you can probably find it on the PA Merch website.
I waited in line for a half hour and NOW you're telling me you don't have ITEM X? Sad Boosh.
This happens sometimes. It could be it sold out while you were waiting in line. It might have been the guy in front of you. It might have been 10 minutes after opening on Friday (in which case there will hopefully be a sign posted). Don't fret. There is plenty of other stuff for you to get. Think ahead and have a Plan B of How To Spend Your Money.
When do I sign up for tournaments?
Tournament registration is Friday or Day of. Look out for each departments Tournament thread for specific information. Get there early, most tournaments fill up within an hour or two of PAX opening.
Hint! Follow @PAX_tourney for more tournament information!
Will x tournament or event be happening at PAX?
Possibly, announcements will be made about 4 weeks prior to PAX. Keep an eye on the forums for details! each department that does tournaments will make it's own post.
What is the Omegathon?
The Omegathon is a grueling test of "skill" in which 28 randomly selected pre-registered attendees will battle for an amazing prize, in past years, this prize has been an all expenses paid trip to the Gamescom in Germany. We mostly make them play crazy games like Mario Kart, Bananagrams, and Operation for our and your own amusement. If you are not selected to be an Omeganaut, it's still a lot of fun watching and enjoying their torment!
How do I become an Omeganaut?
Just check the button that says, "I want to be considered to be an Omeganaut" when you pre-register. Then you just have to hope you are one of the lucky people to get the call. Please NOTE: if you do not get a phone call from Mike or Jerry asking you to be an Omeganaut, then you are not an Omeganaut.
PAX is open to all ages, and many parents choose to bring their children and infants, but before you haul little Timmy and Amanda down to the showfloor, a few things to consider:
- PAX is LOUD. Little ears tend to be sensitive, so take this into consideration if your child doesn't like noisy environments.
- PAX is CROWDED. People don't tend to look down; be prepared to keep the little ones from being stepped on if they're on the shorter side. This is true of any crowd situation, not just PAX. You will need to be aware of all people at all times. Also, per the preregistration site (Interactive Ticketing), "Strollers are not permitted on the show floor at any time". Perhaps try a front pack?
- PAX breeds GERMS. Again, true of all crowded/convention situations. PAX Prime '09 saw a fairly large outbreak of H1N1 and other flu strains; keep this in mind before exposing any little ones that might be in concern catagories for illness.
- PAX is full of SWEARING. The typical demographic of PAX, while fairly diverse, does contain a large number of younger people with a tendency swear. Profusely. About everything. If language is a concern for you, be aware that epithets are a time-honoured PAX tradition, and will be overheard everywhere.
- PAX is FREE for kids 6 and Under. Conversely, PAX is FULL PRICE for kids 7 and older. So, budget accordingly.
Now, taking everything into consideration, it's up to you! A little planning ahead and your kids can have just as much fun at PAX as everyone else! Just be aware what hurdles there may be, and prepare appropriately!
I'm under 18. Will I be able to get into a panel for/play the demo of <insert M-Rated game here>?
It is convention wide policy to follow the ESRB ratings, even if your parents are present. Be aware that some exhibitors may ask you for your ID.
What should I bring with me to PAX?
I'm flying to PAX, how soon should I book my flight?
6-8 weeks before your date of travel seem to be the "sweet spot" of prices. However, keep an eye on prices with sites like http://www.kayak.com/ and you can figure out the best price for your flight from there.
Is it safe to put your DESKTOP PC into an airplane? Can you check it with your airline carrier and see it in once piece at it's destination? Can you ship it to your hotel safely and timely? What other alternatives are there?
The safest way is driving it and bringing it with you. The next safest is taking it and having it professionally packed, lots of Styrofoam and bubble wrap and shipping it one of the quicker (2-3 day) options as opposed to the 6 day or so ground transport. The absolute worst way is on an airplane. First, it's going to cost you since just about everyone is charging for bags now, second, chances are TSA is going to open whatever you have it carefully packaged in and third, baggage handlers hate you.
What Hotels are available for booking?
At this time, Unknown! Once hotel registration is live, this will be updated
How do I get the PAX discount on my hotel room?
