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Let's talk about a family Friendly Pax

SunasatoSunasato Registered User new member
edited April 7 in PAX East
Hi guys. I was the Mom with the Mario kart twins. I brought them for 2 days but gave them a break the other two days. In that Time I got alot of compliments and praise for being a cool parent! Thanks. But today I am writing this post in a hope to help make this Convention a bit more Family friendly. I spoke with many other parents at this convention. One of the biggest frustrations I kept hearing was being thought of as after thoughts. We couldn't go on expo floor without strollers for example. A sensible rule. But if the Con had a way to tell parents bringing children that when they book tickets it would let them think of other ways to transport your Tiny people. What I also think would be hugely helpful is a " low level AFK room" a place strictly for kids to just get away from the chaos, mom's to breastfeed in a more understanding environment not a bathroom. A place that's quiet to try to calm your little one to nap. I understand this Con is more for teens and young adults but kids happen and we shouldn't let it stunt us from the gaming world. We should be embracing our future gamers! If you have thoughts or experiences you want to add please speak up. I want to make this a open discussion.

Sunasato on
Skrepo
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Posts

  • purevalpureval Registered User regular
    I know it.doesnt help much now, but you can use the first aid room to breastfeed.

  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I brought a young kid a few years ago and I agree that more education for parents buying tickets would be great. I knew what to expect as I'd been before and read the forums but some folks come in blind. It could be as simple as just adding a step during ticket purchase of "Are you bringing any children?" and if the answer is yes bring up appropriate info on strollers and whatnot. I agree wholeheartedly that a semi quiet family room for recouping and feeding would be super helpful (and if you made a nearby bathroom an all gender family restroom it would be good too).


    It's tough though, I feel in the recent push for youtubers and streamers and esports that generally speaking the older folks and interests (like me) are less of the focus of pax so I'm not sure that giving up real estate for families will happen :)

  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    It does mention the stroller rule on the ticket purchasing page. There is a lot of information there so it can be missed, sorry that caused you some stress. We do also have a breastfeeding room, I am not positive where it was this year, but Info Booth is usually the best place to ask, they are a central hub for all the best information.

    Far as a kids afk room, it has been talked about. The struggle is that as PAX takes up the whole space, any space designated for that would mean some other content has to go away. Also we would need to staff it, and not with just an average Enforcer, but someone who has some training and passed some muster for it. I know many people say we wouldn't need to staff it, but if we put "kids room" or something on the map, some parents would just leave kids there, even if only for a bit, and thats not something we want. So far it has worked for parents to find the quieter areas of the building for breaks, or take them back to hotel rooms for those staying nearby.

    The conversation is great though, we are always looking to improve things for all people, so happy to hear your ideas.

    -Beker/Erick
    mV2y6kv.png
    Keroan
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    Oh, I absolutely wouldn't say Kids Room. Maybe Family Break Room or something similar. Maybe it doesn't even have to be a room, the handheld lounge is a pretty chill place without needing a physical room.

  • SepiothSepioth Boston, MARegistered User regular
    I don't understand the no stroller rule to be honest.

    I can see not bringing those monstrosities people use but why not those simple little strollers?

    Especially with shat i saw for cosplay... a 10 foot tall Creeper.... someone using a segway under their costume...

    IB8N4SL.png
    AmadeusMop
  • AmadeusMopAmadeusMop Registered User new member
    edited April 10
    The woman with the segway was not in a costume. She had a medical badge for her fused spine, and she likes to decorate her mobility device.

    According to the policies page, the reason that strollers are banned is because, in the event of a fire or other emergency, they might obstruct evacuation. That's not the case for a 10-foot-tall creeper cosplay because the person who made it is inside the costume, and it is physically impossible for them to leave it behind when evacuating.

    AmadeusMop on
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  • YoungFreyYoungFrey Registered User regular
    There are rules about not doing cosplay photography on the show floor. It's the stopping and blocking off space for a photo that causes the problem with cosplay.

  • MulysaSemproniusMulysaSempronius but also susie nyRegistered User regular
    We brought our kids this year and..yeah. We decided that PAX just isn't really for us anymore. It doesn't have to be, and that's cool. But we probably won't be back until the kids are much older, since the expo is really for teens+. I'm not sure if there's really anything to be done. But if they do come up with something, I'll be ready to rethink it.

    If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I think in terms of message, it's sort of crappy to think that it's hard to justify a family room but fine to have VIP spaces that are blocked off in the middle of the floor. Given Mike and Jerry are both parents and Child's Play is such a big thing, it feels sort of wrong.

    I would think a Family Room sponsored by Hasbro or Gamewright or Nintendo would be a great marketing push for any of them. For Hasbro pushing Monopoly, it might even have been a better way to reach their true audience with some demos running off the floor.

    I would love to see a room that's a quieter, safe space running some board or video game demos. Maybe add in some occasional pikachu visits as well. But yeah, in the world of streaming and pubg it's maybe wishful thinking.

  • divisiontendivisionten Registered User regular
    I think in terms of message, it's sort of crappy to think that it's hard to justify a family room but fine to have VIP spaces that are blocked off in the middle of the floor. Given Mike and Jerry are both parents and Child's Play is such a big thing, it feels sort of wrong.

    I would think a Family Room sponsored by Hasbro or Gamewright or Nintendo would be a great marketing push for any of them. For Hasbro pushing Monopoly, it might even have been a better way to reach their true audience with some demos running off the floor.

