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  • ElectricTurtleElectricTurtle Registered User
    edited March 2009
    The occasional cosplay and the inclusion of Pink Godzilla is about as much overlap as PAX has with any anime/comic con. There has never been anything even remotely analogous to an artist alley in previous years, but PAX is very much about community, and a lot of events have grown out of the forums. The Supertrips, the Pre-PAX Dinner, the Magical Mystery Tour, the Pub/Bar Crawl, Buttoneering, PAXssassins, and the Cookie Brigade among other things have all risen out of somebody on the forums essentially saying 'wouldn't it be cool if we did this?'

    ElectricTurtle on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Numquam magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit.
    There has never been a great spirit without a touch of insanity.
    (Seneca Philosophus, De tranquillitate animis)
  • Trisha LynnTrisha Lynn Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The occasional cosplay and the inclusion of Pink Godzilla is about as much overlap as PAX has with any anime/comic con.

    And that is where I am going to gibber in fear because I've only ever been to anime/comics cons since I started down the path to geekdom in 1993.

    Trisha Lynn on
    -- Editor/Publisher, GeekingOutAbout.com
    -- Publisher, Saucy Goose Press
    -- On Twitter @trishalynn
  • ElectricTurtleElectricTurtle Registered User
    edited March 2009
    PAX is a very unique animal. Nothing else really can prepare you for it. It's not as commercial/impersonal/dev-focused as E3, TGS, or GDC. However there's enough polish that it doesn't come off as amaturish as MAGFest (no disrespect intended) or VGXPO (disrepect very much intended).

    PAX has a lot more community involvement than any other show its size. I suppose that comes from the nature of its transition from several hundred people in a few rooms to tens of thousands in the biggest space in the state. Usually small cons stay that way and big ones are built from the top down by industry consortiums so that there is little to no room for any personality or soul. Penny Arcade is an anomaly, latched onto by so many because it began to represent an honest, informed, and relevant opinion in an industry largely dominated by hype, self-promotion, and under-the-table deals to skew reviews, benchmarks, and anything else that might sway public opinion. It's a dynamic, symbiotic relationship that PA Inc. was smart enough to close the other end of the loop on, by which I mean first the fanbase came to trust PA, and then PA trusted the fanbase. Now the PA fanbase is integral to producing meaningful parts of the experience, whether through official channels like the PAX 10 or the panel submissions, or through unofficial community structures like here in the forums. PAX has managed to grow huge and yet through adaptive effort every year, still feel relatively small (for those smart enough to pay attention, as opposed to all the jackasses who show up, look at the expo hall, and think 'hur hur well I guess I have experienced ALL THERE IS AT PAX HUR HUR' and then leave).

    ElectricTurtle on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Numquam magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit.
    There has never been a great spirit without a touch of insanity.
    (Seneca Philosophus, De tranquillitate animis)
  • MaoChanMaoChan Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Mirroring many statements here, the intimacy level is what really drives PAX to being awesome. It wasn't just the people attending but also many of the vendors too I think helped that. Last year ended up getting personal tours and sit downs with Atari devs, EA Redwood (Deadspace) just by talking to them and them being truly interested in wanting to talk to their audience.

    Shining moment was at Sega and the Valkyria Chronicles guy there was talking to us about the game but people were hogging it and he said "come back at 4pm and I'll walk you through this and let you play all you want". Came back and got a 1 hour personalized walkthrough by the localization staffer. Total Win.

    MaoChan on
  • Manch_ErickManch_Erick Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Ya this thread has me pumped. I'll be heading to Seattle for the first time just for PAX 09, staying like a week so we plan on hitting the local seen b4 and after the festival. I also live North of Boston so I'll post ticket prices and hotel rates as I get them, just feelin good knowing I'll hit Pax 09 in Seattle then come home for PAX10 in Boston, its going to be a nice holiday.

    I'm going to be soaking up knowledge from these forums the next few weeks, this thread in particular has given me great insight in how to prepare. Thanks You All

    Manch_Erick on
  • emarecksaykayemarecksaykay Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    The way I'd describe PAX is that it's a massive party with tens of thousands of your closest friends. As people have said over and over, PAX isn't an industry convention. It's a consumer-created weekend-long celebration of games and gamer culture. The best part of the expo isn't the booths or whatever the game companies have to show, but all the people who came out to hang out and party together for three days. Stuff like the Omegathon, (some of the) panels, and concerts are totally unique events you just wouldn't find at an E3-type convention. More than that though, Seattle basically gets taken over by thousands of people with the same interests as you. I found the last time I was there in 2007, that even far away from the convention hall, PAX-goers were everywhere. And because PAX-goers are the most friendly people with so much in common with each other, you can pretty much just talk to anybody like they're good friends. We all know it, and Child's Play certainly proves it, but gamers are good people, and this whole weekend is about us. It's not just Seattle that gets taken over by PAX-goers though, it's the convention itself that gets taken over. If you look at some of the events that were planned for in the past (and are in the works again for this year) like the Supertrips, pre-PAX dinner/movie/breakfast/bar-crawl/whatever, buttoneering, and so on, these were created fairly spontaneously by the community. The idea that a person can say "hey, this might be fun", and it turns into a massive PAX event year after year, is not something you'll find anywhere else. But that's PAX for you, very much a grassroots organization bigger than any company or group could invent. It's got Penny Arcade in the name, but they merely provide a medium for us to have our party in, and it's the people who show up for it that make it great.

    emarecksaykay on
    -mrxak, OMEGANAUT '09
    (You just say the letters)
  • Moe FwackyMoe Fwacky Moderator mod
    edited April 2009
    Actually, I created the CCST because somebody told me it couldn't be done.