All information on hotels offering a PAX discount will be available at PAX Hotel Site
All pricing given is per night
What days can you book for at the discounted rate?
Thursday Check-in - Monday Check-Out (note: Thursday night and Sunday night discount rooms are more limited)
Do they charge my credit card when I reserve my room?
It depends on the hotel; most only use your credit card to hold the room. When you check in, they put a hold on the card you present them at that time for the amount of your stay and when you check out they charge that, plus any billable charges (phone calls, pay per view, room service) to your card at that time. Some hotels have started requiring a deposit equal to one night's stay. If this is the case, it should be clearly noted on the hotel's website.
How far away are the hotels from the convention center?
*To be updated once hotel list goes live*
How many people can stay in one hotel room?
Most hotels allow four, however be aware when you reserve a room with four people per room, they tack on an additional charge. The Sheraton will charge for every key over 2 per room that you ask for.
When/where should I book my hotel
As soon as at PAX hotel site opens registration. Sooner the Better! Watch the forums & @offical_pax for when this happens.
X Hotel's website says the PAX rate is sold out for date x. What does this mean?
This means that the hotel will not honor the PAX rate for date x. If you're having trouble with the website, call the hotel.
What time is check in at these hotels?
Most hotels have check in at around 3pm. If you're going to be arriving in town later in the evening or at night, be sure to let the hotel know when you make your reservation. If you are arriving early, most hotels will hold your luggage if you want to see the city before check-in time
I want to find people to share my hotel room, or find people to room with! what should I do?
Click here for the Room Share Thread (This Thread will go live once hotels have gone up)
Oh God, I can't leave! I might miss something important! But, what is this land you call... this land?!
Everybody coming to Boston may not necessarily be a resident. Don't be afraid to take time away from the convention with your newfound friends, check out a restaurant or two, poke down to whatever sites of local interest there are - look into joining one of the community gatherings, it may take you into the city to find things you wouldn't know about otherwise.
What's the weather like in Boston during PAX?
Expect anything. In early April, you can get the full spectrum from a blizzard to 75f (23c) degrees and sunny to 50f (10c) degrees and pouring rain.
Having said that, however, it tends towards 40-60f (4.5c -15c) degrees during daylight hours, and is usually either overcast or drizzling. Since you'll be inside most of the time, it won't be too bad if there's a blizzard or a hurricane. The public transportation keeps going throughout all weather.
Is there any free parking near the BCEC?
No. Any parking that doesn't have any obvious signs is probably for patrons of the local businesses; you run a large risk of getting towed if you park in unmarked spots. (This part of Boston is unusually good at parking signs, so this shouldn't be a problem.)
How much does it cost to park?
Parking in the BCEC event parking (highly recommended if you're driving) is $10 a day. There is extensive and official parking information located [url=”http://advantageboston.com/bcec/getting-to-the-bcec.aspx#Parking”] here[/url]. However, if you're flying in, don't bother renting a car: the public transportation in Boston (usually called the T) is extensive and much more reliable than the traffic.
Where can I get something to eat near the BCEC?
Short answer: inside the BCEC. There's a built in food court, and there will likely be other sources of (admittedly overprices) snacks around.
Long answer: If you are really adventurous, and feel like walking more than 10 minutes away, there are some good options. Cheap food is rare: there's a 7-11 down by the Seaport World Trade Center (see directions below); there's also a takeout pizza place called Sal's -- there's also a restaurant, but you want the take-out pizza place that's attached to it. If you want a slightly more expensive taste of Boston, one of Legal Sea Foods test kitchens (LTK) is nearby - this is slightly less expensive than the full-blooded Legal (it costs $$$ instead of $$$$), and the food is just as good.
(Directions for all three: walk across the bridge that faces the BCEC - past the T station, over the street, go down the stairs to your right, exit the doors to your left. For the 7-11: It's directly on your right. For Sal's and LTK, cross the street directly in front of you - under the overpass you just crossed. Turn left, walk a few blocks. The LTK is on a corner, has big black awnings that say "LTK" on them. Sal's is just past that - the takeout place is a glass door with a retractable awning. If you've reached the large light-up "Salvatore's" sign, that's the restaurant entrance; you've gone too far.)
