Brief History of PAX

johnkzinjohnkzin Registered User new member
"In 2004, the folks at Penny Arcade decided they wanted a show exclusively for gaming. Sure, comics, anime, and other nerd hobbies were cool, and those activities all had their own shows… so what about games? From that idea spawned a small 4,500 person event in Bellevue, Washington, focused on the culture and community that is gaming."

You guys never heard of GenCon? Origins? Dragon*Con? or any of the numerous smaller game conventions? Even if you were originally being computer-gameer specific instead of "gamers", Dragon*Con, at least, has had a computer game component since the late 1980's/early 1990's ... I don't know about GenCon and Origins. Or were you originally specifically thinking about a game con for Seattle, and it just grew into a bigger scope over time (sorta like Dragon*Con -- originally an Atlanta area game con, which grew to encompass the south east, and is now even bigger in scope for both content and geography)?

(genuine question -- I'm not being snarky, the first thing I thought when I read it was how out of place this premise is, and wanted to know what's being left out to make sense of the statement, because taken at face value, it doesn't make sense at all)

Posts

  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    These forums are community forums, not really a direct line to the people that run the show.

  • johnkzinjohnkzin Registered User new member
    edited February 2013
    Yeah, I didn't really see a link for that. The only "contact us" link was in relation to advertizing and/or sponsoring one of the expo/conventions. This was the only thing that looked like a link, off of the main page, for communication.

    johnkzin on
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
  • johnkzinjohnkzin Registered User new member
    edited February 2013
    The context on that link (right under the "advertise on pax site" label) makes it look like that's for people who want to advertize, not for people who want to make a general communication. That's the link I mentioned above.

    That said, I've gone ahead and sent an email through there.

    johnkzin on
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2013
    You're looking in the wrong place. It's in the sidebar, it says "Submit your question: Didn’t find the answer you’re looking for? Send us an email we’ll try to help you out."

    Note that I linked you to the FAQ page, not the frontpage.

    zerzhul on
  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    This would also probably be an excellent question for the Q&A at the show.

    -Beker/Erick
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    Wote
  • JB4GDIJB4GDI Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    I don't own a copy, but there's a few pages in the Spendid Magic of Penny Arcade book that detail the origins of PAX in detail. I remember glancing through it and I think it answers some of your questions.

    -Jaime

    JB4GDI on
  • CuvisTheConquerorCuvisTheConqueror They always say "yee haw" but they never ask "haw yee?" Registered User regular
    johnkzin wrote: »
    "In 2004, the folks at Penny Arcade decided they wanted a show exclusively for gaming. Sure, comics, anime, and other nerd hobbies were cool, and those activities all had their own shows… so what about games? From that idea spawned a small 4,500 person event in Bellevue, Washington, focused on the culture and community that is gaming."

    You guys never heard of GenCon? Origins? Dragon*Con? or any of the numerous smaller game conventions? Even if you were originally being computer-gameer specific instead of "gamers", Dragon*Con, at least, has had a computer game component since the late 1980's/early 1990's ... I don't know about GenCon and Origins. Or were you originally specifically thinking about a game con for Seattle, and it just grew into a bigger scope over time (sorta like Dragon*Con -- originally an Atlanta area game con, which grew to encompass the south east, and is now even bigger in scope for both content and geography)?

    (genuine question -- I'm not being snarky, the first thing I thought when I read it was how out of place this premise is, and wanted to know what's being left out to make sense of the statement, because taken at face value, it doesn't make sense at all)

    GenCon is specifically about D&D-style RPGs and wargaming. Origins has a slightly broader focus, including board and card games. Neither really involves video/computer games. Dragon*Con, OTOH, is far broader, more of a sci-fi/fantasy convention that had a subfocus on tabletop games; while they included some video game stuff, it was really far from their focus. The idea of PAX was a place where gaming of all forms takes center stage.

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  • GethGeth Legion Perseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
  • johnkzinjohnkzin Registered User new member
    GenCon is specifically about D&D-style RPGs

    That's redundant. "D&D-style games" are co-equal with "RPGs", whether you're talking about tabletop or computer games. "RPG" itself is not a computer game specific term, Computer-RPGs/CRPGs are a subset of RPGs, not a distinct thing of their own.
    and wargaming. Origins has a slightly broader focus, including board and card games. Neither really involves video/computer games. Dragon*Con, OTOH, is far broader, more of a sci-fi/fantasy convention that had a subfocus on tabletop games; while they included some video game stuff, it was really far from their focus.

    Actually, Dragon*Con is a game convention, about games, game culture, and the gaming community. That's why Dragon*Con was created. Games were the sole focus up through the early 90's, and as far as I'm aware, games are still the primary focus (not a subfocus).
    The idea of PAX was a place where gaming of all forms takes center stage.

    So, given that THAT isn't a new concept (like I said, Dragon*Con did that before PAX did), the only thing new is "they put video/computer games on equal footing with tabletop games ... and added concerts." To imply that PAX did "(a con where) gaming of all forms takes center stage" first, because no one had done that before, is kind of ignoring the history of game conventions (I'm not saying you implied that, I'm saying their about page implies it). 3 other conventions did that, each within the scope of what gaming was when they started (given that two of those started before there was a computer game industry worth talking about, and the third address computer games at an appropriate level to what was out there, when it started).

    The about PAX blurb really only makes sense if you're focusing on an equal footing between computer/video games on tabletop games. As far as I can tell, that's the only thing that's really unique or original about PAX. That, and concerts.

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