The Good, The Bad, and the PAX – Part 1
PAX East 2012 is in the can, and we finally have time to regroup and nurse our wounds. The con was big, the con was loud, and the con was controversial in more ways than one. Now that we are three years in, here on the east coast, maybe it’s time to take an in-depth look at what was done right, what was done wrong, and how we can keep PAX the gaming convention we all want, in this 3 part article.
PART ONE: THE GOOD – This is my list of what the con did correctly and where they exceed expectations.
Exclusives – One of the reasons people go to this kind of convention is to be among first to see the newest games or to get exclusive items; an on this, PAX did not disappoint. Plenty of games had a (public) playable debut at the con, there was tons of free swag which included things like in-game exclusives, Firefall beanie hats (just in time for summer), and my favorite item there: Jet Set Radio Pins!
Boston – As a New York native, it is so very difficult for me to congratulate Boston for doing something right, but damned if they didn’t deliver. The hotels were all prepared and accommodating, the fanciest of restaurants did not care if you showed up in N7 armor or as Squrittle, and the convention hall is pretty well suited for the convention itself. Even the cops were pretty good at herding the pedestrians through the minimal automobile traffic. Bravo Beantown, Bravo.
Parties – This comes down to vendors, blogs and the like, but there were a wealth of parties this year, and to our knowledge all went pretty well. Getting the gaming community together can be daunting and these groups did admirably.
The Community – Overall, members of the community were great to each other. While I may have issue with the way some things went, people were mostly kind to each other; there were no fights or stabbings that I heard of, and I don’t think anyone left in a body-bag, unlike some previous conventions I’ve attended.
The Classic Game and Arcade Rooms – Every year, PAX gives these guys space, and every year it is a god-damned treat. Nothing is more rewarding to us than knowing you can go play Smash TV at 10pm without needing to spend a single quarter. The only fault of the rooms is that they close at midnight, and I think everyone we spoke to agreed that these should be open as late as can be, even going as far as being 24 hours if it were possible. And you should be able to smoke cigarettes in there, you know, for authenticity.
The Cosplay was incredible – If you’re into that. There were more “Whoa” moments then cringe-worthy ones. People put money and time into the costumes, and it showed. I am not a cosplayer, but if you’re going to do it, I appreciate it who go full-bore. I would much rather see a bunch of professionallymade looking costumes than people who bought a red trench coat and a Nerf Maverick then called themselves Vash.
So that is my list of the best parts of the con this year. What were some of your favorite parts? What stuck out to you the most? Let us know in our comments section and be sure to come by tomorrow for part 2.