Pax Fucking East

There are 37 days (there’s a countdown on my fridge) until Boston’s greatest convention, PAX East.

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It’s not only Boston’s best con but one of the best cons do attend on the entire eastern seaboard, whether you’re a gamer or not.

This year will mark the fourth time I’ve attended and I’m here to tell you about why I love Pax and what to expect if you’re “shipping up to Boston” for this event.

So since everyone loves lists so much these days, let’s do this in list form.

My favorite things about PAX:

The Merch: I’m a sucker for merchandise, it’s one of my great weaknesses. This may sound dumb but my very first stop on the first day of PAX is to stop at the official merch booth and wait in the long ass line to get my stuff. I just want to get that out of the way and the wait really isn’t THAT bad. I spend smartly in my opinion, I’m not just going to buy any junk with “PAX East 2019” stamped on it, I’ve got to like the product. My go to each year has been the official hoody that they sell. In 2017 it was a zip up maroon and dark grey hoody and last year it was a simple black pullover hoody (probably the best hoody I’ve ever bought by the way, it’s soooo soft). Some other things that catch my eye are the beanies and snapbacks. It really depends on what they’re offering. There’s plenty of cool swag to get outside of the official PAX booth too, so keep your eyes peeled and don’t settle for something you don’t love.

-Pin Collecting: I’ve always thought pins were dope and PAX got me super into them. They have a whole series of exclusive pins that you can go searching for across the whole building. You have to pay for most of them but the coolest thing is that for a lot of them you just have to participate in something. It could be some sort of scavenger hunt (the Twitch booth did that last year) or it could be something as simple as trying out a demo of a game. The pins are really nice quality too so if that’s something you’re into then go find them!

-The Indie Games: So in my opinion I think the thing that really drives PAX is it’s section of Indie Games and developers. Every booth there is super hands on and the people working them are always a hoot to talk with. I try to see all of the games in that section and a few over the past few years have turned into some of my favorite Indie games (Thimbleweed Park, Hello Neighbor, Cook Serve Delicious 2, This Is The Police, etc.). Some of those have turned into massively successful games too so it’s awesome to say that you tried it out in early access. If you’re into indie games or even if you’re not, go check out this section, you’ll most likely love it. I used to know nothing about indie games but a few years ago I fell in love with them, mostly because of PAX.

-The People: Crowds can be a super pain in the ass but embedded within those crowds are some really cool people. Some may be friends you already know from the internet or some may be complete strangers. Last year I met up with one from each of those categories and had a few brews and shot the shit. Moments like that are really great in life and if you just stick your neck out a bit you’ll likely make some new friends at PAX.

There’s plenty more to love about PAX but those are my big ones. Another one is just the random occurrences that happen. Last year I won this thing where people scan their badge, it’s pretty much like a slot machine thing, and I won big. I got his big ass Game of Thrones box and didn’t want allllll the stuff inside so I found two GOT cosplayers and gave them a few things, I made their day. You never know what’s going to happen at PAX.

 

Tips for first timers:

  • Bring a backpack. It may take an extra few minutes to get it checked at security but it’s worth it. You can keep water or other drinks in there (it depends on the security guard if they let you keep snacks, drinks, etc. last year I was lucky). You can also keep a deodorant in there if it’s going to be a long day and you can keep the merch you buy or get for free in there.
  • If you need a break (I call it halftime) you can go chill at the Westin hotel next door. It’s a go to for me for a few reasons. There’s no crowd really, there’s a bar, and there’s nice bathrooms with no lines! It’s nice to split up the day with a break over there so if you see me over there let’s get a drrrrink.
  • Make sure you look up the unofficial PAX meetups! If you look it up on Reddit or Facebook or even Twitter you’ll find a schedule of events that fans are holding. Some include afterparties late at night, cosplay meetups, or even a board game night (a favorite of mine).
  • If you’re driving in, I know a great parking place that isn’t overpriced. It’s on Necco Street right before the bridge leading to the Boston Convention Center. It’s nice and out of the way and if you don’t mind the walk (it isn’t that bad unless it’s 10 degrees). I believe the price is like $20 which isn’t bad for all day parking in the city. There’s usually tons of open spots too so don’t stress.
  • Don’t waste your time waiting in a crazy line for some big title game. If that’s what you really, really want then go ahead but I recommend going over to the indie games section where there aren’t usually lines. Plus the people working the big title games aren’t usually that…..nice. The indie game workers are much more casual and engaging.
  • HAVE FUN

 

Hope to see you guys at PAX East in March! We’ll likely have more PAX related content soon.

 

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