So, here we are. PAX 2011 has come and gone. Lines were formed, games were played, friends were made, alcohol was had. For someone like me, a first time PAX attendee, I don’t think I could have asked for a more awesome time than what was had this weekend past.
While I didn’t get a lot of hands on time with many games, I like to think I took something a lot more important away from that weekend than what was my game of show, or who the best dressed cosplayer was.
I took away new friendships that will stay with me forever. For those who haven’t been to PAX before, you’ll quickly find that the event, while still being somewhere for developers to show off their game to a more public audience rather than the media-only events like E3, is also more simply a meeting point for gamers to catch up with those people who they’ve played with for years, but have never met in person before. Let me relate my experience to you.
On the Thursday before PAX kicked off, I was invited along to a Pre Pax Barbeque at Ala Douche’s house. I was travelling with good company at that point, with the Fisherman, Farva, Nerves and myself flying the flag (and the shirts) of Talkingship. We showed up to the house, knocked on the door, and it opened to reveal some guy introducing himself as Mike, and some other guy called Corey. Confusion set in for a second, until they realize they didn’t give me the names I know them by, Ala Douche and Darkwonders respectively. After the introductions finished, we headed out and sat down, and started talking about everything and nothing at the same time. There wasn’t the sort of hesitation you get when you meet someone for the first time, and don’t know where to start the conversation from. We’ve know each other for months, if not years at this point. We’ve all talked and played together on both the Xbox and Playstation, we’ve gotten to know each other through Facebook and chatted with them on Skype. The only thing that most of us have never done is see each other face to face, in the flesh.
Eventually, more people from the Sarcastic Gamer crew started showing up. Dave and Esmerelda, Frawlz, 8BitBass. Everyone who showed up simply walked in and was immediately comfortable with each other. The one surreal moment I had during the whole week was at this BBQ. Just about everyone was sitting on the couch playing Megaman, and I was sitting in the adjoining kitchen just watching. All these voices that I’ve played with for ages, people who come from all over America, and in my case, Australia, all camped out on the same couch, telling 8Bit how to pass this particular level that was giving everyone a hard time. At this point I just sort of went “Woah! This is Awesome!”, and went out and joined them in trying to finish the level. It was an excellent evening of introductions and chatting!
Unfortunately, as things tend to, the night came to an end. Some of us went off to Ooopy’s Pre Pax Party at “The Garage” Bowling Alley, and the rest stayed at Ala Douche’s place to keep drinking, but the BBQ was the highpoint of the night, and the rest was just the wind down. To everyone who was at the Barbeque, I’d like to thank you all for your hospitality. It was so nice to be welcomed into the fold with open arms. I walked in feeling a little bit like the odd one out, and left with a group of new friends that I’ll hold close from now on.
For those who didn’t attend, it is something that you MUST do, at least once. Of cours,e if your like me, you’ll do it once and want to keep coming back every year!
Okay boys and girls, thats enough from me for now. There shall be more to follow.
This has been Muttonchop, signing off!