The Good, The Bad, and the PAX – Part 3
THE UGLY – Crap that just needs to stop.
Totalitarianism – As witnessed with the snap perma-banning of Nathan Barnatt (justified, but what did they expect), the censoring of Jessica Nigri, and the ongoing war with Paul Christoforo (now basically a troll/flamewar with real life ramifications), Penny Arcade and PAX are starting to do one of the things that it promised to never do, which is to become like the bigger cons and to use their power abusively. The fact that everyone got up in arms about a good looking model being a good looking model is already absurd, when some of the other attendees were dressed just as scantly, is one thing, but the immaturity of a continued flame war with a guy who is rightfully banned from the show should be embarrassing to the community.
Line Culture – There is a problem with the lines at PAX. As attendance goes up there will always be some level of wait to get into a show or panel. But when there are lines that start two hours before the scheduled line-up time, lines to get in line, things get really stupid. It may be a matter of needing bigger convention rooms or having some events have multiple showings, and might be solved by the four day idea, but it is really sad that someone should feel obligated to sit around for two hours instead of walking the con and having fun just to make sure he sees a panel. This problem is further compounded by the show enforcers often having no idea how to handle the crowds. Lines get let in from queue rooms in the wrong order, people just sneak in, and any semblance of order is often thrown right out the window. We waited on a huge queue through the convention center just to get our bags and get to the show floor, but then were just let in to the show without bags and in the wrong order.
Enforcer Bullshit – Nine out of ten enforcers at the show are good and upstanding people, who either wanted to get into the show on the cheap, or enjoy participating in the community. That tenth one is a Utilitkilt wearing dirtbag who thinks he’s a Guardian Angel. These dudes are on mega power trips and should not be given any authority, because they them turn into mall cops. Since these are all volunteers, I have to ask what kind of person do you need to be to volunteer to be a bouncer? Douchebags or not, these are all volunteers with no apparent training in event and crowd management, and as hard as they try, they will never be as good as dedicated staff. So when crap goes wrong (like 4 hour lines that go in backwards order), who can you blame? I would much rather have my ticket price go up 5 bucks and know I won’t have to lose hours in wackadoo lines, because they have paid and trained staff. Last time I checked PAX was a for-profit enterprise, so why are people so willing to give up their time?
Stinky people – I am 29-years-old and know how to shower. I also know when I smell like BO. At no point should I ever have to be in the proximity of a grown man who smells like a hobo covered in filled diapers, yet it happened more than once. Gamer culture needs to self-police. Being a nerd and liking what you want to like is fucking rad, but being a shut-in who does not know basic health and hygiene is not. How many PAX-flu scares do we need, before everyonevgets that?
So the show had some ups and downs. Would I go again? Certainly. But there’s some apprehension growing, so I hope to see some of these red flags lowered, next year. Also, I am totally bringing more Purell.