Jerry van Leeuwen

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PAX West Reflections

My First US Penny Arcade Expo

Jerry

2 minute read

Full set of Dixit expansions

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 West queue to the Acquisitions Inc. D&D game -- scale indeed!

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.

Acquisitions Inc. live on stage -- how I (re-)discovered D&D

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.

It is tough to stay strong for the sake of my wallet when I see complete sets of games.

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.

Listening to concerts of video game music with thousands of people...

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.

3D models for Gloomhaven -- wish I had a 3D printer myself!

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.

All are different, but all also have the same atmosphere.
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Hi, I'm Jerry.
I am Dutch.
I live in Sydney, Australia.
I remote-work for Heap in San Francisco.