Last year Pax South was quite literally the first gaming convention I had ever been too. Granted I have been to comic conventions and scifi fan conventions over the years… but never a gaming one. I didn’t really know what to expect but Liore gave me some advice… that as soon as you get in the doors the anxiety fades away because you realize that these are “your people”. I didn’t really believe her until the convention was actually underway… and absolutely I had this overwhelming feeling that everything was going to be just fine. I never strike up conversations with strangers, yet I found myself idling chatting with people while standing in the queue room like a pro. There was just this aura of acceptance that I felt, when quite literally anything anyone was into was awesome. The only problem was that it was quite literally an overload on my senses and while I technically knew a bunch of people at the convention, I only actually managed to meet up with the AggroChat folks that I had planned on meeting up with… and Lonrem from Anook. Well I guess that is not entirely true because that Friday I had a bunch of press meetups scheduled to talk with various game devs. At the end of the two days I attended, I was worn out beyond belief… but I was pretty damned happy with my experience. I had originally decided to try and attend as many local conventions as I could… but ultimately that fell through for one reason or another.
After having done a Pax I realized that the highlight for me was not necessarily the show, but getting to hang out with people that I do not normally get to hang out with. It felt like this giant summer camp for gamers and geeks… and it was fairly magical. With this in mind I set my sights on Pax Prime… but nothing really went as I had hoped there. Firstly I missed out on getting tickets, and second we were not accepted for press passes. Then thirdly… August is a really bad time for me. My wife is a school teacher and Pax Prime happens exactly at the beginning of our School year here in Oklahoma. It would have been extremely rough on my wife for me to have been away during those first weeks of school, when she ends up having to rely on me the most because she is simply stressed beyond the point of coping. So while I was sad that I didn’t get to attend, I still had hopes that I could con more people into joining me at Pax South this year. Since I know what is important to me now… I know what to focus on, and that is planning on meeting up with people. The problem we ran into was that on the convention floor the cell service was complete crap. So my theory is that we will need to figure out meet up points ahead of time this year, rather than trying to rely on some sort of impromptu thing.
More People More Fun
The above picture was hands down the highlight of my Pax experience, not because I we were playing Gigantic really, but more than the three of us were playing together. The gravy on top is just the fact that we happened to be beating a YouTube celebrity in the process. Now we zoom forward to yesterday… they opened the flood gates and started taking sales for the 2016 Pax South in San Antonio Texas. This time I managed to get in on the three day passes, which there are actually still a few left. As of right now I know that myself, Rae, her brother, Ashgar, Thalen, Dallian, Lonrem, and Helkim are confirmed going… or at the very least have their tickets in hand. I am sure in the coming weeks I am going to start hearing of more people going, and I plan on starting up something to keep track of who is going and on what days so that maybe we can meet up and hang out. I need to start doing some research into what eating options are there in the Riverwalk area, because I absolutely do not want to try and go to that Chillis again out of desperation and hunger. I am also hoping we can maybe coordinate hotels, because I really liked the one I stayed in last year… but it was out by the airport. However if there are many of us it would not be an issue at all to carpool into the convention each day. I feel like I have the whole parking situation under control after having done it last year. I have to say I am extremely excited, and hoping this one is going to be bigger and better than last year. I mean this is the only Pax that does not sell out in a matter of minutes… so honestly I am fine with that. The concept of trying to get tickets to any other Pax seems like a stressful situation. I realize it is still months away, but I want to try and make the best of this coming years show.