Yes! With Frosting!*
WHAT: A coordinated meetup the night before PAX for anyone with board games, or anyone who wants to play boardgames. About 500-ish people usually attend.
WHERE: The "Galleria" exhibition hall in the basement of The Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel: 425 Summer Street.
WHEN: Wednesday April 4 - 4:00 PM until 1:00am
HOW: There is no formal game library. Attendees bring whatever games they like and a borrower-lender matchup system is provided.
WHO: Anybody who wants to come. You don't need badge. The Cookie Brigade will be there.
This event is ALL AGES!! It's also FREE! And there are NO SIGNUPS!!! Just show up and have a great time. Feel free to bring your spawn, but remember that PAXers have filthy, filthy mouths and your wee ones may be subject to some exciting new vocabulary.
THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: The Westin gives us this space for free. They are not obligated to host us and we make every effort to be good guests. We negotiate this every year in exchange for a good bar and restaurant take. It will be a little inconvenient since we'll be pretty far away from the bar and restaurant, but even so, please make every effort to purchase from the Birch Bar for food and drink this evening and encourage your tablemates to do the same.
- Please don't be an egregious douchebag. For example, one year in Seattle, some guy decided it would be a great idea to vape in the ballroom and the hotel manager came and had an unpleasant chat with me about it. This isn't your buddy's garage man cave, please act appropriately. We pride ourselves on being a responsible, self-policing community, so if you see someone acting inappropriately (smoking, vandalizing or just being a dick), it's a good idea to nicely recommend they knock it the fuck off before management does.
- Political arguments are included in the "don't be a dick" rule. If discussions at your table get heated, DROP IT. If your argument is emotional enough to get loud or disrupt the game or neighboring tables, you may be asked to leave. This isn't the place: take a break from all that shit for the night. We're all gamers here.
- Be Excellent to each other. We freaks and geeks can be a socially maladroit group, so if someone is shyly lurking by your table, invite them to join. Be patient, be nice. Please don't flip your table.
Food and Drink
- There will be a bar downstairs.
- Drinks can be ordered from the Birch Bar upstairs and taken downstairs.
- NO DRINKS CAN BE TAKEN OUTSIDE OF MJ O'Connor's. Please do not order drinks for takeout from them. (Their restaurant license is separate from the Westin and takeout cocktails are illegal).
- No outside boozes. Just don't.
- There will be no table service.
- Food can be ordered from the Birch Bar upstairs. Please make every effort to order from them - I know it's pricey but it's how we pay for this space.
- No outside food please unless we hear otherwise closer to the event.
- The Cookie Brigade will have a table for dropoff and donations
HOW IT WORKS
1. The Cookie Brigade will be staffing the info table. Additional volunteer staffers are always needed, so step up if you want to take a shift for an hour or two that evening!
2. If you've got a game and are looking for players, put the box top of the game vertically on your table. This is the universal sign for "I don't care who you are, please join us"
3. If you're looking to join a game, look for vertical box tops.
4. We will have a hosted checkout system at the info table. You can drop off games to loan or borrow games there. If you're dropping off, I recommend doing this:
The "Otis" meeting room will be open 24 hours all weekend for casual gaming. Please don't game in the lobbies or mezzanine; the hotel would like to keep those areas clear for the comfort of non-convention guests.
Never Been? Here's what you should know:
Pre-PAX Game Night at the Westin has been a tradition for 5+ years at East. Hundred seats are filled to bursting with players and boardgames of all sorts, and the event is one of the only all-ages, free-to-attend activities on Thursday night. Renting this space is cost prohibitive, so we've successfully negotiated with the hotels to give us space for free every year (no small feat).
You don't have to pay to get in, it's open to the public, all-ages, and people are really nice. It's a great way to come and kick off PAX with a massive group of friendly, like-minded PAXers and the selection of boardgames is mindblowing. You can bring your own, or find someone to borrow a game from. There is no central game library but lots of people bring private collections to loan out during the event while other folks prefer to set up a single game ahead of time that they bring. It's very free-form and is a completely volunteer, community run event.
Check out last year's thread here
to learn more about it.
*So I went back and rewatched the episode and realized that I got the reference mixed up. I don't care; it's punchier this way.