The time is upon us, children, the time of year when little nerdlings all along the east cost get uppity and antsy and angry because PAX East is 167 days away, and tickets are almost already completely sold out. If you didn't get tickets yet, hurry quick, because only Friday and Sunday passes are currently still available and even their availability is low.
The reason I say hurry is for one simple fact: PAX East was the best experience of my whole past year (other than getting married).
Yes, people complain about the availability of PAX East passes (which I will also do here a little bit), and boycott it (for valid reasons, for the most part)—but truly there is not another gaming convention that can beat it. Most arguing and volatile parties agree—PAX East is a great way to draw commonalities between people that otherwise would be more likely to flame a stranger than shake hands and play Cards Against Humanity with them. Maybe I'm stereotyping a little bit, but I speak from a place of experience. When I went to my first PAX East with my friend Walt and soon-to-be-husband Jerry last year I had no idea what to expect—I was nervous about the hordes of people, anxious about lines, and worried that I wouldn't be "legit" enough for Walt's tabletop friends to like me. Man, I was so wrong.
PAX, despite being a totally garbage user experience for buying tickets is AWESOME. Not only did I get to hang out with all the people in the world that I love most, I also got to meet new friends, play new games that hadn't been released yet and run a Light Weight RPG campaign with people that I never thought I'd get around a tabletop all together. PAX was (and will be this year) a safe haven for all nerding types—whether they be fully-closeted or out cosplaying as a Brony, a Little Sister, or Grim Fandango. Everyone was friendly, talkative and generally accepting, which also seems to be a far cry from what I've experienced from my fellow gamers in the past. I mean, who doesn't want to live in a society with rules like these, even if it's only for three days:
Long and short of it is—PAX is awesome, and worth every red cent you spend to go. Do it at least once in your life if you care about video games, yourself, freedom, or FUN. It is just that good. I mean, heck, look at the sweet haul of goodies I got for tabletop just on my first day:
Now, on to the bad—you did see that I mentioned 0/8 bits up there, right? Buying tickets for PAX is a total mess. Not only are there scalpers up the wazoo who buy tons of tickets at a time and resell them for prices 5+ times more than they purchased them for, but Penny Arcade's servers for the site go down almost immediately every time, apparently. I experienced it first hand this year when trying to purchase tickets for Jerry and I (and for Walt later, which I forgot originally because I am a huge jerk). Penny Arcade announced that tickets would go on sale at midday the next day, and I (like thousands of others) logged on to the site at 11:55 to make sure I got the treasured three-day passes. Unfortunately, due to traffic I assume, the PAX East Registration site went down and neglected to inform me (when I was able to refresh) that tickets were on sale at another site. I checked Twitter and realized the error and immediately jumped into queue on ShowClix, the service PAX used to sell tickets this year. After sitting in queue for about 30 minutes for the three-day passes that I had selected at the start of the process, I was kicked out and informed they were all sold out. While I understand that maintaining a server is difficult, I felt that there was more that could have been done to tell people on the actual PAX East site proper that there were ticket sales happening elsewhere—the fact that it wasn't updated until around 12:30 after three-day passes sold out was a bit of a farce and a disservice to loving fans.
Whatever, I got the tickets in the long run and myself, my biff Walt and my hubby Jerry are all going for yet another round of awesome game-filled fun this year. And I can. not. wait. <3 p="">