I’ve been asked to report about PAX.
For anyone who doesn’t know PAX stands for Penny Arcade Expo, Penny Arcade being the gaming webcomic. PAX has run for a few years over in the US but this is it’s first time in Australia and lucky for me it’s being hosted in Melbourne. As much as I’d want to if it was hosted else where in Australia I wouldn’t have been able to make it.
So today I woke up today at 7:30, took a shower, got JB to take his shower, got dressed and managed to get some coffee before having to head out to meet people at Flinders Street station. My friends, Austin and Vince were running a little late so instead of catching the 9:20 train to the showgrounds we ended up getting the 9:38, which actually left the station around 10, gg metro.
By the time we finally got to the showgrounds, gosh the line ride.
Here’s where we stood. The building to the left is the entrance, might not seem so bad but behind the trees there was a long snake form of a line which did a U turn and began to leek into the parking lot.
And then the second train arrived and the line grew and grew and grew to the point it reached the white building and began wrapping around the parking lot.
So after a while the line began to move. Once we entered they did a badge check and an age check, gave us a black wrist band and we were on our way. Honesty, I don’t understand why the line ride was so long if it was just age checking.
Sadly due to the length of the line ride we missed Story time with Ron Gilbert which was at 10:30am. However we did make it into a line for the Penny Arcade Q & A! Which was another line ride.
Some cosplayers we saw while in the line ride waiting for the Penny Arcade Q & A, we stood in this tunnel for most of the wait, it got windy and cold.
The Penny Arcade Q & A was funny and pretty damn cool. However it did run over time and I ended up missing the “We Study Games Without Having to Make Them: Musings from PhD research students” panel. Very sad :(
Once the Q & A was over we headed over to the Expo hall, pretty much a mix of shopping stalls and like demo stalls.
The expo hall was crazy busy, mostly since everyone else also had just came from the Q & A.
JB and I spent some time at the Nintendo booth. Had a go at the new sonic game, checked out street passes (so many street passes)
After a loop around we left the showgrounds and had some lunch at a fish and chip shop. Came back to the showgrounds in hopes to catch the Games Can Be Anything – Are We Seeing Enough Innovation or Not, and Why? panel but nope. By the time we got there the room was already full and we weren’t allowed in.
So we headed to the big top and had a look around, lots of board games and some PC and random stalls. There was also the main PAX shop which had a huge ass check out line, JB and I made our way to the handheld area and found a bean bag and camped while we waited for Vince to do some shopping and Austin went on short walks.
At this stage we had kinda given up seeing anything we waited to see, most of the things we wanted to see we had missed and huge lines formed before all theatre doors.
After a while of lazing around in the handheld area we packed up camp and went back to the expo hall to do another loop around. Austin went home and Vince went off to see stuff while JB and I mooched around the Nintendo booth again. JB had a go at the new Super Mario 3D world on Wii U and played some The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds while I sat on some bean bags watching the Mario Kart 3DS tournament and checking my street passes.
Once Vince was done with his walking around we packed up our things and headed out before stopping at one more booth. Where JB and I bought some Pokémon gym pins. As we left the expo hall we were hit with a rush of bad weather.
We got home around 7, soaking wet. Tomorrow I’ll bring an umbrella.
Over all feels about PAX so far, while there were more rooms opened up there really was too many people. However unlike supernova or Manifest PAX actually had tents set up between buildings, which was nice but at times created traffic jams.
It was fun bumping into friends but so easy to get separated from friends and at time we’d see someone and just ever see them again, there was just so many people.
I think with some tweaking PAX could run a lot smoother however I’m worried it might not get another chance. I feel like other people also were sick of the line rides and not being able to get into the things they want. The weekend pass cost $115 (we bought ours pretty early). It’s so far the most expensive convention pass I’ve paid for which is upsetting to think I and others miss out on panels and talks simply because it’s already filled up.
Hopefully tomorrow is better since we still have our age wrist bag on.