    I showed that guy!

    Moe Fwacky on
    E6LkoFK.png

  • emarecksaykayemarecksaykay Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Moe Fwacky wrote: »
    Actually, I created the CCST because somebody told me it couldn't be done.

    I showed that guy!

    Haha, right on! Anything is possible when you bring together so many gamers!

    emarecksaykay on
    -mrxak, OMEGANAUT '09
    (You just say the letters)
  • Qs23Qs23 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If you plan it... they will come.

    Qs23 on
    PASig.gif
  • ArcoArco Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Last year was my first PAX. Here's what I learned:

    1) Bring a backpack or something to carry around with you. It helps if you get swag, plus you can carry around some food and drink, your DS, digital camera, books, whatever.

    2) Don't carry anything liquid in your bag unless it's in a very secure container, like a nalgene. I had a few cans of Mt. Dew in there last year and they were punctured by something inside my bag, leaking all over everything inside. Luckily nothing was damaged.

    3) Everything you're going to want to do is going to have a line, and a long one. Factor this into making your schedule, if you're into making a schedule, and don't let it bug you. I was initially very shocked and a little dismayed at the long lines, but the people in line are so much fun that it doesn't really feel like waiting.

    4) As far as making a schedule goes, my experience was that it all went out the window an hour into the first day. Ultimately I missed a lot of things I had on my schedule that I wanted to go to, just to hang out with people or play games or get food, and I didn't mind at all. It's a very spontaneous environment.

    5) If you can afford it and if it's part of your plans, get a room at one of the hotels within a block of the convention center. It strips away an entire layer of inconvenience and it's absolutely, 100% worth the money. Last year I was at the Roosevelt, about 50 steps from the convention center. Being able to run back to your room for stuff you've forgotten, a change of clothes, to drop stuff off, etc. and not have it influence your day in any real way is awesome. Plus, that area is absolutely swarming with PAX people, PAX posters, enforcers, etc. It makes you part of the community 24/7. You don't get up and "go" to the expo; you're already there.

    6) Pre-PAX and after hours events are awesome. You meet great people that you then hang out with at the con and have a lot of fun. I highly recommend them.

    7) Bring something portable and wireless for when you're standing in line. DS is the most popular platform. It helps to pass the time.

    As someone else has mentioned, PAX is about the people. This is a three day long party. On the train trip up last year, I was up for 40 hours straight. At the end, I wasn't tired at all because I had been having fun non stop the entire time. I didn't have time to be tired. That's what PAX does to you. It's the most fun I've ever had. I can't wait for this year.

    Arco on
    Like this, not like the gas station.
    Organizer of the Post-PAX Party. You should come!
    Satellite Theater for life!
  • caddyalancaddyalan Registered User
    edited April 2009
    I'm a little disappointed to hear that there's no artist alley. Maybe I'll bring some of my recently purchased videogame-related bookmarks, buttons, and other creative stuff from other cons' artist alleys along, in case I run across anyone who doesn't know what the benefits of one are.

    I'm hoping to meet some internet-famous people, especially the RetroforceGo crew. If they're hosting an event and I have to wait in a line, then I'll bring my willingness to talk with people, my charged-up DS, and my knowledge of amusing memes. :P

    A downtown hotel would be nice, especially compared to catching a bus toward airport hotels, or trying to find a cab. With five months left, it will cost me about $1000 to get airfare and a downtown hotel for a slightly extended weekend. I'll try to decide soon if the experience will be worth it.

    caddyalan on
  • mavrick88mavrick88 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    The DS is a life saver in the first day 10 hour wait line. Saved my life in the hour wait line for Left 4 dead.

    Also don't plan on charging a DS in the first day line. Last year a guy got yelled at for doing that.

    mavrick88 on
    I was driving some out-of-towner friends around, and I kept complaining about being blinded. They responded with "You see, where we come from, people tend to wear Sunglasses." I retorted with a simple "You people tend to have sun."
  • ElectricTurtleElectricTurtle Registered User
    edited April 2009
    10 hour wait? When did you start, 4 am?

    ElectricTurtle on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Numquam magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit.
    There has never been a great spirit without a touch of insanity.
    (Seneca Philosophus, De tranquillitate animis)
  • mavrick88mavrick88 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    ok so I exaggerated a little. more like 5-6 hour wait.

    mavrick88 on
    I was driving some out-of-towner friends around, and I kept complaining about being blinded. They responded with "You see, where we come from, people tend to wear Sunglasses." I retorted with a simple "You people tend to have sun."
  • parabolaparabola Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    10 hour wait? When did you start, 4 am?

    I got there at 6am ish and there were already people lining up.

    parabola on
  • crackgoblincrackgoblin Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    parabola wrote: »
    10 hour wait? When did you start, 4 am?

    I got there at 6am ish and there were already people lining up.

    so with pax starting at 10 am this year, what time would be a good time to get there?

    crackgoblin on
    its a secret to everyone
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