Last year (2008) PAX had over 58,000 attendees.
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.
This thread is a place for people to ask questions, and for the PAX experienced to provide answers (and some general PAX wisdom).
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.
How do I register for PAX?
You can register online at http://www.pennyarcadeexpo.com/registration.phpIt's after August 1, if I order my ticket online, where do I pick it up?
In the Will Call line (location to be disclosed)How do I get the PAX discount on my hotel room?
All information on hotels offering a PAX discount is available at http://www.pennyarcadeexpo.com/hotels.php
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?
No, they 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.How far away are the hotels from the convention center?
The Sheraton and Hyatt are about 100 feet from the WSCTC. The Roosevelt is one block away. The Crowne Plaza is less than a quarter-mile away.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.The Sheraton's website says the PAX rate is sold out for date x. What does this mean?
This means that the Sheraton 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
How much does it cost to park?
Parking is $25+ per day. If you're flying in, take a shuttle from the airport, don't bother renting a car. You won't need it unless you want to leave downtown. If you want to avoid valet parking (and limited access to your vehicle), the WSCTC parking lot is right across the street from the Sheraton.Can I volunteer to help out at PAX this year?
If they open up enrollment, an announcement will be made with a link to the application.What should I bring with me to PAX?
I better get this in just so everyone is kinda prepared and in the know of what to bring to PAX or any con that may come their way. (I'm sorry for the huge post, but a lot of people don't know what to bring.)
The Top Twenty Items Forgotten by Convention Attendees Checklist
1. Personal Towel (We know the hotel provides them, but if you're sharing a room with several people, this guarantees you your very own towel. Also, if you plan on using a lot of makeup for a costume or dying your hair *and* use hotel towels, you will be charged a hefty fee for damaging hotel property. Please bring your own towels if you plan to do this.) You may also dip the ends in liquid vitamins and suck on the corners when needed.
* A pretty cool tip involving this is bringing a small clothespin with your name on it to attach to your towel so people can differentiate between yours and theirs. In fact, bring a couple, so you can share with people.
2. Shampoo and Conditioner (Again, the hotel provides these, but the bottles are quite small. Bringing your own ensures you will have some, especially if you use a lot of shampoo or have long hair.)
3. Toothbrush and Toothpaste (You'd be amazed at what going three days without brushing tastes like. Gross.)
4. Deodorant (If you don't bring and use this, don't be surprised when people start edging away from you in packed rooms and theaters. Don't forget the strange looks and cringed noses you'll begin to see.)
5. Razor and Shaving Cream/Gel
6. Comb and/or Hairbrush (some people do use both. You'd be surprised.)
7. One shirt for each day of the convention, plus an extra. (3 days = 4 shirts)
8. Pants (Same number as shirts.)
9. Underwear (3 sets, plus an extra.)
10. Socks (One pair per day plus an extra pair.)
11. Swimsuit (You never know.)
12. Jacket or warm sweater
13. Shoes (If you plan on spending a lot of time dancing or on your feet, make sure you have comfortable shoes with you. Your feet will hurt if you don't have comfy shoes to at least change into.)
14. Any prescribed medication (Make sure to tell your traveling companions/roommates about any medical needs you may have.)
16. Photo ID / Driver's License / Checkbook / Car keys
17. A phone card (Not only is this cheaper than having calls charged to your hotel room, but having several people using one phone can lead to billing confusion with long distance calls. Bring a phone card so you can let your parents/significant other know you made it to the con safely.)
18. An extra pillow and blanket if several people are staying in your room.
19. Some non-perishable food from a supermarket (Like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, pretzels and bottled water or juice. While there are a lot of restaurants close by, this is an easy way to save money. In addition, you'll be able to have your midnight snack without leaving your room.)
20. Your best public manners. (You'd be surprised how many people forget to bring these along.)
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's tons of free shirts and other swag being handed out by various companies *cough*nVidia*cough*
the spoiler is for the REALLY well prepared
A List For The Well Prepared
* Small tube of super glue
* 3 straight pins
* 3 safety pins: 1 small and 2 medium
* Hair pins: 3 medium and 3 heavy
* Small sewing kit (small enough to fit into the palm of your hand)
* Safety matches (1 pack)
* Disposable plastic razor
* Small emery board
* Tylenol/Aspirin (travel sized contaiThe 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's tons of free shirts and other swag being handed out by various companies *cough*nVidia*cough*ner)
* 6 chewable Vitamin C tablets (at least 500 mg each)
* 2 Vitamin B complex tabs, stress formula
* 1 pack Tums/Rolaids
* 6 bandaids (or a travel sized pack)
* 6 antihistamine tablets
* 1 travel pack of tissues
* Tube of chapstick or other lip balm
* 6 cough drops or throat lozenges
* Smallest size of tiger balm or camphophenique oil
* Travel size tube of spot remover
* Spare car and house keys
* Breath freshener
* 6 moist towelettes (for cleaning hands)
* Small pencil sharpener
* Small pen
* 1 small pack of post-it-notes (the square ones work fine)
* Clear nail polish
* Small amount of masking tape wrapped around a short pencil
* 6 rubber bands
* 3 unlubricated condoms
* Small penknife
* Small tube of neosporin
* 3 garbage bag twist ties
* Mustache scissors (small pair of scissors will work as well)
* Styptic pencil or qwik stop
* Hand lotion (travel size)
* Aloe vera gel (travel size)
* 3 nail polish remover pad
* Tampons or pads if you are the type to bleed occasionally
Where can I get something to eat in downtown Seattle?