    I would love to see a room that's a quieter, safe space running some board or video game demos. Maybe add in some occasional pikachu visits as well. But yeah, in the world of streaming and pubg it's maybe wishful thinking.

    Unfortunately that’s up to the sponsors. I mean... who here actually used the eMLS room?!

  • jdixon1972jdixon1972 Registered User regular
    I second the cosplay photography issue. I can think of atleast five times this PAX that my walking through the expo floor came to a grinding halt because someone out of the blue asked a cosplayer to stop so they could get a picture. I love all the cosplaying and have no issue with them, I just wish PAX could give them a small area for photographs. Maybe a small red carpet area with a PAX logo background (kind of like what you see when movie/tv/sports stars attend an event) would be cool. Photo rights may be an issue, but you could put up a sign at the entrance to the area saying that photos taken here can not be reproduced without the consent of the person/people being photographed. Just a thought.
    I've always wanted to see a greater emphasis/encouragement on cosplay at PAX, kind of the way anime and comic cons do.

  • VGguy49VGguy49 Registered User regular
    edited April 11
    jdixon1972 wrote: »
    I second the cosplay photography issue. I can think of atleast five times this PAX that my walking through the expo floor came to a grinding halt because someone out of the blue asked a cosplayer to stop so they could get a picture. I love all the cosplaying and have no issue with them, I just wish PAX could give them a small area for photographs. Maybe a small red carpet area with a PAX logo background (kind of like what you see when movie/tv/sports stars attend an event) would be cool. Photo rights may be an issue, but you could put up a sign at the entrance to the area saying that photos taken here can not be reproduced without the consent of the person/people being photographed. Just a thought.
    I've always wanted to see a greater emphasis/encouragement on cosplay at PAX, kind of the way anime and comic cons do.

    No, please no red carpet with a PAX logo, or anything like that, that's just going to emphasize the really really good ones and make everyone else seem less deserving of attention. I personally think it's absurd that it is okay for booths, even Nintendo, to have massive crowds in front of stages which grind the flow of traffic to a hault, but PAX thinks it's not okay for someone to spend 6 seconds taking a picture of a cosplay, which I have seen many times and it has never stopped traffic. Plus, many are going to want pictures of Cosplayers without specifically going to an area to see them, because what guarantee is there that that really good cosplayer you want to take a picture of will be there?

    VGguy49 on
    Wishes he could change his username
    TopherRocksLe_Goat
  • MephistoN7MephistoN7 Registered User regular
    VGguy49 wrote: »
    jdixon1972 wrote: »
    I second the cosplay photography issue. I can think of atleast five times this PAX that my walking through the expo floor came to a grinding halt because someone out of the blue asked a cosplayer to stop so they could get a picture. I love all the cosplaying and have no issue with them, I just wish PAX could give them a small area for photographs. Maybe a small red carpet area with a PAX logo background (kind of like what you see when movie/tv/sports stars attend an event) would be cool. Photo rights may be an issue, but you could put up a sign at the entrance to the area saying that photos taken here can not be reproduced without the consent of the person/people being photographed. Just a thought.
    I've always wanted to see a greater emphasis/encouragement on cosplay at PAX, kind of the way anime and comic cons do.

    No, please no red carpet with a PAX logo, or anything like that, that's just going to emphasize the really really good ones and make everyone else seem less deserving of attention. I personally think it's absurd that it is okay for booths, even Nintendo, to have massive crowds in front of stages which grind the flow of traffic to a hault, but PAX thinks it's not okay for someone to spend 6 seconds taking a picture of a cosplay, which I have seen many times and it has never stopped traffic. Plus, many are going to want pictures of Cosplayers without specifically going to an area to see them, because what guarantee is there that that really good cosplayer you want to take a picture of will be there?

    Because Nintendo's "massive crowd" was in the middle of the show floor that's 8 lanes wide, so lines were easily able to circumvent around it all four days. The others had Enforcers who regularly pushed people to either move in or keep walking.

    No one takes 'just 6 seconds' to take any photograph at PAX, let alone of a cosplayer. The cosplayer has to stop, hand off their bag (because yes, they are attendees as well), strike a pose, etc. Doing this in the middle of a regular traffic flow, especially in the tighter corridors and aisles, is being inconsiderate.

    I am in support of the option for a designated area. If people are that desperate to get a photo of a cosplay, then they can easily find the area outside of the Expo Hall. If a cosplayer is that good, they're going to want to be in an area to increase that exposure to social media posts. Otherwise, it's as simple as asking if they would mind moving to a more open area on the floor away from the lines so you can snap a shot rather than just expect everyone else to stop and wait for you.

  • mayapplemayapple Registered User regular
    edited April 11
    I am a mom to a 4.5 year old and a 1.5 year old. We took them for two days as well. I know its not what its specifically for, but we find the BYOC to be extremely beneficial for us as a family. It is just what you said, a place to unload your stuff, a safe space with seats. I literally set up a pack n play when mine was younger. Look into it for future paxes maybe. There was some kid friendly meet ups planned at this one, and there have been several threads about making it a family event. Its just like taking kiddos to disney, it requires planning and prepping and its not for the faint of heart. My older one finally gets it and had a blast this year on the expo floor and even at a panel or two!

    They do pretty clearly state the stroller policy (the actually withdrew this at south, maybe something to think about.) I think it is merely about not having little ones runover by bigger people and space allotment.

