Meeting new friends in line (and other places!)
PAX involved a lot of lines. I mean, a lot – for hours. Fortunately, in just about every line, we found new people to hang with, play games, or chat about stuff; it was awesome. I didn’t even have to bring up Supernatural, because someone else did it first! The best thing about PAX is the community and the people. We started making new friends in the airport, throughout the entire weekend, and even on the flight home. PAX hosts some of the best people ever, and we all get each other. I love it.
We had the perfect trifecta of concerts on Saturday night with MC Frontalot, Paul and Storm, and Jonathan Coulton. I love these guys. The music spans a variety of styles, but it all comes together because they are writing about stuff in their lives, and since they are geeks, it is relevant to my life too. Nothing is better than the whole room singing the last chorus to Skullcrusher mountain together, or seeing an entire crowd each waving a Nintendo DS in the air (instead of a lighter) for a slow song.
Warren Spector’s Keynote
I like Warren Spector – a lot. This isn’t just because he’s a Disney geek or that he probably should have been friends with my dad when he was younger (same references, really!). No, it’s because Spector has a vision and he’s not afraid to speak his mind, even if its not the popular opinion. He talked about a number of possibly polarizing gaming issues, but overall, he wants to see the gaming community grow and make great games, and isn’t that really what matters? I think so.
The Enforcers at PAX are the volunteers who run the minutia of all the events. They keep the lines straight, make sure panels start and end on time, and they even help to entertain while we wait forever for fun stuff. Some Enforcers are just great. They wear interesting things, including a variety of Kilts and Utilikilts, one had an ammo sash, and another wore a feather in his cap. We also played Jeopardy and charades with the help of the Enforcers (for some swag!), and one kindly Enforcer gave us nicknames. Dawn was nicknamed “That Guy”. You can see my husband’s below, but we called him “Cheevo” for short.
The Omegathon is an elimination game using various games to find a winner. The last round is always quite amusing and exciting. This year, there was an OmegaClaw. It was The Claw, you know, like from Toy Story or the Boardwalk, where you pick up toys with a claw … if you’re lucky. Anyway, you wouldn’t think that would be so exciting, but wow, would you be wrong! It was so much fun to watch; the tension of whether or not the toy would get picked up was insane. We saw a few close calls, and Gabe almost got a double toy pick-up. Plus, Dawn and I are boardwalk girls, so this was a game that we could talk strategy about!
Timmy! And Other Swag
We picked up some cool stuff, and most of it from our buddies from GeekDad and ThinkGeek. We got some Swiss Army Multipurpose Keys – ponder that one, right. We got some annoy-o-trons and a bunch of DnD pencils (good thing, I keep losing mine!). However, the coolest thing was got was a Timmy! Yay! Timmy may have inspired us to create our own Girls Are Geeks mascot, but that’s still a secret, so shh!
Learning a new game
I love to learn something new and I love to play games. Of course, PAX is great for both. We played a few games on the floor. In Hoard, we flew around as dragons picking up gold. Another was similar to chess but with battles, and we fought each other with dragons, unicorns, pheonix’s, and sorceresses. We also discovered Pajaggle, which was highly addictive.
Triwizard Drinking Tournament
Also known as the Harry Potter themed pub crawl. Now, I don’t really like Harry Potter, but I like hanging out with people and drinking, so we were in. We were actually so in, that I made us skirts in the Ravenclaw (the smart ones!) house pattern, and we made wands. At one karaoke bar, Dawn and I ended up on stage leading all of Ravenclaw in Bohemian Rhapsody. Awesome. That’s us below. I’m holding the banner and Dawn is the blond next to me.
Justin McElroy remembered me!
It was a geek-celebrity spectacular weekend! Friday night, we ran right into Justin McElroy (whom you might remember I have a minor crush on) at the Giant Bombcast, and he remembered my husband and me from PAX East. He even gave us a twitter shoutout! Saturday, as we were leaving breakfast to hit the hall to get our wristbands, who should walk past us down the street but Storm (From Paul and Storm)! A Wild Storm had appeared (for the pokemon fans out there). Then when we went to the GeekDad panel, Storm was there too! Okay, so, Paul was on the panel, but I still sat next to Storm the whole time – so cool. We also chatted in Bandland with Front and JoCo and some of the Protomen. The only person I didn’t catch was Kara (even though Gabe asked if I had seen her when I met him, so cool!). However, Kara does have an infant with her, so I can see how that would be difficult. We did spot her during both the initial Q&A and the final closing in the VIP seats with the baby (cute!).
First of all, it’s everywhere, which is cool, because geeks love to get together and show off their skills. Second of all, we got to test Rock Band 3. I played Cold as Ice on pro keyboard and I CANNOT WAIT to own that. Dawn sang, and Gardella played for the first time ever on bass. Also, Cold as Ice was the song of choice for the Omegathon, so go us!
Okay. There are my ten favorite things from PAX, and believe me, we’re already dreaming about what we’re going to do for the next one!