Where do the parties happen?
Hotel Rooms (and a few industry sponsored parties at local establishments)
Is there an age limit on the parties?
21+ unless there's no alcohol involved
How hard is it to get around Boston? Is driving really as horrible as I hear?
Boston is easy, as long as you take the T. (And have a good idea of where you're going -- see the next section.)
Driving is a different story. In Boston, we say that our roads were planned by cows - they're narrow, winding, and seemingly randomly placed. If you're coming in via interstate (I-90 aka the Mass Pike or I-93) and going straight to the convention center, you'll be fine. However, don't plan on driving around downtown Boston and not getting lost. Those of us who have lived there all our lives get lost. Even with a GPS; Boston is famous for having closed roads with no detour signs. Many streets are one way, and there are almost no streets that go in straight lines. It could be fun to go on a driving adventure, but if you want to be somewhere on time, it's not a good idea. (Especially if the Red Sox are in town -- then the whole city is one giant parking lot.) Also, the drivers in Boston really are as horrible as you hear. Drive with caution. Let the crazy guy cut you off.
What is this "T" thing? (RGB's guide to Boston's Public Transit System)
BCEC's stop is "World Trade Center" on the Silver Lines SL1/SL2/Silver Line Way (leaving from South Station)
Tickets are called "Charlie Tickets" - stored value cards, a la NYC's MetroCard or Seattle’s Orca Card
A one-way fare is $2.50
The airport is on the Silver Line SL1. The bus stops at all 4 terminals.
Official website is http://mbta.com - it has maps, schedules, and fare information.
From the airport to the BCEC (and the nearby hotels): Take the Silver Line SL1 from the airport. Buy your ticket (called a Charlie Ticket) at the machines at the airport - a one way ticket is $2.00. Get on the bus and validate your ticket at the stand next to the driver. There are luggage racks on the airport busses, and the aisles are wide. After you leave the airport (the bus visits terminals ABCE in that order), get off at the second stop - "World Trade Center, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center". Go up the escalators to the top level. Look around - see that giant hulking building (most likely to your left)? That's the BCEC.
From the airport to your hotel somewhere else: take a look at the hotel's website. Many of them have courtesy shuttles to and from the airport, and they also have public transit directions.
From the BCEC to South Station (how you get to everywhere else): Walk out the main entrance (off the North Lobby) and walk straight across the bridge ahead of you. Halfway down, there's a T station called World Trade Center. Go down to ground level and buy a ticket if you don't already have one - $2.00 one way (if you're planning on coming back, put $4.00 on your Charlie Ticket - they're stored value cards akin to NYC's MetroCard). You can transfer to other lines and trains going the same direction, as well as busses, for free. (After a certain amount of time, it charges you another fare - more than an hour at least.) Head inbound on any bus, and get off at South Station (the terminal stop for these busses). South Station is in the middle of the Financial District.
From South Station to the BCEC: Follow the signs to Silver Line SL1/SL2/Airport. Get on any bus (SL1, SL2, Silver Line Way) and get off at the second stop - "World Trade Center, Boston Convention and Exhibition Center". Go up the escalators to the top level. Look around - see that giant hulking building (most likely to your left)? That's the BCEC.
From South Station to Park Street (the hub station below the Boston Common): Hop on any inbound Red Line train. Get off at the second stop (Park Street).
Hey, I got here early/am staying late, and I want to see some cool things in Boston! Where should I go and how do I get there?
First, if possible, join the magical mystery tour with some of your fellow paxers. Keep a look out for that thread about 4-6 weeks before PAX. It’s run by awesome fourmers people who will show you a whole bunch of amazing sites
However, if you want to set out on your own adventure, some highlights include: the Boston Common (a large public park) -- follow the directions to get to Park Street Station above. Duck tours (a land/water motorized tour bus Boston is famous for) leave from the science museum and the Prudential Center. (To Museum of Science Boston: from Park Street, take a Green Line train towards Lechmere to the Science Park stop. To the Prudential Center: from Park Street take a Green Line E train towards Heath Street to the "Prudential" stop.) The Mapparium (http://www.marybakereddylibrary.org/exhibits/mapparium) is a giant globe made of glass you walk through - directions are easily found at the above site.