    As far as a breastfeeding space, that is usually on the convention center. I have spoken with the bcec people several times about one location in a building that big being silly. (this is what the bcec says officially... Infant Care -If your infant needs some TLC, the BCEC offers changing facilities in family restrooms surrounding the meeting rooms on Levels Zero, One and Two. For a bit of privacy while nursing, visit the First Aid Station in the North Lobby of Level One.) The San Antonio convention center is amazing. They have mother's rooms, and breastfeeding stalls with outlets and nice chairs. Its like a dream. Its a better paced family convention in my opinion as well. Being smaller does mean less expo floor and panels, so its a trade off.

    mayapple on
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    zerzhuljayh0va
  • VGguy49VGguy49 Registered User regular
    MephistoN7 wrote: »
    VGguy49 wrote: »
    jdixon1972 wrote: »
    I second the cosplay photography issue. I can think of atleast five times this PAX that my walking through the expo floor came to a grinding halt because someone out of the blue asked a cosplayer to stop so they could get a picture. I love all the cosplaying and have no issue with them, I just wish PAX could give them a small area for photographs. Maybe a small red carpet area with a PAX logo background (kind of like what you see when movie/tv/sports stars attend an event) would be cool. Photo rights may be an issue, but you could put up a sign at the entrance to the area saying that photos taken here can not be reproduced without the consent of the person/people being photographed. Just a thought.
    I've always wanted to see a greater emphasis/encouragement on cosplay at PAX, kind of the way anime and comic cons do.

    No, please no red carpet with a PAX logo, or anything like that, that's just going to emphasize the really really good ones and make everyone else seem less deserving of attention. I personally think it's absurd that it is okay for booths, even Nintendo, to have massive crowds in front of stages which grind the flow of traffic to a hault, but PAX thinks it's not okay for someone to spend 6 seconds taking a picture of a cosplay, which I have seen many times and it has never stopped traffic. Plus, many are going to want pictures of Cosplayers without specifically going to an area to see them, because what guarantee is there that that really good cosplayer you want to take a picture of will be there?

    Because Nintendo's "massive crowd" was in the middle of the show floor that's 8 lanes wide, so lines were easily able to circumvent around it all four days. The others had Enforcers who regularly pushed people to either move in or keep walking.

    No one takes 'just 6 seconds' to take any photograph at PAX, let alone of a cosplayer. The cosplayer has to stop, hand off their bag (because yes, they are attendees as well), strike a pose, etc. Doing this in the middle of a regular traffic flow, especially in the tighter corridors and aisles, is being inconsiderate.

    I am in support of the option for a designated area. If people are that desperate to get a photo of a cosplay, then they can easily find the area outside of the Expo Hall. If a cosplayer is that good, they're going to want to be in an area to increase that exposure to social media posts. Otherwise, it's as simple as asking if they would mind moving to a more open area on the floor away from the lines so you can snap a shot rather than just expect everyone else to stop and wait for you.

    In my experience it rarely took more than 10 seconds to take a picture of a cosplayer, and when it did, it was never when there was traffic around me. People cosplay to get pictures taken, but they also go for the event. People do stand in the lobby often, but it's a lot to ask them to stay in one small area to get a picture taken for the whole day, and I don't think it's quite fair that people have to go to a specific area to take pictures of cosplayers/be unable to take pictures of cosplays they see on the floor. Plus, there were and have been booths with a lot bigger, and more obstructive crowds than Nintendo. A lot more traffic clogging comes from those over cosplays. I don't see how it's fair that any random booth can clog the isles for a stage/show/esports, but Cosplayers who have put a lot of effort time and money into their costumes can't let someone who wants their picture take it.

    Wishes he could change his username
  • mayapplemayapple Registered User regular
    VGguy49 wrote: »
    MephistoN7 wrote: »
    VGguy49 wrote: »
    jdixon1972 wrote: »
    I second the cosplay photography issue. I can think of atleast five times this PAX that my walking through the expo floor came to a grinding halt because someone out of the blue asked a cosplayer to stop so they could get a picture. I love all the cosplaying and have no issue with them, I just wish PAX could give them a small area for photographs. Maybe a small red carpet area with a PAX logo background (kind of like what you see when movie/tv/sports stars attend an event) would be cool. Photo rights may be an issue, but you could put up a sign at the entrance to the area saying that photos taken here can not be reproduced without the consent of the person/people being photographed. Just a thought.
    I've always wanted to see a greater emphasis/encouragement on cosplay at PAX, kind of the way anime and comic cons do.

    No, please no red carpet with a PAX logo, or anything like that, that's just going to emphasize the really really good ones and make everyone else seem less deserving of attention. I personally think it's absurd that it is okay for booths, even Nintendo, to have massive crowds in front of stages which grind the flow of traffic to a hault, but PAX thinks it's not okay for someone to spend 6 seconds taking a picture of a cosplay, which I have seen many times and it has never stopped traffic. Plus, many are going to want pictures of Cosplayers without specifically going to an area to see them, because what guarantee is there that that really good cosplayer you want to take a picture of will be there?

    Because Nintendo's "massive crowd" was in the middle of the show floor that's 8 lanes wide, so lines were easily able to circumvent around it all four days. The others had Enforcers who regularly pushed people to either move in or keep walking.

