PAX West 2017


Whenever there is a “this one weird night is sold out everyone” you can almost always assure it is an “OnPeak fucked something up” moment happening.


This will be my 22nd PAX, and Unplugged will be number 23.

Is it really OK to keep this up forever?


Unlike anime cons (which I increasingly find have little value), PAX is an excuse to play a ton of games with both friends and strangers. I feel like I can keep doing it so long as it remains primarily game-playing focused (and never becomes ExpoStreamer Con).


This year will be my 17th European Juggling Convention in a row. As far as I’ve know, the longest attendance streak is 21 in a row, but I hope to get there!


Will your 17th be the person with 21’s 22nd?


No, he did his 21 convention streak ending in 2007 or something like that. He’s now been to 30 or so.


People REALLY don’t want to go on Monday.


Their loss, Monday is kind of magical at PAX West. Maybe because you know everyone else is at work.


I’m kinda worried about it since I like going on the off day from Bumbershoot. If they got rid of the fourth day and it lined up with Bumbershoot then I probably wouldn’t go. I think the major appeal for a lot of people here is playing board games with friends they don’t see often or strangers but I don’t really have any interest in playing board games with strangers and I can play with friends outside of the expo if I want to.

Going to some of the shows is another pretty big draw but personally I find all the shows less interesting than going to see musicians I like play live.


There are tons of music festivals every year. There is only one PAX.


Four does not equal one.


PAX West is the only “real” PAX.


I think if PAX wasn’t in Seattle I wouldn’t continue to go to it honestly. What is the main draw? Playing games with people? Playing video games with people is mostly off the table. There’s not really anything more to it than just playing online with people. And for board games I don’t want to play with random people. So if I play with my friends I’m paying for atmosphere of being around other people? I can get that for free at a more comfortable scale outside of PAX. So then there’s the expo hall which is neat for indie games and that’s usually what I spend my time on when I go. Looking around at other stuff is cool too but I think you’d agree that’s inferior to the actual game playing. I’ve been to enough live shows at PAX to know it’s enjoyable but not as enjoyable to me as musical live shows.


I think there is probably a drop-off point for return con attendance. In the first few years, you are in awe of all the spectacle. But then it wears off.

I am bored with the spectacle, but now I have grown many friendships with people I almost never see outside of these con environments. I keep going for the people and the good times we have.


The con is an excuse to get all of those people in one city at the same time.


Yeah, that’s sort of the curious thing. A lot of people in Seattle that I know who go to PAX enjoy going, myself included, but I think there is a higher level of excitement for people who live outside of Seattle primarily based on those aspects. A lot of locals I know who go will sometimes stick around after hours for gaming, but tend to usually just go to local places around the area to do so instead of hanging around the convention center. Partially I think because they’re not tied to a hotel, have local places they like to go to, and have to get home at some hour.


Some subset of the crew converges in one city 3-4 times a year and hangs out all weekend.

After Unplugged, I think everyone in the convention crew has a PAX (or a MAGFest) in their home city except New York at this point. They had a Burning Con for a few years, though.


I can’t tell if this is a bad picture or if they just fucked up the colors.

Where did the brown go?


OF COURSE the tickets had to go on sale the ONE DAY last week when I was doing interviews all day. Soooo, if no one else has claimed your sets Scott, I will take one set of badges for Katie. I’m good since I’m doing Dev again. There’s also a possibility I won’t need the extra set if I get selected for [E], but not going to count on that.


I suspect [E] is all-but guaranteed. Since West is four days, they’re often hurting for skilled Enforcers, especially as veterans take years off or semi-retire.