PAX is happening in just two days. I’ll be headed out to Seattle tomorrow morning, and I’m super excited. It feels like it’s been like… a WHOLE month since I set out for another state. Seriously, I’ve been all over the place this year. But, those other things were for some friend and his dumb wedding. This one is all about me. And I guess some of you.
If this is your first time at PAX Prime, you may be frightened and scared of what you’ll find out there. I can assure you that since they made all the drugs legal, you’ll likely get stabbed by a hobo and prostitutes will greet you at every street corner. Ok, none of that is true. They only legalized pot, so the worst you’ll run into is somebody begging you for a brownie or something. Fun trick: give them a pot brownie and watch how insatiable that hunger becomes! Also, here are some tips to make your weekend at PAX and in Seattle a success. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a list of things I’ve found entertaining.
Also, before you check out the list, watch this video of our adventures last year:
1) Check out all the Penny Arcade Panels: I guess this might only apply if you’re a fan of Penny Arcade itself. There was a time where that was pretty much all who attended. Now, this whole thing is so big that people who have never even been to the Penny Arcade website still show up. I’m willing to be there is at least one adult person there who doesn’t even know what PAX stands for. I’m way off topic here. The Penny Arcade Panels usually consist of a couple of Q&A panels along with the Make A Strip panel, where they create a comic for the site right there on stage. The latter is also very much like another Q&A panel. Only Mike knows how to draw. So, Jerry answers questions. Otherwise, we’d all just be sitting in a giant, silent, 5,000 person room watching a guy draw a hot dog fairy.
Oh, also, should you arrive too late, keep an eye out for overflow rooms. If you’ve got Twitter on your phone, the PAX feeds (@Official_PAX and @PAX_lines) will usually direct you to those rooms.
2) Watch The Omegathon: All weekend a group of PAX attendees who were selected at random will compete in various games. And not just video games. There are often card, board or table top games thrown into the mix. I mentioned this a while back, but several years ago the final game was one of those claw grabber things you’ll occasionally see tucked away in the corner of a store, or, if you’re fortunate enough, in an arcade. If you can’t make it to any of the mid-weekend events, at least attend the final round. It coincides with closing ceremonies and is usually a hell of a lot of fun. Plus, I always feel like the closing ceremonies are something everybody should attend. It really wraps up the whole event nicely.
3) Hit Up The Free Play Rooms: There are giant rooms at PAX where you can just check out a console, some controllers and a game and then go hook it up to a TV and play with your friends. This is all free of charge. I think our group would definitely recommend Super Smash Brothers in one of its many variations.
4) Don’t Eat At The Fucking Cheesecake Factory: One time I was eating at a sandwich shop where customers bus their own tables. They had one of those garbage stations that’s like a big cabinet with tiny swinging doors on the front so you have to hold it open and dump your tray in there. Two openings, two trashcans. You know what I’m talking about. One of the swinging doors was missing and garbage was overflowing from that trashcan. I watched as people continued to shove trash onto the pile, allowing half of their garbage to fall all over the floor. I walked over to throw out my trash and pushed open the still-intact swinging door over the second trash can. It was completely fucking empty. People are so goddamn lazy that they’ll just take the path of least resistance and be horrible. That’s pretty much like putting your name on a two hour waiting list to eat at the Cheesecake Factory across the street from the convention center. There are restaurants everywhere. The wait at that place is ridiculous no matter what time of the day you try to go because it’s the first thing anybody sees when they walk out of PAX. Guys, there is a sushi restaurant right around the corner that I’ve been to twice in past years. You like sushi. Everybody likes sushi. People who don’t like sushi will act like they do because it’s “cool” to like sushi. Every time I’ve eaten there or walked by it, it’s been pretty dead when you consider that 75,000 hungry people who like sushi are either in the convention center across the street or waiting in line at the Cheesecake Factory around the corner. Sushi not your thing? Go anywhere else. Anywhere. Look around, man. There are places everywhere. Walk around a bit. You’re in Seattle. Explore a little and don’t eat at the fucking Cheesecake Factory.
5) Don’t Touch Anything: Have you ever wondered what it’s like to eject every fluid your body produces from your body via every opening? No? Well, just rub up on some fellow PAX goers and get ready for one wild ride. Since you can’t always be sure if other people will exhibit the same caution as you, I’d carry some hand sanitizer or something. If you touch a controller at a demo booth, you might as well start drinking that shit after you rub it all over your entire body. It’s called hand sanitizer, but I’m pretty sure it will work other places. If you’re worried, you can wear Lysol as body spray.
6) Have Fun and Cherish Every Moment: PAX is an extremely fun and super unique event. Hang out with your friends, make new ones, play some video games, check out some cool shit, buy a t-shirt, get 20 free t-shirts, say hi to me and I’ll give you a sticker and a button. PAX goes by pretty quick, so don’t waste any of it. It’s always a little bittersweet standing there watching the final round of the Omegathon and the closing ceremonies. It can be a hard to let the whole thing go. They try to keep it short and sweet. Like ripping of a bandage. I imagine if they were to dwell on what they were about to do for too long, PAX would never end.