    No one takes 'just 6 seconds' to take any photograph at PAX, let alone of a cosplayer. The cosplayer has to stop, hand off their bag (because yes, they are attendees as well), strike a pose, etc. Doing this in the middle of a regular traffic flow, especially in the tighter corridors and aisles, is being inconsiderate.

    I am in support of the option for a designated area. If people are that desperate to get a photo of a cosplay, then they can easily find the area outside of the Expo Hall. If a cosplayer is that good, they're going to want to be in an area to increase that exposure to social media posts. Otherwise, it's as simple as asking if they would mind moving to a more open area on the floor away from the lines so you can snap a shot rather than just expect everyone else to stop and wait for you.

    In my experience it rarely took more than 10 seconds to take a picture of a cosplayer, and when it did, it was never when there was traffic around me. People cosplay to get pictures taken, but they also go for the event. People do stand in the lobby often, but it's a lot to ask them to stay in one small area to get a picture taken for the whole day, and I don't think it's quite fair that people have to go to a specific area to take pictures of cosplayers/be unable to take pictures of cosplays they see on the floor. Plus, there were and have been booths with a lot bigger, and more obstructive crowds than Nintendo. A lot more traffic clogging comes from those over cosplays. I don't see how it's fair that any random booth can clog the isles for a stage/show/esports, but Cosplayers who have put a lot of effort time and money into their costumes can't let someone who wants their picture take it.

    As far as all this goes... it’s pax. It’s gonna be busy, and have crowds, and waits and bumps in the road. There are like 100k people wandering around. It’s pretty well managed. Nothing is ever going to be perfect in this regard.

    The crowd dictates the focus on cosplay. I love that it’s a do as you will type atmosphere with it. But pax also has presenters who literally have rooms for cosplayers. They had multiple sponsored areas for cosplay photos and a pax presented red carpet area out front this year. It’s still gonna have photos in the walkway.

    e6txb8m8cavf.png



    zerzhul
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    Personally I don't really mind the cosplayers and the traffic they provide. I think raffles are a much bigger issue.

    The things I think would help families enjoy PAX a bit more would be the space somewhere for semi-relaxed eating or simply being out of the stimulation for a moment. In that space, totally have some stuff to do and sell it to sponsors. As an example, Gamewright was part of a booth for a store, we played a round of their Tiki game and donut game and immediately dropped over a $100 between our two families. I would imagine there are other vendors that would have similar results just given a chance to show off a few games (that one with the pirate mouse game comes to mind, I spent money there too!). You could even schedule game demos there - I would think a 2pm "Learning Ticket to Ride" or something similar would result in a vendor selling some games.

    While I completely love the cosplayers, I do think maybe if you're not allowing strollers that the creeper costume was a bit too large for the small spaces of PAX btw, maybe there should be some level of policing that your costume isn't impeding things.

    Honestly though PAX to me should be a place to play together - whether that's board games or video games or whatever - and families should be not just comfortable but feel welcomed. The VIP lounges and streamer focus flies in the face of that to me overall. I would love to see them take an approach to see not just how much stuff can we cram into the space, but really consider how can the most people as possible actually play games and enjoy themselves and being open to people carrying babies or with preteens in tow should be part of that.

  • VGguy49VGguy49 Registered User regular
    mayapple wrote: »
    VGguy49 wrote: »
    MephistoN7 wrote: »
    VGguy49 wrote: »
    jdixon1972 wrote: »
    I second the cosplay photography issue. I can think of atleast five times this PAX that my walking through the expo floor came to a grinding halt because someone out of the blue asked a cosplayer to stop so they could get a picture. I love all the cosplaying and have no issue with them, I just wish PAX could give them a small area for photographs. Maybe a small red carpet area with a PAX logo background (kind of like what you see when movie/tv/sports stars attend an event) would be cool. Photo rights may be an issue, but you could put up a sign at the entrance to the area saying that photos taken here can not be reproduced without the consent of the person/people being photographed. Just a thought.
    I've always wanted to see a greater emphasis/encouragement on cosplay at PAX, kind of the way anime and comic cons do.

    No, please no red carpet with a PAX logo, or anything like that, that's just going to emphasize the really really good ones and make everyone else seem less deserving of attention. I personally think it's absurd that it is okay for booths, even Nintendo, to have massive crowds in front of stages which grind the flow of traffic to a hault, but PAX thinks it's not okay for someone to spend 6 seconds taking a picture of a cosplay, which I have seen many times and it has never stopped traffic. Plus, many are going to want pictures of Cosplayers without specifically going to an area to see them, because what guarantee is there that that really good cosplayer you want to take a picture of will be there?

    Because Nintendo's "massive crowd" was in the middle of the show floor that's 8 lanes wide, so lines were easily able to circumvent around it all four days. The others had Enforcers who regularly pushed people to either move in or keep walking.

    No one takes 'just 6 seconds' to take any photograph at PAX, let alone of a cosplayer. The cosplayer has to stop, hand off their bag (because yes, they are attendees as well), strike a pose, etc. Doing this in the middle of a regular traffic flow, especially in the tighter corridors and aisles, is being inconsiderate.

    I am in support of the option for a designated area. If people are that desperate to get a photo of a cosplay, then they can easily find the area outside of the Expo Hall. If a cosplayer is that good, they're going to want to be in an area to increase that exposure to social media posts. Otherwise, it's as simple as asking if they would mind moving to a more open area on the floor away from the lines so you can snap a shot rather than just expect everyone else to stop and wait for you.

