This year marks my first visit to PAX West, a.k.a. PAX Prime, a.k.a. “Where It All Began”. I feel more than ever I did at PAX Aus that my attempt to see everything is getting in the way of getting the most out of the event.
Maybe it required an iteration at the scale of West for this realization to really nest in my brain.
PAX Aus takes over most of the Melbourne Convention Centre for 3 days a year. It encompasses eGaming, boardgaming, cartoon-culture, fandoms of all kinds and sizes, signings, panels, and the friendliest vibe you’ll ever experience at an Expo.
PAX West takes over most of the centre of Seattle in some shape or form.
When the boardgames section is housed in its own 8 floors of a hotel separate from the actual Seattle convention centre, it is not merely a difference in scale, but rather involves some kind of state-change that is hard to properly capture in words.
Sharing the broad scope of content at PAX with (tens of?) thousands of others that share some part of my own interests makes me feel significantly more mainstream than I felt before. Or maybe while I wasn’t paying attention, the distinction between geek and mainstream has gotten so malleable that it isn’t really possible to place individuals on either side of that line anymore. We’re all geeks for our own specific sub-sets of interests now.
And that’s where I get back to my realization. Sub-sets.
I have already had to be selective about what I can fit into the 3 alotted days in Melbourne… but I should shave it finer still. If it isn’t about boardgames and/or D&D, maybe it can wait. I’m sure I’ll miss out on many wonderful other things, but there just isn’t enough time to be a fan of everything.
Oh, and possibly I should try more other PAXen; exposing myself to West has been an enlightening experience, and mr. Holkins has often claimed each PAX has its own character… now I am more ready than every before to believe him.