Today one of the biggest video game and board game conventions comes to Boston. PAX (the Penny Arcade Expo) is not an immediately recognizable event name but almost 70,000 people attended last year and I am sure the crowds will grow this weekend.
Boston is such a sports town that the news about other events tends to get drowned out in the noise from the bleachers. When people do know what PAX is it commonly gets referred to as a video game convention, but this isn’t really accurate. It is a convention about games. Video games, board games, card games, dice games, pen and paper role playing games, any possible type of tabletop game is represented.
Take a look at this picture below, have you ever seen anything like this? Thousands of people quietly enjoying the company of others in healthy competition. It gives one hope for humanity.
As I have mentioned many times before, I believe play to be important. Play makes your brain bigger and we have a genetic desire to be social and to enjoy each other. PAX is an opportunity to celebrate and see new and exciting ways that people are playing together.
There will be a lot of large video game companies represented, but some of the most compelling experiences come out of seeing small independent companies working hard to share their wares and watching regular folks cosplaying (dressing up as their favorite characters). PAX is a place for geeks and nerds to feel at home, be accepted and let their freak flags fly. Sometimes the flags are literal, swords and other pointy objects are just for show.
Also exhibiting at the event will be the American Classic Arcade Museum which normally makes their home at Funspot in Laconia, NH. If arcade games were part of your growing up please visit these this museum with their outstanding volunteers and commitment to keeping the history of video games alive. This year they will be bringing close to 50 arcade cabinets to the expo and recreating an eighties style arcade in the convention center.
Music has always been a huge part of PAX and geek culture in general. Nerd legends such as Jonathan Coulton and MC Frontalot will be performing. Most readers may not know who these artists are, so I am including some links here for your listening pleasure.
In the past few years PAX has become an important part of what myself and the local Serious Players plan for and anticipate during the year. If you don’t get to go this weekend, plan for next year. Nerd Mecca, geek Christmas and dork prom in a single weekend. You will not be sad.
Continue this discussion on Facebook or come join us at the Somerset Public Library on March 30th for International Tabletop Day. Come try out some of the gameswe picked up at PAX!