PAX: You’re Doing it Wrong
While conquering my fear of takeoff, I realized something very disturbing… I was happy to be leaving PAX. That thought broke my heart. This year didn’t fill me with the same wonder that I had with PAX of years past. It took a five and a half hour flight home to put my finger on the problem.
The convention itself was the same. There were wide eyed gamers racing to favorite game, cosplayers decked out in amazing attire, the booths had amazing tournaments and epic swag. So what was it that left me empty inside? I think it was the parties.
I understand that there were many people who put blood sweat and tears into the parties of PAX Prime 2012. I appreciate all they did to try to bring the gamers, media and developers face to face. They took time out of their busy lives to bring a bit of community to our evenings and for that I’m eternally grateful.
Most parties were open to the general public and you could RSVP prior to the event, while a few were exclusive. I noticed that anyone related to “the industry” was scoffing at the idea of attending a party open to the general public. People were greeting each other and asking “What parties were you invited to?” gauging each other’s status level. The general public IS the reason for PAX. They’re the reason these games are so popular and why media sites, internet personalities, and developers even exist. Since when are they something to scoff at?
I was lucky enough to be invited to one of these exclusive parties. I felt honored to walk among the folks in attendance. Eager to hear what the inside of the industry sounds like, I was eavesdropping on conversations. I was upset by some of what I heard. Instead of the camaraderie I expected, I heard an unusual amount of negativity. Someone asked what I was up to as of late and I explained NotFNcute and the FNPodcast. Their reply was to ask me what I expected to get out of it. I drew a blank on that answer. Looking back on the conversation, I guess I should have said how I felt. I never expected to GET anything out of our podcast. I do it because I love it. I love getting together with my friends and bringing our outrageous views to the handful of folks on the internet that find them funny. That’s all I ever expected.
The developers that were there to share their games were amazing. The people there to enjoy the games were inspiring. I can’t believe that anyone would be at PAX for any other reason. When you’re at PAX you are there as a fan. You’re there because you LOVE everything about games that comes along with picking up a controller, booting up your computer or sitting down to a tabletop.
Dear people who are at PAX for any other reason… you are doing it wrong.