I know a lot of gamer-geeks, so when Penny Arcade Expo comes to Boston I hear a lot about it. I’m fascinated by nerd culture, am friends with a handful of folks that work in the industry, and know more than the average non-nerd about things like live action role playing, 8 bit music, and nerdcore. This means that I’m super interested in going to PAX to observe, but not super interested in paying to do it. I emailed Norm (above) earlier in the week to let him know that if someone had a three day pass but didn’t want to go all three days, or was going to leave early one day and I could borrow their pass for the afternoon, I would love to do so. I woke up this morning to a text from Norm asking if I really wanted to go and if I was willing to check out the board games with him, and of course I said yes, and then got overly excited.
I picked the wrong day to go (well, I didn’t really pick. There was a problem with my approach) because it turns out that there were at least five different panels on Friday and Saturday that I would have loved to see. I would have loved to see the concert on Saturday night, and there were a few other events going on Friday and Saturday that I thought looked really cool…and on Sunday there was next to nothing on the schedule that excited me – just a panel that I was only half-interested in, but a friend was speaking on. Also: not nearly as many folks in costume show up on Sunday. Bummer!
Norm and I walked the expo floor and checked the lines for a few things he hadn’t seen yet (they were all longer than he wanted to wait in), entered a raffle to try to win him fancy computery things, and filled out a few surveys to get free t-shirts (I gave mine to Pete – except the one I got that says “may contain awesome” on the front, that one I kept). We checked out the board game demos and taught ourselves how to play one game, which Norm ended up buying (and I even liked, despite the intimidating and über-nerdy character cards involved).
In the end, I realized that next year I really should cough up the money for the three day pass and then spend most of my time at the panels and events, while making sure to work my way through the expo floor at least once in order to update Pete’s collection of free t-shirts.