Practically everywhere, there are two malls and Pike Place Market all within walking distance of the Convention Center and Hotels.I hear there's a Gameworks near the WSCTC, what's a Gameworks?
Gameworks is a 2-story arcade with full restaurant and bar on the upper floor. Arcade games from all eras, including a section to win tickets and redeem them for cheezy prizes. The food is pretty good, but the service can suck sometimes. The bar is a bar. It has booze. It's also in a more separate section of the upper floor that's roped off for 21+, but still has a kickass view of the whole facility.
What does BYOC stand for?B
omputer, more information will be forthcoming in the springWhat is the exhibit 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's tons of free shirts and other swag being handed out by various companies.Should I buy a Nintendo DS/bring my DS to PAX?
When do I sign up for tournaments?
Tournament registration is day-of. Get there early, most tournaments fill up within an hour or two of PAX opening.How do I become and 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 18 peope to get the call.
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 involvedHow do the concerts work?
What's the weather like in Seattle during PAX?
Bracelets are distributed by Enforcers, and having one will make sure you get in first, but I don't recall hearing the theaters filling up to the point where they had to turn people away. If you don't get one, you should still be able to get in, you just won't be able to get in super early.
Also, if you BYOC, you're given a bracelet.
The weather's been great for every single PAX. (subject to interpretation)
In the beginning of September, expect temperatures of mid-to-high 50's (only late at night of course) to the mid 70's.I'm flying to PAX, how soon should I book my flight?
As soon as you can. Airline tickets cost more the closer you get to the date of travel.Why is PAX Labor Day weekend instead of the last weekend in August like it used to be?
Will x tournament or event be happening at PAX?
The decision to hold PAX on Labor Day weekend going forward is threefold:
1. Given 70% of attendees are coming in from out of town, it allows for 1 extra day of travel as opposed to rushing back on Friday night.
2. Seattle (despite Bumbershoot being that same weekend) is actually dead in terms of out-of-town travel on Labor Day Weekend. What this means is we're able to negotiate hotel room rates at much more aggressive rate than the week before - we're literally talking a difference of hundreds of dollars for the weekend for attendees.
3. Because most conferences/trade shows are business-to-business, we're actually able to get the space we need as opposed to being crammed in with another large show.
Possibly, check out this forum announcement
of official PAX event threads.What are the hours of PAX?
Friday, Sept 4th, 2009 - 10am to 3am
Saturday, Sept 5th, 2009 - 10am to 3am
Sunday, Sept 6th, 2009 - 10am to 7pm
EXHIBIT HALL HOURS
Friday, Sept 4th, 2009 - 10am to 7pm
Saturday, Sept 5th, 2009 - 10am to 6pm
Sunday, Sept 6th, 2009 - 10am to 6pm
BYOC Check-in is Friday starting at 8amHow do you get a concert wristband/what is a concert wristband?
The concert wristband allows you into the concerts first. All BYOC attendees and the first x
people into PAX on Friday and Saturday will be given a concert wristband. They are not required to get into the concert, but if you don't have one, you won't be able to get in until all of the wristbanded people are inside.I live outside the United States. How do I fill in my phone number on the registration form? It doesn't fit.
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.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.
How do we transfer tickets? I bought a registration and BYOC pass, but recently found out I won't be going, and have a buyer through the "buy a ticket sell a ticket" thread, 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. For the 3-day pass you just have to mail it to the guy when they are shipped out.
For BYOC, have the guy buying the ticket make an account on the intel LANfest site, then on your account submit a support ticket to have the ticket and seat transfered to him.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 do that via the registration site (accessable from http://www.paxsite.com/registration.php
). Just click the question mark, select the last option, and it should guide you through the process of changing the address to whatever you want.When is the PAX08 DVD coming out?
WE DON'T KNOW!!I registered for PAX ticked off that I wanted the ECA membership but I have yet to receive anything from them. What's the deal?
All the ECA memberships will be sent to them at once after registration closes, so you shouldn't expect anything until then.
When will x be announced?
Soon.Will there be WiFi accessable at PAX?
Yes, but with the number of people using it, it may be a bit spotty.Are there going to be a ton of people this year?
Theres going to be a ton of people.Will just one day will be enough PAX?
No. There can never be enough PAX (unless you're an enforcer).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.I'm wearing a costume that has plastic weapons that look like real weapons? Will I have any problems with security/police?
Yes. Do yourself a favor and leave anything that resembles a weapon
at home.Do the PAX passes have my name on them?
No.What, other than the convention center and hotels, is in the area around PAX? Places to eat, shop, etc?
Check out the Seattle Area Map and Info Thread
for details on the surrounding PAX area.How hard is it to get around downtown Seattle? Will I need a car?
Most of anything you will need is located within walking distance of the PAX hotels and convention center. You will only need a car if you plan on traveling outside of downtown (so probably not at all)Is there any free parking downtown?
No, parking costs money downtown.Why can't the passes be mailed out internationally?
A lot of internationally-shipped badges were eaten by the post in 07. It's easier all around to have you pick up your badge at Will Call, and skip the whole "where's my badge?!" panic at the end of August.