Wooo! First post in forever! I originally started this as a way to keep sane in between job searching. Update: the reason I’ve been missing for so long (yeah, all like 5 people that follow this were SO disappointed I bet) is that I got a job right after my last post! Yay! So that’s it for updates, let’s get right back into where we left off.
So this past weekend was PAX South. For those unaware, PAX started out as a convention purely for gaming. It’s still that, but it’s grown out of the 4,500 person convention out of Washington into this world-wide convention, similar to RTX (Rooster Teeth’s convention) or Comic Con. Cosplayers, tabletop gamers, Twitch streamers, indie game dev’s and fans alike all flooded the Henry B. Gonzalez convention center this past weekend, and being my first time, I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised once I hit the convention floor.
I’m learning to be a Con Artist
Having been to only a few smaller cons, I only had Ikkicon (which was just kind of ok), Screenburn/SXSW Games (super fun), and Comicpalooza (a personal favorite). I decided to cosplay as something simple, because…well it’s a con, and I wanted to be comfortable! (Also I may have thought of what I wanted to do super late and didn’t have time to make it, but oh well!) But I rocked out as a member of the Court of Owls! Simple, dress a little nicer than I usually do, wear the mask, cover the eye holes with a black see-through material, bam, instant cosplay. I wasn’t sure how to format this, so I’m gonna give my little opinion on the con in the same style as my game reviews.
Let’s start with the Cons
So unfortunate things. What I didn’t like about PAX South, and other rants: I didn’t really appreciate that the MTG events were quite expensive at $20 constructed entry, and $30 limited entry. Granted, it’s inside of a con, and they need to make their money back, but for me anything more than $10 entry, unless it’s a major event (Pro tour qualifier, 1k, grand prix side event) is enough to turn me away. I ended up not playing, which is fine, but I really wish I could have. Then again, Wizards of the Coast wasn’t running the MTG section of the convention this year, probably because of the like 3 major tournaments they had this past weekend.
Twitch was a major presence this year, but it seemed that it was a huge waste/bummer because even though they were everywhere, you didn’t benefit from that unless you were either a partner, or one of the bigger streamers. The Twitch party was only good if you were partnered, and according to a few friends, it was even a challenge getting in in the first place.
Also the lines. Lines for everything, even the freeplay stuff, like Dreadnought (which looked really cool), the Capcom games, the food (to be expected), and it was bleeding into all the spaces everywhere, the only place where there weren’t many lines was in between the tabletop room and the expo room (I totally don’t remember what it was called). The spacing between the booths in the expo room weren’t well placed and quite hard to navigate, even though there was a lot of space in the room. But that’s a lot of bad, let’s move on to the good, because there’s a lot more of it.
PAX-ing in all the good stuff
I’ve stated above that this was my first experience with this particular con, but I had a blast! Here’s my little rundown of all the cool stuff, starting with the cosplayers.
Someone told me that the cosplay outfits were like next-level awesome, but I didn’t expect it at all! There were tons of costumes that just blew me away. The amount of time and work that they put into their outfits really showed. I kind of phoned it in with just my own clothes and a mask, but I really wish I had the talent to do what a lot of these con-goers did! All the walking around and pictures and just whipping my head around to see all the awesome costumes was super tiring.
The Handheld Game lounge/area/thingy with the beanbags was super awesome, especially towards the end of the day when you just want to sit and keep track of all the pings going on on your DS Streetpass. It was a nice place to kind of collect your thoughts and go through the loot you’ve gained throughout the day.
Seeing all the Indie games was also really cool, even if some of their booths were a little blank, it was quite exciting seeing and meeting the indie game devs/company people being super excited to show off what they’ve been working on.
In my opinion, the people were the best part period. Meeting some people whose content you’re following, the devs, the cosplayers, even random people stopping you for pictures or with questions about what cosplay you’re doing, and how you made it, all of it was really awesome. Quick shoutout to the really nice guys of LoadingReadyRun for chatting before/after pics!
Penny for your final thoughts
All and all, I wish I had done the 3-day pass instead of just going on Saturday. Apparently it was way smaller last year. I definitely want to expand my list of conventions to hit up, and see how this con expands. It was really cool because one of my friends who’d been to a few of the other PAX’s told me that this one had a good specialization around tabletop gaming, which I guess can be attributed to the rich tabletop gaming community in Texas. Like any other con, it had it’s good and it’s bad, but I’d like to go again, with definitely more effort put out into my cosplay.