I spent last weekend apart from my beloved wife and son, in Seattle.
Why? For PAX. It’s a gaming convention, by the community, for the community, more or less. It was awesome, with a few small issues.
4 people is way too many people for a 2-bed hotel room. Normally it wouldn’t be, but when your roommates are overweight, diabetic, arthritic, and just plain old out-of-shape (and I’m no spring chicken), those beds are highly sought after items. The first night I was just glad to be there so I slept it out on the floor (well, I built a nest out of down pillows.) We had established a rotation that would have put me in a bed for the next two nights, but Dax had such a shite nights sleep in a chair that I gave him my spot in the bed the next night, and kept on in my floor-nest. Of course, I had become violently addicted to Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrows by that point, and Dax and I had went out to watch an awesome movie, then back to the Con to watch amateurs play Rock Band to a crowd of 30-40 people. It was awesome, and I wasn’t sleepy at all, so when we got back to our room I just stayed up for 1 or 2 hours playing it.
I digress: the sleeping arrangements in the hotel room were difficult, but not the most difficult part of the trip. Food was expensive, the lines were egregious, and the whole thing made me wish I had demanded that my wife come with. Except for the small fact that my wife’s involvement with games and nerdism as a hobby stops at the Wii. And the gamecube. And playing Kirby in Brawl. Oh, and Settlers of Catan. And RISK. And Killer Bunnies.
Holy crap, my wife is pretty damn nerdy. And that’s hot. Now she needs some thick rimmed glasses.
So, I’ve made a few conclusions. 1) Sukie needs to read PA at least as much as I do. Which isn’t a lot, so it’s doable. 2) If I go to PAX again, Sukie’s coming with me.
I liked a lot of the panels, discussions, Wil Wheaton’s short stories, even the Dr. Horrible references were delightful, because of where they come from; they exist as a token of endearment, that people who like what I like are not just cynical bastards; they enjoy things. I did need theorb77’s translation for any Whedonisms. I didn’t expect so many, and it was off-putting.
There was a point in the movie Nerdcore Rising where MC FrontAlot and his people are BSing before a show; the BSing made me feel connected with the culture more than anything else; it is something that I still do with all of my friends.
I haven’t played games seriously (lolz!) for over 10 years. A wife and kid have only some part of that; I’ve moved in to software development as a hobby, which for me has been rewarding in that it provides me really good brain activity, as well as a creative outlet. I like the creative aspects a lot; I make things that don’t exist anywhere else, at all.
So all in all, it made me realize that the magic of PAX didn’t take the rumored 54,500 people; it only takes a few. In a way, I have my own mini-PAXes (of evil?) every few weeks when I have friends over to play games. I think this could be ramped up to include more games and an all day thing, but we shall see.
Oh, and we played GoldenEye in the retro lounge. We played with Rockets (not my request!) and I won 10-3. I offered to go 3v1, but everyone gave up and so we left.