I'm above the average age of 26 by a decade or more. Will I be the oldest person there?
No, plenty of the older gaming crowd come out to enjoy PAX as well. You are not alone. PAX is geeks reveling in geekery. Age wasn't much of a concern.
PAX was awesome! I want to see everything next year! Should I apply to be an Enforcer?
Even if an open call for Enforcers does happen, Enforcing means that you are likely to see less, not more, of PAX. When considering becoming an Enforcer it's very important to remember that you go from attending PAX for fun to attending PAX for work, and that has certain implications. Rule #2 of Enforcing is: PAX Is Not For Us - it's for Attendees. (Rule #1, of course, is 'Don't be a Dick'.) If you want to see the maximum number of things at PAX, you should consider returning as an Attendee instead of applying to be an Enforcer. That being said, the below picture is 100% true.
Should I buy a Nintendo DS/bring my DS to PAX?
Is anybody going to be doing anything before PAX opens/after PAX closes or ends?
Yes, there will be tons of stuff going on, keep an eye on threads in this forum to find awesome stuff to do with other PAX-goers.
A bunch of people are getting together at an area bar, but I'm under 21. Will I still be able to go and hang out if I'm not drinking?
No, bars in Boston are pretty strict. If you're not 21+, it's a safe bet they won't let you in.
NEW PAX ATTENDEE COSTUME WEAPON POLICY
While PAX is mainly intended to facilitate gaming, we recognize that many Attendees will want to dress in awesome costumes. These awesome costumes often come with prop 'weapons,' and the question: "can I bring this to PAX?" Needless to say, real weapons are NOT permitted, but what about props?
Well, there are some informal rules that we've been using to decide this for the last few PAXes. As of now, they have become official, and are as follows:
A COSTUME WEAPON IS NOT PERMITTED AT PAX IF:
- It fires or can fire any sort of projectile. (Yes, even Nerf.)
- It looks like a real firearm at "second glance." (Yes, even if it's a kid's toy.)
- It's sharp or pointy enough to cut or pierce someone with moderate pressure. (Yes, even if it's not made of metal.)
If you bring something in that's not allowed you will be politely required to leave, stow the offending item in your vehicle/hotel room/etc, and then return. If you have any doubt as to whether your prop weapon falls under these restrictions - it probably does. Err on the side of caution!
THERE'S A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR FIRE! WHAT SHOULD I DO?
You should definitely alert an Enforcer or a member of venue staff. Particularly in the big con centers, they can often get the venue's own emergency responders on the way for the fastest possible response.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SEE A THEFT / FIGHT / FAKE PASS / (INSERT INCIDENT HERE)?
You probably won't, as PAX is pretty laid-back. But the answer is always "alert an Enforcer or member of venue staff." Do NOT take matters into your own hands!
WHO DOES SECURITY AT PAX, ANYWAY?
Enforcers, venue/event staff, and a few police officers. Enforcers are generally the first contact point for Attendees, and things get escalated from there if necessary. Enforcers and event staff both have security specialists who are in charge of ensuring those groups implement their security policies. The police are there for emergencies, and to prevent any lines that spill out onto public streets from causing problems.
WHAT CAN I, AS AN ATTENDEE, DO TO HELP KEEP PAX SAFE AND SECURE?
1. Obey the above costume weapons policy.
2. Obey Wheaton's Law.
3. Be excellent to each other!
4. Let an Enforcer know if you have any issues.
Thanks for reading, and have an awesome PAX!
Can I buy or sell a badge on the PAX Forums?
I just bought a pass on craigslist / ebay, how do I know if it's legit?
This really won't apply until after PAX EAST passes sell out, but I wanted to put this out there anyways. If you purchase your pass from a second hand source, you are putting yourself at risk of purchasing a counterfeit pass. Second hand sources also include this forum, which is why there will no longer be any pass selling or buying here.
Please be aware that there may/will be repercussions for attempting to sell or buy badges on the forums.
