For those not in the know, I recently attended PAX Prime in September on Labor Day weekend. PAX is short for Penny Arcade Expo. It is a con for gamers, to come on down and see the new shiny games, the up and coming games, including video games, roleplaying games, and board games.
A similar con is E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is only for the media. Gabe and Tyco, the creators of a webcomic known as Penny Arcade asked themselves why there wasn’t a gaming con for *gasp* GAMERS!! So, they invented one and it’s taken off.
The con in Seattle is called PAX Prime, because they had gotten so big and popular, they recently added a second con, PAX East, in Boston. PAX Prime is Sept. in Seattle. PAX East is in March. If you’re really hardcore, you can go to PAX every six months.
Anyway, here are my experiences. Let’s start with Day 1. DH and I had bought two matching shirts off of Think Geek, The Wesley Crushers. Not only does it celebrate Wil Wheaton, but also the Big Bang Theory from whence it came. We wore our shirts this day, and didn’t see any other geeks wearing THIS shirt. Not for the entire con. I can’t say for certain no one else had this shirt, but I sure as heck didn’t see them.
Wil was signing every day at the con, so we decided to get all our sigs this first day. We’d printed out some pics for them to sign for our home theater.
Here’s a shitty pic of Wil. I took it with my iPhone, and he was backlit by huge windows, so cut me some slack. LOL But I got his signature, by golly! I’ll show you in a minute. Before we met Wil, we met Paul and Storm, a kick-ass comedy singing duo.
We have loved Paul and Storm for awhile now. Some of my fans may remember me tweeting or crowing about W00tstock, another geek event here in Portland’s Aladdin theater. P&S were there as well. We will see them EVERY time they are in town. More story on P&S to come…
Okay, so aside from Wil, probably the most famous celeb there was Jonathan Coulton, more affectionately known as JoCo by his fans. Met him too. He has some songs on Rock Band, and also on the video game Portal (if you’ve played it). His famous songs include “Still Alive” (from Portal), “RE: Your Brains” (an epic Zombie song), and “First of May” (a NSFW anthem about how to celebrate spring. LOL) Also, MC Frontalot was there, a white rapper like Eminem, however, he raps “Nerdcore” lol. Awesome rap about nerdy stuff. Very clever Weird Al-type lyrics.
All of these people were signing in the same area. I didn’t have anything cool for them to sign – except for my symbol of superfluous geekery: my iPad. How epic is that? Check it, I’ve got Wil, JoCo, Paul and Storm, and MC Frontalot on this bad boy. If it ever crashes and burns, I am NOT taking advantage of the warranty. LOL It will be a permanent fixture in our home theater, probably. (Or when 2.0 is released. Heh)
We also got Molly Lewis‘s signature, but DH got it on his printed pics, I didn’t get her to sign my iPad.
The day got better. Paul and Storm tweeted they were doing a short video project and who would like to participate? Since DH and I are rabid fans, we showed up, along with about 60 0ther people. It took about an hour and a half, but we lined up outside the expo hall, not really knowing what was going on. The concept: Paul, at the expo hall, calls Storm, in their hotel room, and asks him for a bottle of water. Storm then proceeds to hand the water off to a geek, who hands it to another geek, like a huge water bottle relay. The hotel was TWO BLOCKS away from the expo hall. They had enough geeks to pass the bottle from the hotel to the convention center in ONE take. DH and I are along with the geeks lined up against the outer wall of the Sheraton, the ones in the only yellow “Wesley Crushers” shirts. They have NOT posted this video yet to their You Tube channel, but they said it will be coming, so I’ll definitely shout out when it’s finished. Because both P&S are in it, along with Wil Wheaton! I was so jazzed to be a part of that, no matter how small.
Okay. DAY 2.
Pretty much the highlight of this day was the concert at the end. MC Frontalot, P&S, and JoCo all on one night. It was held at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle. Here’s what the stage looked like. So pretty:
So, Paul and Storm are a comedy singing duo. One of their famous songs is “Opening Band”, and one of the lines is – “And, sad to say, as of today, no panties have been thrown.” Well, it’s “tradition” to throw panties at them. LOL You don’t know this unless you’re a FAN. Myself and two of my friends had panties to throw. I made sure mine were different than the thongs and lacy bits I knew would be thrown. I found a cute pair of Hello Kitty panties at the local Ross store and chucked those. Out of all the panties they had thrown at them, Paul picked up MY panties and said in a sing-song voice, “Hello, Kitty!” I was asploding like I’d just won The Price is Right. LOL
JoCo sang some cool new songs for us, this time with an electric guitar and a BAND. That was odd but I liked it, even if my friends were all emo about it. Heh
Sunday was gaming day. They have lots of empty rooms set up with long tables for the geeks to get their board gaming on. You go into the game room, give them your ID, and you can rent any game they have on the tables. The dudes played Tomb, Castle Ravenloft, Zombie Dice, Cthulu Dice & Nertz. We brought our own playing cards for the Nertz, but we ended up buying all the games we played, except for Tomb, probably because they played it at the end of the con on Sunday, with no time (or money) left to buy it. LOL
All in all, great times all around. I have a few blisters, but I have great memories. Here are some pics of things I found interesting around PAX:
Two dudes in costume cosplaying in the middle of the aisle in the Expo Hall. Too awesome not to take a pic.
Fuzzy pic of the cutest Dalek ever! She was holding a plunger and a wire whisk. Awesome. And yes, her head lamps lit up.
Found at the Dungeons & Dragons bus a couple blocks from the convention center. This is a beholder, perhaps one of the most recognized villains in D&D.
Of course they also had giant dice in the parking lot as well. This is a d20. They also had a d8 and a d4. Awesome. Geeks were actually rolling this. One of them rolled a one. Sucks to be that guy. LOL
Awesome statue on the Expo Hall floor right in front of the LotR Online game display. Obviously, it’s a ring wraith.
Cool new game for the Wii I’m looking forward to getting for my kids. At this display, they had two real Disney cartoonists drawing your picture with a Disney character from the game. Didn’t get one of those because the line in and of itself, was epic. But the game looks good. Mickey paints his way through a magical world and can jump into every cartoon he’s ever been in, apparently, which you can then play around in.
Sooo much stuff happened, I couldn’t possibly blog it all. But I had a BLAST. Next year, PAX is on a different weekend than Dragon*con. Too many geeks complaining about having to choose, perhaps? And I was a tad bitter the big name celebs went to Dragon*con. Then again, only hardcore gamers go to PAX. Dragon*con is more for anything fantasy/sci-fi, even TV shows. Perhaps we’ll go there next year.
Thank you to one and all, and to the beautiful city of Seattle, that made PAX 2010 possible!