PAX Day Three: Final
And thus PAX came to an end.
The more charitable conclusion is that I simply came during an off year. Or perhaps an off PAX. But what I truly want to say is that the show sucked. At least to this particular non-con going groupie. And I’m thinking that the allure of cons are getting diminished by the same forces that generated a niche market in making physical boxes for all-digital games.
The Twitch booth out on the show floor was extremely hard to miss. After a few minutes, the irony of my having spent a considerable amount of money to fly into the Boston snowpocalypse just to come to PAX and watch a Twitch stream in person was too much to bear. The same principle held for Overwatch and the new expansions to GW2 and FF14 – why stand in line for 2+ hours to play these particular games that will either be released or in public beta in a number of months? Maybe it made sense back in the days when we got our gaming news from magazines (remember those?), but not today.
I mean, they had a bunch of booths for iPad games for god’s sake.
Luckily, I came because of friends. PAX definitely had a better setup for free-playing various games than GenCon. But that was about the long and short of it. If I could do things over again, I probably would have bought a PS4 and just took a 5-day staycation.
Posted on March 9, 2015, in Miscellany and tagged Indie, PAX, Staycation, Twitch. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
I always though PAX was more about the culture than the games. The CCG/TT stuff, the music, the people. Video games were more of an excuse than anything else.
Was there more that you got to see? I’d be curious to see the new table top stuff coming down the line.
I didn’t really get a chance to play any unreleased tabletop stuff, although I spent quite a long time at the tabletop freeplay area.
I went to 4-5 panels and each one required you to spend an hour or more in line, not counting how long the panel itself took. Take that, add in lunch and dinner, mix in the commuting time, and the end result was… not at all worth it.
Bah that stinks. Thanks for the summary all the same.
“I mean, they had a bunch of booths for iPad games for god’s sake.”
The future has arrived.
Think I went to PAX East two years ago, maybe three, and yea, while it was interesting, it wasn’t really ‘worth it’, and I freaking live near Boston. Standing in a crazy long line to play something for 10 minutes is not my idea of fun. People watching was the highlight I’d say, because yikes…
The only really entertaining bit from my going was talking with some GW2 dev, hearing his pitch about how their public quests ‘change the world’ (manifesto if lies was still a thing Anet was trying to sell since this was pre-release), and then seeing his face when he had to admit how often they reset and that they didn’t really change much at all.
I’ve been to 12 PAXes now, and I find that the best parts about them are the energy, and your friends. I’ve been to some by myself, and been to some with friends. With only a single exception, the ones I go with friends were the best. The only exception was PAX AUS, because Australians apparently are just far easier to make new friends with than anybody in North America I found.
That aside, if you’re just going for the Expo Hall, you’ll find a single day is probably sufficient, and no, don’t stand in the lines. But do get the ears of indie devs or not-indie devs and revel in the infectious enthusiasm of someone who is genuinely stoked about their product.
Otherwise, it’s as Asmiroth says, I’ve had more fun with the together-events: panels, board gaming and CCGs, D&D events, console freeplay, concerts, people watching, and so on. The Expo Hall is a great place to do a little shopping, wander around wide-eyed for a couple hours, maybe sneak a peek at the indie booths, and then go do something else.