This guest post is courtesy of Kat Ritchie, Evan’s wife, who felt she would like to reflect on her experiences of PAX Aus 2014 as someone who doesn’t feel as immersed in gaming as her husband (Who could be? Although she can easily spend hours playing Ingress or BattleBlock Theater…). This post was originally posted on her blog, full speed and flat out. For another take on PAX, I highly recommend our pal Sharona’s post, PAX for the Casual Gamer over at Pop Culture-y.
This year was my first visit to the gaming festival that is PAX – the Penny Arcade Expo. I was not at all sure that I wanted to go; Evan had been the year before, and this year was going as Media due to his involvement with the Action Points Podcast. Hence he had a Media Pass and had handed his pre-purchased 3-Day pass to me, but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go. Really? Me at a nerd-fest? Me, attending a gaming convention? Especially with a baby who could not be relied upon not to shriek all day long?
But I went, because I love him, and because he was so obviously keen for me to go. It was in the Melbourne Exhibition Centre which is big enough to park a few airplanes in, and I knew that if we needed to beat a retreat, we could return to Aaron’s apartment.
In the end, I had a BLAST! It really helped that I had my other geek friends from the Ingress world – they are all really nerdy, familiar with gaming and with PAX specifically, having attended a few before. Some of them were even enforcers who were there to help with crowd control and as mobile ‘help desks’. I tagged along with them as we went in search of free loot, while Evan and co did podcast interviews with game developers.
The noise level was huge in places, but overall quite manageable.
The toilets are wonderful, and I say this as an ECing, babywearing mother who needed to take the baby to go potty every couple of hours. There are many toilets, all in a very clean state. This is an important consideration when you are talking about a convention of hundreds of people, some in very elaborate costumes.
The three-day pass which would allow baby Marceline and I to attend the pop-up shop of geekdom in all its glory.
Both of us cosplaying as Marceline the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time.
Small Rubic Cube get! This was the prize for completing the QR code treasure hunt. The codes were scattered throughout the convention, around the entire Melbourne Exhibition Centre.
My little collection of Pinny Arcade pins. I’m too cheap money-conscious to buy many things, but I really enjoyed collecting the free pins which were offered as a reward for trying out new games. I got the Sunset Overdrive and Magic pins for playing those respective games.
So many cosplayers!
We took a photo at the Magic:The Gathering PhotoBooth to fulfil our requirements to win the Magic pin.
Here’s my baby Marceline, complete with Hambo.
She had wrap naps, which are lovely when you have a seven-hour day on your feet.
My loot from the day – the Intel booth was great for tech stuff, they gave out a bag with a hoodie, a power pack, and a Bluetooth speaker!
And if you want to hear more geeky things, head on over to the Action Points Podcast [EDIT: You’re already there! Congratulations!] to listen to their PAX special, with interviews and overall impressions of the weekend. I loved it!