Please remember, buying a pass from anybody except Penny-Arcade means you are potentially buying a counterfeit pass which can be confiscated and you will be asked to leave the show.
Last PAX East, there was a Badge Checking Station so you could check the badge before purchasing while AT PAX. However, this won't help you much if you've already paid for the badge and it is counterfeit.
PAX not only brings people from around the world together, but brings them into very close proximity.
This increases everyone's risk of the flu.
The flu is a serious matter and can be deadly for some. Please consider getting a flu shot to not only minimize your own risk, but the risk to others as well.
Here you are, Please feel free to post here if I've made any errors, or if you have suggestions on questions that should be added to the FAQ!!
Actually you go straight to the Main Theater and line up there. Queue room is only for Expo.
RE: Merch lines, I find after 11pm there is little or no line. Merch stays open super late, but may not stay open until 2am if there are no sales to be made.
"Last PAX East, when the merch booth ran out of scarves, they implemented an online order system on site." Not last any more, but 2011. 2012 I believe they still had some Sunday.
Not quite as fast as the TWDT, but close.
There is almost always a Cosplay thread for each PAX that springs up. I suggest you check that out for ideas from your fellow cosplayers!
One doesn't buy tickets for the Pub Crawl, but there will be an information and sign-up thread eventually. That being said, sign ups tend to fill up FAST, especially if you want a particular element! Check often!
I would guess they would be squimish about letting him borrow games with someone else's ID Easiest would be to get him his own State ID at least in WA you can do at any age. If that's not possible or doesn't happen though you could always ask at CFP when you get there what they can do. I'd imagine they could help you figure out something.
I'm hoping this might work. Going to talk to his mom about getting that done over the next few months :P
Please don't cross-post questions just because you're unhappy with the speed of response. Your previous post was in the correct thread for hotel discussion.
costs have risen! for public transit
This is more of a prime question, but I assume both cons share a cosplay so I'll ask here since east is closer than next prime.
What's the policy on shirtlessness? I'm starting to write a book that will hopefully in two years or so with some friends help turn into a real video game. Having this goal and pax being a gathering of all things gaming I've began to debate whether it would be a good idea/allowed to have either myself or a buddy cosplay as our main character.
So yeah would either myself or my friend be allowed to walk around the convention center shirtless as the main character? We/I am still working on character design so he may end up being completely clothed, but since it will take so long to make regardless of clothing choice we want to make sure we won't be turned away if we route a instead of route b.
And I guess disregard everything else since we don't wanna get in trouble. I guess we'll just dress up because we can
As far as cosplay goes, shirtless men are OK as far as I know.
The place I'm looking at staying won't have any parking available, so my car will be left on the other side of town during PAX. That'll leave me walking or taking the T (or some combination of the two). Google maps has it's uses, but when estemating travel times thru a major metropolitan cities I just don't know...
About an hour walk, maybe a half hour if you take the T, but that also depends on your timing. At worst, the T would probably take about as long as walking, but it would at least have the added bonus of not requiring you to walk the whole way. Generally though, the T is really reliable and I'd say 45 minutes is a reasonable estimate. Also keep in mind that the T stops running before the concerts get out.
Depending on where you are, you also might be able to catch one of the PAX Shuttles, which probably wouldn't be any faster, but it would at least be cheaper.
Really though, you might want to just consider a different hotel.
And it's actually a vacation rental near Cheers that I'm looking at, not a hotel. That way my party can stay in a full apartment and save $300-500. Better conditions, and still cheaper. But at the expense of travel distance and time.. I just don't know.
Thanks for the info though.
Staying in a full apartment does sound nice, but you'd probably want to ask your party how they feel about it. If they're morning people and they like walking through cities (and Boston is a nice city to walk though IMHO) then the hour-long commute would probably be worth the extra sleeping space and you can start your mornings off with a fun adventure through Beantown. But if they're the kind of people that take a long time to get up in the morning and aren't very patient, you'd probably want to get a place closer to BCEC or else every morning will be torture.
