After asking JonXP for permission, I'm going to try to get this event rolling! JonXP can't make it out to Prime this year. Thanks JonXP for all of the hard work!
PAX PRIME BUTTONEERING 2015!
Pin trading is growing big, but why not also trade some personal buttons and meet up with fellow PAX attendees! We are getting a bit of a late start, but it would be awesome to try to see what we can pull off in a short amount of time.
What is Buttoneering?
Buttoneering is a meta-game that takes place every year at PAX Prime (and to a lesser extent PAX East and other events). You play by printing up a large number of buttons with a picture that represents you, and then find other people at your event to trade with you. It is remarkably easy to do, and it's a great way to meet people. Additionally, you come away with a huge number of buttons that are a unique souvenir of your time.
What are the rules?
Well, there are only a couple. First, if you get a button you should give a button, and vice versa. This applies to the "avatar" button, which is the one that represents you personally. If you have made other buttons representing a group, game, or are just something special, you can set your own rules for what people need to do to get them. As usual, follow Wheaton's Law for maximum fun.
How did Buttoneering start?
It started out as a problem at PAX 2008 for members of the PAX Forum Community. They wanted a way to be able to pick each other out of the crowd of more than 55,000 gamers. The initial idea was for t-shirts with everyone's avatars printed on them. Once someone pointed out the added benefit of being able to smell fellow forum members coming, other ideas were proposed.
Finally, everyone settled on making buttons with their avatars on them. After some initial research, it was discovered that one could get bulk amounts of these created for relatively cheaply, and the idea of PAX Button Exchange was born!
Where can I get buttons?
We recommended PureButtons because of their excellent customer service, good prices, and being all-around cool folks. No, we don't get paid to say that. If you're not in the U.S., feel free to ask in the thread to find info on providers closer to home, or if you're the trusting type, ask if you can ship the buttons to someone who is, to save yourself some shipping costs. PureButtons has also given us a special promo code for us to use to save a few bucks on an order. Please send me a private message here on the forum and I'll respond with the code!
When should I purchase buttons?
As soon as you can. Most button manufacturers need at least 1-3 business days to make your order plus the time to ship to you. This can easily add up to around a week of waiting to get your buttons. If it is around August 13th and you still need to order buttons, you should check with the site to see if they can deliver them to you on time (or to a trusted friend who is closer).
How do I participate?
Here are the steps for participating in Buttoneering:
Choose your button size and shape, and make your artwork. 1.5 inch round buttons are by far the most popular, and are a good compromise between price and size.
Order your buttons. With the late start this year, a small batch of 25-50 may be sufficient for trading. In the past, around 50-100 would be enough for trading throughout the weekend.
Upload your artwork to BUTTONEERING!
, our official Buttoneering site. This is totally optional, but it provides a great way to keep track of your collection.
Go to PAX, trade with other Buttoneers, take pictures, have fun, and go home with a giant collection.
How do I make sure I have a chance at collecting all of the things!?
Come to a Buttoneering meetup! It is a great chance to meet fellow PAX goers and collect a lot of buttons! Currently, these are the times/places will be meeting up at.Meetup Schedule
Saturday Morning, 9AM @ Juicy Cafe
Sunday Morning, 9AM @ Juicy Cafe
Monday Afternoon, After the Omegathon in front of the convention center main entrance
Other frequently asked questions:
Q. Why do you only list Purebuttons.com as a source of buttons? Are you banging the owner?
You are free to have your buttons made by anyone, make them your self if you'd like. Our prior experience shopping around last year has shown that you really can't beat the price Purebuttons offers for buttons in bulk. If you can, let us know your insider info.
Q. How do I get a button? What are these "bonus buttons"?
The buttons fall in to two categories, the "avatar" or "main" buttons, and the "bonus" variety. While there are no set rules for trading them, these general guidelines are encouraged:
- Avatar buttons should be traded for other Avatar buttons, with no challenges or criteria expected to be fulfilled other than you are both Buttoneers.
- Bonus buttons may (or may not!) have special criteria for receiving them, and may go to people outside the button game who fulfill the criteria. This could be a challenge ("What is the flightspeed of an unladen swallow?"), a requirement ("You must be a member of the CEOs of America Club"), or one may just ask for one (remember to say "Please").
Q. I want to make people stand on their head, nude, while singing "Yankee Doodle" to receive my buttons! Can't I do that?
It is perfectly within your rights, but don't expect many people to trade their buttons back with you.
Q. Do I have to purchase hundreds of buttons to participate?
Purchase as many or as little as you want. As they say the more the merrier, more than likely you will only be able to recieve as many buttons as you have to give. Last year a somewhat active person could easily go through 100+ buttons.
Q. With 55,000+ people, how will I find you all to get my trade on?
Many if not most of us will be attending various community ran events. Feel free to stop by the Pre-PAX Dinner, the Pre-PAX Movie, Pre-PAX Pubcrawl, or the Pre-PAX Breakfast. We'll be there in droves. Most people don't have problems finding others in any crowd. We stand out pretty hard.
Q. I want to make sure I get EVERY SINGLE BUTTON I can, will there be a Buttoneer meetup?
YES. See the schedule for the events. The one that is traditionally most attended is always in front of the convention center after the last round of the Omegathon.
Q. You said this is a game! How do we know who won?
Everyone is a winner! Especially you! You're so special, you know that?
Q. Will I be able to fly with my buttons. Are they considered an instrument of death?
As confirmed by the US TSA and experience from past years, 1" -1.5" buttons are not classified as an instrument of death even if you have a 100, and can be carried on or checked (they did say that depending on the TSA Agent you may be asked [forced at gun point] to check the buttons).
But remember this only applies to people whose flight originates in the US. If you are flying into the US with buttons make sure you check with your TSA equivalent before bringing them on a plane. The TSA people here also highly suggested that you check with US Customs (contact via your local embassy) before you try and bring them into the country (they indicated that the problem isn't with the button it's with what you could be hiding in the button). Recap: If you're in the US you can fly w/ buttons, if you're not you're probably better off mailing.
If you want to see an example of past year's buttons, you can see some of them at http://buttoneering.org/events/pax-prime-2014/buttons
Or take a look at this year's uploaded buttons at http://www.buttoneering.org/events/pax-prime-2015/buttons