Monthly Archives: September 2013

Super PAX Post Part 2 (Party Edition)

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We tried to recapture our perfect PAX experience from last year this year but it didn’t quite work out that way. Last year Amber, John and I were looking to lower our cost by having a few roommates in with us. Through that we ended up meeting Rowdy (James) and Flip (Brandon) who turned out to be really awesome guys. There was also a straggler, Pixie, but she didn’t really hang out with us. Together we shared the living quarters half of a suite and had a hell of a great time. You can see Rowdy below, photo-bombing his own candid shot.

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I don’t have a picture of Flip because he, like all majestic, mythical creatures, cannot be properly captured on film. I am totally not covering for the fact that I never got any pictures.

This year we were in two separate rooms and had two extras (Rowdy’s girlfriend Amelia and my super best friend Krystal) but we still managed to get together every night to talk and laugh. And drink. There was quite a bit of cider to be had. Plus a few games of cards against humanity. Honestly, I think last year we were still getting to know each other so we played more games to fill in the gaps. This year we all just wanted to catch up and all we needed for that was ourselves and good feelings all around.

In between the drinking and the laughing there was a convention to be had!

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The handheld lounge is where I spent a lot of my first PAX but this year I only stopped by for a photo. It’s a great place to play Mario Kart with a bunch of strangers but otherwise there are much better things to see and to do. For instance, when I took this picture, we were headed over to the room where Crit Success was located to get ourselves some fancy d20 rings. 019 021

After that it was on to the Expo floor! Where the very first thing that caught my eye was, of course, this:

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The line was a mess, though, so we didn’t bother and anyway Chessex was right next door. Amber needed to get dice for Kyle and John couldn’t resist the lure. Even I found something that entertained me. Yo, dawg!

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Later on we ran into Amelia and she and John got a chance to make soup. A truly exciting proposition.

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It’s a game called Pixel Junk Inc and I was completely disinterested. Except they were offering a chance at winning a green tea Kit Kat bar, so I was so on board for that. Spoiler alert: we didn’t win. But they had fun and isn’t that the point? (No.)

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This was the highlight for me! It’s a very simple game with a simple premise: you are an octopus with a human family that does not know you are an octopus. Basically you just do dad stuff but it’s really hard as you have tentacles. Tentacles are not exactly very helpful for things like making coffee or mowing the lawn. It’s hilarious and sad to watch him struggle. Poor Octodad.

Later, John posed amusingly with a cosplayer. I don’t have a story to go along with this, I just love the picture.

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As usual, I saved the best for last, Acquisitions Inc!

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It’s strange, but I was never really interested in D&D until Penny Arcade started playing around the time 4.0 came out. I remember that was when it was because they were specifically running a 4.0 game to try it out. These days they’re playing D&D Next because they always roll with the newest thing.

Acquisitions Inc is the name of the motley crew of characters they assembled to go on these adventures. This time around they discarded Wil Wheaton and the crew was Jerry Holkins as Omin Dran, Mike Krahulik as Jim Darkmagic (of the New Hampshire Darkmagics), Scott Kurtz as Binwin Bronzebottom and Patrick Rothfuss as Viari.  I didn’t know who Patrick Rothfuss was until this game but as it transpires, I find him hilarious. I guess he’s a writer? Still kind of in the dark. More research must be done.

I laughed until my stomach hurt and, FYI, so can you! The video is hosted in many different places but if you go the Wizards of the Coast website, you can listen to the podcasts as well. Enjoy!

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Super PAX Post Part 1 (Business Edition)

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After a very, very long drive we finally arrived at the Sheraton in Seattle. All of us were exhausted to the point that we couldn’t fathom the idea of sleeping. If you’ve never experienced that, it’s definitely worth the trouble. Still, we didn’t get much done except picking up our badges and shirts.

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We had to get to bed quite early the first night because we had a wedding to go to in the morning! Two Enforcers that met at PAX got married at 7am before the convention opened on Friday. As Enforcers we were all invited and Amber was a bridesmaid! The wedding was suitably nerdy and absolutely beautiful.

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Krystal started her shift only twenty minutes after the end of the wedding. I left John behind to give our respects to the bride and groom while I walked Krystal to her shift. I was all puffed up and proud, like I was taking my first born off to college. (Picture note: I’m a terrible parent and didn’t get a picture of my first born and so she provided one of her own.)

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The rest of us were working the late shift or, as it is more often called, Wang shift. John worked Classic Console Freeplay, Amber worked Main Theatre backstage (she’s kind of a big deal) and I worked Console Freeplay for the second year running.

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Our shifts started right after Expo Hall closed which meant the crowds were unbelievable. I had to get all the way up to the 6th floor of the convention center and was a little late due to traffic.

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I work sanitation in my department which basically means I spent 6 hours everyday cleaning controllers, directing people to the returns desk next to me and counting how many people actually asked before using my hand sanitizer. Given, I put it out there for people to use, it was just interesting to see how many people were polite.

For the record, my department is the best department and my job is the best job if you’re an avid people watcher as I am. There were three cases of completely fascinating gamers over the course of the convention. First was a couple that was playing a co-op Mario game on the Wii. They had lots of fun but they made me grind my teeth with frustration. She was terrible at the game and he was a terrible partner and they died on a regular basis.

Second was a pair of girls who shrieked and flung themselves back in their chairs while playing Catherine. I guess it’s a puzzle game that takes place in a nightmare? I have no idea. It was strange and I got some chuckles out of it.

Third (most entertaining and annoying) was a blond woman playing a fighting game on the 360. She moved around with the controller in her hands as if she could move her character that way. She was so violent with her movements that I thought at first she was playing a racing game. But no, she was playing a fighting game quite badly. For about a half hour she would play like that, moving all around her station and slamming her hands down on the table when she lost. She even swore pretty loudly which is a no-no that early in the evening. The clincher, though, was when she actually threw the controller to the ground and broke it. Not cool.

The rest of the people watching was just ordinary folks playing awesome games. Well…there was one other thing.

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The best part of the picture? That’s my manager. This is why I love PAX.

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