If you don't get a hotel RIGHT ON TOP of PAX, you'll be fine. The shuttle service PAX runs is free and amazing. The T is a piece of cake once you get used to it. And splitting a cab between a bunch of people isn't a bad last resort if it's late, you're tired, and you don't want to walk. Everyone agonizing over getting the Westin or Seaport might give you the impression that you won't experience PAX the same if you're further away, but it's simply not true. So if you miss out on a close hotel, or can't afford it, don't stress about it.
As for transportation:
Pros: -FREE! -Stops at all hotels (?) offered through onpeak. -The first shuttle will get you to the BCEC early enough to get a decent spot in line, the last one will leave super late so you can stay for the late-night events.
Cons: -Mildly unreliable (they sometimes leave much earlier than listed, arrive much later than listed, or get lost and take you on an hour-long scenic tour of Boston) though this is rare and seemed to be because our driver was substituting for another. -After a certain point, they only take people from the BCEC to the hotels, and not vice versa, so if you want to head back for a late concert you'll have to make other plans. -Only run on the hour or so, but if you plan accordingly you should be fine.
Pros: -IT'S NOT AS COMPLICATED AS YOU THINK! Go to google maps, look up your hotel, look for a nearby T station. Go to mbta.com for simple maps detailing the routes. More maps will be at the stations in case you need to double-check something. -It's cheap. $2.50 with a charlie ticket, but if you see a staffed customer service booth, ask them for a CharlieCard (it's plastic and it saves you 50 cents a ride) -It's almost everywhere, so no matter where you are you're probably within walking distance of a station.
Cons: -The Silver Line is actually a high-speed bus route with a dedicated lane. The beautiful simplicity of the subway system is somewhat befuddled by having to locate correct bus stops above ground. Mitigate this confusion by transferring onto the silver line at south station and staying on it till the world trade center. -There are no free transfers onto the Silver Line at south station EXCEPT for from the red line, including from the other half of the silver line. Do yourself a favor and get on the silver line at south station, even if it means more transfers earlier on. (This is due to the fact that the other half of the silver line is completely above ground, and drops you off at a bus stop outside south station). -The T only runs until a little after midnight, so if you're staying for the super-late events you'll have to find another way back. Check the timetables at mbta.com.
Pros: -Generally the fastest way to get to and from. -No matter what insane hour of the night it is, you can probably hail a cab on the street, or if that fails, call a service (if you might EVER need a taxi, put a few different service's numbers in your phone before you go), and they're always lined up in front of the BCEC for the duration of PAX.
Cons: -The most expensive option. By yourself you'll pay 10-40 bucks, depending on how close your hotel is. Check this website for an estimate. Splitting it 2 or 3 ways can make it a lot cheaper, but be prepared to pay a bit more if you use a van service for more people. -Yes, some cabbies are rude, might try to rip you off, drive like maniacs, etc. I find that the fewer words you exchange with them, the better. Get in, give them an address, and let them do their job. There are definitely nice ones out there, but as much as I'd like to pretend otherwise, you probably won't get one.
Pros: -FREE! -Exercise! -Boston is a pretty cool place!
Cons: -Takes a long time to walk from most locations. -Weather might be crappy. -If you're not in shape, you might not want to tire yourself out before PAX by walking for several miles - you'll be doing plenty of that IN the convention center.
Pros: -Works no matter where you're staying -You don't have to interact with anyone until you get to PAX. -On par with taxi-speed if you have a GPS or a decent head for maps (and what gamer doesn't?)
Cons: -Parking is expensive at the BCEC (I've never done it, so check the forums for exact amounts) -Driving in Boston can be terrifying if you're not used to city driving -The chances of getting lost if you don't have a GPS are higher than you'd think.
A note on parking in general: I would recommend parking outside of Boston (Woodland if you're coming from the west, Alewife from the north, Quincy Adams or Braintree from the south) and then take the T in. Parking is $6-8 a night at these T stations on the outskirts of Boston, instead of paying $20-40 a night at a hotel or garage in the city.
You'll probably end up using a combination of these 5 options. Just remember - give yourself PLENTY of time for getting to PAX, especially if there are certain events you want to go to. You never know if you might miss the shuttle or go the wrong way on the T.