    In my experience it rarely took more than 10 seconds to take a picture of a cosplayer, and when it did, it was never when there was traffic around me. People cosplay to get pictures taken, but they also go for the event. People do stand in the lobby often, but it's a lot to ask them to stay in one small area to get a picture taken for the whole day, and I don't think it's quite fair that people have to go to a specific area to take pictures of cosplayers/be unable to take pictures of cosplays they see on the floor. Plus, there were and have been booths with a lot bigger, and more obstructive crowds than Nintendo. A lot more traffic clogging comes from those over cosplays. I don't see how it's fair that any random booth can clog the isles for a stage/show/esports, but Cosplayers who have put a lot of effort time and money into their costumes can't let someone who wants their picture take it.

    As far as all this goes... it’s pax. It’s gonna be busy, and have crowds, and waits and bumps in the road. There are like 100k people wandering around. It’s pretty well managed. Nothing is ever going to be perfect in this regard.

    The crowd dictates the focus on cosplay. I love that it’s a do as you will type atmosphere with it. But pax also has presenters who literally have rooms for cosplayers. They had multiple sponsored areas for cosplay photos and a pax presented red carpet area out front this year. It’s still gonna have photos in the walkway.

    Oh sure. And as for that creeper for instance, that is way too much. That was way too big, and making it out of cardboard didn't help. It wasn't an issue of pictures, they could barely move at a decent pace because of the size and material of the thing. If your going on the expo hall, you shouldn't do something huge like that. But if you have a Genji or a Chrom or something like that, I'd say that's a bit different. However, when it comes down to photos, I think for the people taking pictures, its going to be very hard to say you can't take a picture of a good cosplay you see unless you track them down later. And it would be even harder, as a Cosplayer, to say no you can't take a picture of me when someone asks (not to mention it potentially coming off as really rude). I am not saying stand in the middle of a busy aisle to take the picture, normally people find a place where there are no people, or preferably, a place in a booth or on the side. Saying no pictures in the expo hall, period, is too much. No stopping in the aisles, that is different, yes that is fair.

    Wishes he could change his username
  • zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 12
    I think that the discussion about "how to keep the aisles clear" is getting a bit off topic from "how could pax potentially be more family friendly." They may be tangentially related, but we've sort of lost the big picture with that line of conversation.

    zerzhul on
    JSVn3QD.png
    mayappleVGguy49jayh0vailta
  • VGguy49VGguy49 Registered User regular
    edited April 12
    zerzhul wrote: »
    I think that the discussion about "how to keep the aisles clear" is getting a bit off topic from "how could pax potentially be more family friendly." They may be tangentially related, but we've sort of lost the big picture with that line of conversation, I think.
    Oh yeah sure apologies XD

    VGguy49 on
    Wishes he could change his username
  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    Would absolutely love for some company to sponsor a kid friendly room, but as others mentioned, that is up to them, not PAX. I will mention the thought to some of the sales folks just to see if its a thing they could pitch to some of the exhibitors that might be interested. If such a thing ever does appear, I hope those of you with families make use of it, and make sure the exhibitors see the benefit of sponsoring it.

    South is certainly turning into a more family friendly show, being less crowded (and thus strollers are allowed in the hall) and a bit slower pace then the other PAXen. I certainly appreciate that for many of you it is farther and thus might not work, but if its an option, its certainly worth looking into.

    -Beker/Erick
    mV2y6kv.png
    mayapplezerzhulilta
  • mayapplemayapple Registered User regular
    Beker wrote: »
    Would absolutely love for some company to sponsor a kid friendly room, but as others mentioned, that is up to them, not PAX. I will mention the thought to some of the sales folks just to see if its a thing they could pitch to some of the exhibitors that might be interested. If such a thing ever does appear, I hope those of you with families make use of it, and make sure the exhibitors see the benefit of sponsoring it.

    South is certainly turning into a more family friendly show, being less crowded (and thus strollers are allowed in the hall) and a bit slower pace then the other PAXen. I certainly appreciate that for many of you it is farther and thus might not work, but if its an option, its certainly worth looking into.

    There were several exhibitors who were walking around the floor finding kids and handing out the kid specific game flyers etc. I was approached several times. This wouldn't do a lot to create a "quiet" space. But a kids game room or something of the like, that also had a play space type thing would see use I'm sure. I think the issue would lie in whether those exhibitors would want to be classified "kid's" games, and whether or not they would want to be separated from the expo floor.

    e6txb8m8cavf.png



  • mayapplemayapple Registered User regular
    The "Geek Moms" usually do panels (that are wonderful for gamer parents/families btw), I wonder if they would be a good resource for PA to help develop what people want to see beyond a forum group.

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  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    The points that have been brought up are fair, and I don't have an issue with many of the suggestions, but I'd like to offer a counterpoint.

    I love PAX because it is for an older crowd. I won't bring my kids until they are at least teenagers. We brought my nephew when he was young and it wasn't fun for anyone. Now that he's a teenager we bring him and it's great.

    If PAX became an event for kids, I believe you'd lose most of what it means to be a PAX and I wouldn't want to attend that show.

    Just my two cents--not trying to say any of your opinions are wrong or that it can't be better for everyone! But I do want to be clear that it's sometimes good to have an event geared for a specific crowd (in this case, an older crowd).

