So I’m back and more or less recovering from the physical, emotional and full sensory overload that is PAX East!
I have to say this was a really weird year for me but I don’t think I’d do any of it differently at all.
Thursday Britt, Tim and myself drove up to Boston. Quickly had to haul ass to the airport to meet up with Kristen there. Her flight in got bumped up and she was there way sooner than we expected. We had a bit of trouble finding her but we finally got to her!
I’ll say it here now, I’ve only known her through tumblr for the last 2 or 3 years so I was actually really nervous to finally meet her. She’s absolutely one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, is a ton of fun to be around and is officially my favorite online friend now.
A few hours go by, we all explore the city a bit and eventually go back to the airport to pick up another long time internet friend of mine, Steve “Dack” Hannley of HardcoreGamer.com (GO CHECK THEM OUT, THEY’RE GREAT!) He and I have known each other for about 8 years without ever meeting so this was again, a pretty big deal.
That night once we all settle in, we head over to the Westin next to the Boston Convention and Expo Center to pick up mine and Tim’s BEAUTIFUL forum beer steins. From there we haul ass over to Cambridge’s Brattle Theater for a Rock Band party! Had a blast there, Tim and I joined up with some guys to play Rise Against’s Savior on the stage which got pretty crazy. A bit later on Britt joined us to sing and we got Harmonix’s Eric Pope to join us on bass for Paramore’s Misery Business which was a lot of fun and Britt’s first time ever getting on a stage and in front of a packed out crowed too! She did great! We catch some news about the final Rock Band DLC release and head out to catch a train back to our hotel. I think the excitement of the night got to us all because nobody could stop giggling in the room for more than a minute or two when we were all trying to sleep.
Friday morning, we all head out to the convention center, Tim breaks off for the Keynote, Dack goes to do interviews for the site and I hang with the girls and go through pretty much every possible chance to get free stuff possible. I have no idea how they did it but they were ridiculously good at it. Went around through the whole place and got pretty overwhelmed. Only went to the Rock Band Behind the Music: A Music Gaming Tell All panel late in the day with Tim.
Saturday and Sunday blur like hell for me to be completely honest. I spent a ton of time in the indie section this year trying out a ton of great games and sorta ignored most of the big studios. So much incredible talent in there, I’m really excited to see the full games that emerge from them all.
To me this year PAX was about a lot more than video games. It really felt like it was about people for me. I think everyone in my group had this incredible moment where something just clicks and you notice that there’s this great feeling of being welcome and completely free of judgment. We all felt like we were able to make new friends in a heartbeat just by saying hi, without fear of rejection or any real anxieties coming up. I met a lot of new friends, found some tumblr friends like downtothedepths in her TARDIS costume and finally connected with some who I’ve been dying to meet for ages. When I look back on this year’s PAX I won’t be thinking about games I’ll be thinking about the experiences with these amazing people more than anything. I’ve never had such a strong emotional high as I did this weekend. My face still aches from the near constant smile I had the entire time.