I’ve been a fan and an attendee of PAX for some time now. I went to my first years ago when it was in Bellevue and my take on it then was “wow, what a neat tiny show to see cool stuff” and attending it for a couple hours in the afternoon with some of my friends from work. We did that for a few years and when it moved to Seattle it grew… and well I guess my life did as well.
2 years ago I brought my daughter for the first time – just the two of us. She was getting into games and was 10 at the time. She brought her Gameboy along (huge pokemon fan of course) and over the course of the day I was blown away at how cool everyone was to her. Other attendees would start conversations with her – out of the blue (usually girl gamer types). And they would offer to trade pokemon with her, or just give her cool ones that they knew there was no way she had it. One gal offered her a really cool pin that said something like “Girl gamers rule”. And most just talked to her about what she liked and if she was having fun. When we got home, she didn’t talk about the games, the booths, or anything like that – she just talked about all the cool people she met. The day was awesome, I moved into a new realm of “cool dad” and she on that day became a true gamer.
Last year I brought my wife for the first time and again – over and over throughout the day people showed her a kind of stranger kindness that amazed me over and over again. One person had a rare chair, saw she looked haggered and offered it up. Another saw her standing in a long line for a toy of some sort, and just offered her one since they had 2. One enforcer took a solid 15 minutes to basically explain the show to her pointed out to her where she cool find out info about her favorite games (sure, I tried to do that, but anyone who’s married will get what I mean here).
Both of them are coming along with me this year and they are SUPER excited about it (honestly – more than me maybe and that’s awesome because it’s making me want to go more than if I were going with my friends back in the day).
So, I guess what I’m saying is: if you are one of those awesome people (and it seems like most are) this is a thank you and a note that how you act at PAX really does matter to not just a 10 year old girl with stars in her eyes, but also to old curmudgeons like me.