    PAX Prime '07, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '17, '18
    PAX South '15
    PAX East '16, '17
    jayh0va
  • mayapplemayapple Registered User regular
    Pavio wrote: »
    The points that have been brought up are fair, and I don't have an issue with many of the suggestions, but I'd like to offer a counterpoint.

    I love PAX because it is for an older crowd. I won't bring my kids until they are at least teenagers. We brought my nephew when he was young and it wasn't fun for anyone. Now that he's a teenager we bring him and it's great.

    If PAX became an event for kids, I believe you'd lose most of what it means to be a PAX and I wouldn't want to attend that show.

    Just my two cents--not trying to say any of your opinions are wrong or that it can't be better for everyone! But I do want to be clear that it's sometimes good to have an event geared for a specific crowd (in this case, an older crowd).

    It can be both. It can be all really. It is what you make of it. I have been as a single, with just my spouse, the leader of 15 people groups, as a mom, and combinations of all of those. It just makes the experience for you different. We have a diversity lounge, does that make it a LBGTQ event? We had a mls room this year, did that make it a MLS esports event? A room to the side for families wouldn't really do much to make it different for the average paxer. Most wouldn't even know it was there. I dont think pax needs to become an event for kids, but it would be nice to see some options for people who choose to bring them.

    When you have kids, it changes how you live and do things. And yes, that means sometimes you dont get to do fun awesome things like pax without babysitters. But it also means you adapt how you do things. Im not gonna lie, taking my 4 year old on the expo floor is harder than just walking the floor on my own. But watching him enjoy new games and teaching him how to enjoy an event like pax is amazing.

    We also are at a crossroads in gaming. The "average" gamer is not a teenage boy anymore. We have our first real generation of lifelong gamers who have now produced offspring. Its an awesome thing. Pax has done really great things in bringing the gaming community together, Im sure they will continue to do so.

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    Lindsay Lohaniltasurette
  • PavioPavio Registered User regular
    mayapple wrote: »

    It can be both. It can be all really. It is what you make of it. I have been as a single, with just my spouse, the leader of 15 people groups, as a mom, and combinations of all of those. It just makes the experience for you different. We have a diversity lounge, does that make it a LBGTQ event? We had a mls room this year, did that make it a MLS esports event? A room to the side for families wouldn't really do much to make it different for the average paxer. Most wouldn't even know it was there. I dont think pax needs to become an event for kids, but it would be nice to see some options for people who choose to bring them.

    When you have kids, it changes how you live and do things. And yes, that means sometimes you dont get to do fun awesome things like pax without babysitters. But it also means you adapt how you do things. Im not gonna lie, taking my 4 year old on the expo floor is harder than just walking the floor on my own. But watching him enjoy new games and teaching him how to enjoy an event like pax is amazing.

    We also are at a crossroads in gaming. The "average" gamer is not a teenage boy anymore. We have our first real generation of lifelong gamers who have now produced offspring. Its an awesome thing. Pax has done really great things in bringing the gaming community together, Im sure they will continue to do so.

    Understandable!

    I'm not sure you meant to do this, but please don't put words into my mouth though--I think the Diversity Lounge and having MLS and other esports there is great. And PAX is so much about what the people make it that it can be all of those things.

    I also stated that I don't have a problem with many of the suggestions. I think a room for families could be a great idea.

    I just disagree on PAX becoming a family-focused event, so I apologize if I was misunderstanding the aims here. Family friendly, from the suggestions given so far, could be very good, but I believe it should remain an event geared to older patrons. We can disagree on that point civilly without using straw man arguments like "the "average" gamer is not a teenage boy anymore" (never said it was!).

    I love seeing that PAX is diversifying because it is showing the wider shift culturally away from only certain groups, like, as you mention, teenage boys being the only group that can enjoy certain types of gaming. It's making it more awesome for me and for everyone that it's something we can share in all ages and groupings. But while we can and should share this with all ages (gaming with the kids is one of my favorite things outside of PAX itself!), I still like the idea of PAX being an event for older ages :)

    PAX Prime '07, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '17, '18
    PAX South '15
    PAX East '16, '17
  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    Just to throw in my two cents as someone who does not have kids. I was at unplugged and Sunday I believe was billed as a family day. I didn't really notice any difference in my experience then.

    I think a family room or there being some events geared towards kids and families would be nice. Those who want to take use of it can and those that don't or it doesn't apply to don't have to. It would just be another element. Not every part of PAX is geared toward every attendee but there is something for everyone. That's what makes the show great and I think the spirit of this idea is to continue that.

    mayappleLindsay Lohanilta
  • jayh0vajayh0va Registered User regular
    I feel a little late to the party here, but I love the conversation. My PAX friends and I are all starting to have kids (mine is a 4-year-old board gamer) and we've started talking about this as well.

    I am a bit split on this. On one hand, the idea of kid-focused sections of the con (OMG, someone get HABA to sponsor a room!!) is really interesting. I have never been with my family and I expect that to change at some point.

    On the other hand, I see this as an event that I choose to attend for what it is. I don't care about streaming, esports, moba's, cosplay, dance-offs, handhelds, comics, autographs, etc., etc...but I somehow find a way to fill a weekend with board games and indies and leave feeling like I still had more to do (every damn year...). Should I get to a point that the event doesn't provide me what I am looking for, I suppose I'll stop attending. I don't bring my daughter to see Avengers because it's not suited to her (in my parenting opinion). It wouldn't even occur to me to ask Marvel to tone down the movies or make an alternate version, so I can bring her. Similarly, PAX is what it is and when I find that it is an appropriate form of entertainment for her, she will learn the ways of waiting in line and being passed my a media member with a selfie stick (get off my lawn).

    Now, I have a non-gamer wife who graciously lets me f-off to Boston once a year for what has become an annual friend's weekend and I know others don't have that luxury. But I also think that it's reasonable to make some life changes or sacrifices when the stork shows up. One way my family plans to bridge the gap is to hit up smaller cons in a few years or other events that feature characters/games/etc of interest....ConnectiCon or Lego Kidsfest for example.

    tl;dr - I see both sides and hope the conversation continues, for the benefit of parents and childless-hooligans alike.

    7soQh8d.png
    mayapplePavio
  • GrimglaiveGrimglaive Registered User regular
    I feel heavily conflicted. I also see the benefits of both sides. In the end, however, I think I err on the side of a PAX as it is for one reason: space. PAX is bursting at the seams for what it can offer already. There's one convention center with finite space. You add something, something else must go. There's only so much repurposing that can be done. Accommodating kids isn't a matter of, say, inclusive language or signage; it's a significant change to logistical and spatial resources.
    Meaning, this can't be for everyone at all times.
    Everyone has this thing they want -- which gets in? The good news is that this is the sort of reason new cons are cropping up! This seems like a natural and positive evolution of the scene. The big ones spill out, unable to satisfy all needs, so new cons are created to answer the call! So while I'm dubious PAX can be a kidzone con, there's no reason there can't BE a kidzone con! If you build it, they will come~

    jayh0vaPavio
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I'm going to get up on a soapbox for a moment...forgive me. From the vantage point of someone that brought my kid years ago.

    Asking for something to be more inclusive to people with kids in tow isn't asking for PAX to focus on kids or families or asking for it to become kidzone. Asking for a semi-quiet place for a family to eat off the floor, take the infant out of the carrier, or just to let the kids get away from the overwhelming atmosphere of PAX isn't asking for half the expo floor.

    No one here is advocating for it to become a destination for small kids - they are asking for it to be a more welcoming environment for gamers who have kids and either want to bring them with them, or would miss pax if they can't bring them. Again, Mike and Jerry have kids and their primary charity is kid-based so this doesn't seem terrible off-brand to ask.

    You could use that kidzone argument about anything. I could ask we don't give space to Facebook Gamers and Geico Gamers and Twitch as there are a ton of other cons for streamers to go do their thing, yet PAX invites them in. There was already a convention for board games, yet PAX invites them in. I could say jamspace is a waste as there are already indie music festivals and I'm not sure why that fits a gaming convention.

    Decisions are made constantly on who to grant space to, and I think as we do have many gamers that are skewing older now, asking for a small space if possible isn't turning PAX into romper room. And frankly, my suggestions were based partially on the fact that many of us with kids spend double the money on video games and board games (one game for you, one game for me!) so it might be a demographic an advertiser would like to take advantage of.

    jayh0vamayapplesurette
  • iltailta Registered User regular
    I thought the kid-focused Sunday on PAXU was pretty cool, too (as someone who doesn't have kids, but enjoys seeing them take to the stuff that I love!). It was nice to see this overall messaging of "vendors, while kids could show up at your booth on any PAX day, especially consider how to be kid-friendly on this day in particular" along with "let's try to put some kid-and-parent-focused panels on this day in particular".

    I could see doing that with the Sunday of PAXE as well, since it's already a shorter and less sold-out day.

    jayh0va
  • SepiothSepioth Boston, MARegistered User regular
    There would have been a perfect place for a kids zone of sorts.

    Use one if the dead end halls.

    Just like the handheld gaming lounge with those bean bags a section could be put together that is geared torwards parents with kids.

    It could be a little PAXKidz area.

    You could utilize one or two the the meeting rooms as well for devs that have kids games (table or video).

    Have tables so parents can sit and eat with their kids instead of trying to fight for what few tables there are to eat at.

    Maybe a few diaper changing stations with places to dispose of diapers.

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  • whypick1whypick1 PAX [E] Info Booth Manager ~2' from an LCDRegistered User regular
    As Beker stated earlier, we are using all of the building. Without getting rid of something or massively re-organizing things, none of the end-of-hallway areas are available. You're certainly not going to put it next to Jamspace (noisiest area outside of Expo seems like a poor choice), Cuttlefish Theater or one of the non-public areas on the second floor.

    Is it PAX <insert nearest future PAX here> yet?
    mayapplenevermore13
  • TopherRocksTopherRocks Rockstar Beard Grower Kent, OH or Long Island, NYRegistered User regular
    Beker wrote: »
    Would absolutely love for some company to sponsor a kid friendly room, but as others mentioned, that is up to them, not PAX. I will mention the thought to some of the sales folks just to see if its a thing they could pitch to some of the exhibitors that might be interested. If such a thing ever does appear, I hope those of you with families make use of it, and make sure the exhibitors see the benefit of sponsoring it

    It doesn't impact me one way or the other but if this were to happen, might I ask some sort of push for awareness of it? The AFK room is wonderful but it took me 2 years to realize it was even a thing just from lack of awareness. Emails, maybe a push notice in the app and more signage would probably be a big help right away to get it out there.

    mayapple
  • mayapplemayapple Registered User regular
    Beker wrote: »
    Would absolutely love for some company to sponsor a kid friendly room, but as others mentioned, that is up to them, not PAX. I will mention the thought to some of the sales folks just to see if its a thing they could pitch to some of the exhibitors that might be interested. If such a thing ever does appear, I hope those of you with families make use of it, and make sure the exhibitors see the benefit of sponsoring it

    It doesn't impact me one way or the other but if this were to happen, might I ask some sort of push for awareness of it? The AFK room is wonderful but it took me 2 years to realize it was even a thing just from lack of awareness. Emails, maybe a push notice in the app and more signage would probably be a big help right away to get it out there.

    They have entire panels on how to pax. I swear I learn something new every time and I’ve been going since it came to Boston.

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  • widian007widian007 Registered User regular
    Just to throw my two cents in. As a parent I can see the arguments for having a room just for families. However there were plenty of quiet places on the upper hallways that people could have used for places to sit and eat and yes even nap or take some time off from the expo floor. I would look for those spots if I was bringing a little one to pax.

    mayappleSkrepo
  • Consti2tionConsti2tion Registered User regular
    I feel like this is something maybe a Sponsor can put together, much like the Twitch Prime Lounge for 2017. ( Which Incidentally, was a great place for ANYONE to just Decompress and was pretty family friendly)

  • mommy.gamermommy.gamer Registered User new member
    It looks like this convo has kinda fizzled out (understandably), but since folks are starting to talk about PAX East 2019, I figured it was a good time to bring this back up!

    I would LOVE to see a more family-friendly PAX! Last year, I had my little one (under the age of 1) and ended up feeding and changing him in the hallway outside of the "Quiet Room"/AFK because we were pretty much kicked out of that room. It wasn't ideal but worked. However, I think that things could be SO MUCH BETTER!

    We tried out NYCC this year and they had this awesome Family HQ sponsored by Cheerios. There were Cheerio snacks, coloring pages, crafts, chairs and tables and the mascot even came for a visit! Very cute, but very simple. (And it was close to the bathrooms, which was even better!) I wish that PAX could put together something like that. It was such a relief to have a "safe" space to be with my kid and give him a break without having to feel awkward about being the only parent in a space.

    About the strollers - I would never ever think to bring a stroller to a con. Now that my son is a little older, we use one of those backpack carriers so that he's lifted a bit above the crowd. Last year, when he was smaller, I just wore him.

    Just some thoughts!

    Consti2tion
  • Subiegal28Subiegal28 Registered User new member
    I'm been looking into how family friendly PAX East is. This will be my husband and I's first time and we will be bringing our 1 year old. It would be really nice to have a family room to be able to get away from everything. It doesn't even have to be huge, but just a quiet space for families. My biggest concern is nap time and diaper changes. Other than that I will be wearing our LO in a carrier.

    My husband is a HUGE gamer and he and his friends all have kids now. I think it should just be natural progression that the gamers are older and have children and someone should pick up on that.

  • mayapplemayapple Registered User regular
    Subiegal28 wrote: »
    I'm been looking into how family friendly PAX East is. This will be my husband and I's first time and we will be bringing our 1 year old. It would be really nice to have a family room to be able to get away from everything. It doesn't even have to be huge, but just a quiet space for families. My biggest concern is nap time and diaper changes. Other than that I will be wearing our LO in a carrier.

    My husband is a HUGE gamer and he and his friends all have kids now. I think it should just be natural progression that the gamers are older and have children and someone should pick up on that.

    I have brought my now five year old and now two year old since they were babes.

    My best advice is to get a hotel as close as possible. Being able to run back to the hotel like it was just another room, or tag team for different things is a lifesaver. Also, just plan on family time. We know someone is going to have to leave when they get tired/stir crazy. Fortunately, we have grandma in Boston so she takes some shifts, and normally go with a group of 8 plus people who are all aunts and uncles to my kiddos

    I have always been in the byoc. Which I hate to advocate for people to use as a family space, since I did BYOC long before, but honestly, its amazing. I mean, I literally brought a pack n play and set it up in there. The BYOC is a place for computer gamers. You pay like 40 bucks to have access to a guarded, secure area where you can leave things and only people with those passes can come in. Its not quiet because it is basically on the floor (usually near board game world) but it is a calmer space, and since its on the floor essentially, easy to get to store all the things and lay down baby etc. But dont BYOC if you arent going to bring a computer and somewhat engage with BYOC activities lol. There are a lot of families though.

    Find a baby carrier you like. (i have several you can borrow haha) This is a must for a small one, for sleeping and just for crowd control. Bring the umbrella stroller for the places you can use it, and check it/byoc it when you cant.

    The BCEC kind of sucks for child care. No breastfeeding rooms (the new center in San Antonio has amazing bfing spaces), the changing tables are in the family/handicap singles, so they are sometimes hard to access. Im usually not a shy bfeeder. But with 100k of my closest, primarily young, male gamer friends around, it is a little awkward. Kudus to some of the mamas who rock that, I however wasnt comfortable, so I invested in a nice poncho wrap to bring with me.

    With all of that being said, we are lucky to have grandparents close by. We only bring my older one, and probably my two year old this year, to one real day of floor and walking at east, and its usually thurs/sunday. The babies are easier to tote along imo. Mostly, because we are selfish and want the us time lol. Im debating bringing my own babysitter along this year for evenings. Well see how that works. Maybe we should request an in house drop in day care haha

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