Well, back from PAX! So much for my plans to do blog posts during the show. To be honest, there wasn't a whole lot to blog about. This year was the first year I ever came home feeling disappointed. There were a few games of interest (like Johann Sebastian Joust which no one could stop talking about) but they were all indie and all had pretty long lines to play. Not that there's anything wrong with only indie games being the attractions at PAX, it was just a bit surprising.
The main theme this year seemed to be "you are no longer worth the cost of previous advertising methods, please just give us money." A good example of this is that there were a few signs around the convention center advertising the sequel to Dead Island, but I didn't actually see anywhere to play the game. They just had computers set up for you to blindly pre-purchase it on Amazon. I hear there was also a theater playing the trailer...once an hour...with only a handful of seats.
Swag also took a hit. I got one t-shirt and that was only because I saw a newsletter pointing out that they would have a secret pile of t-shirts at EVGA. To get most things you had to jump through a lot of hoops, almost all of which involved Facebook as a first step. We had to beg the Torchlight 2 booth to give us bags and CDs of music from the game. I am pretty sure they were the only ones that didn't make us like them on Facebook and then play a game in the annex before tag teaming in a wrestling match with their mascot before jumping into a lake of fire so that we could get a piece of swag with the name of their game on it. I'm sure we would have needed to, had the lady not taken pity on us.
Probably the best swag I got was three free months of Xbox Live Gold. We got them for playing this cute little tap game on a tablet that a super creepy guy in a full purple body suit was holding. The swag was great...but I liked the game too! They didn't even tell me what the name of it was! I just got done playing, they quickly took down my score and email, handed me the code, and shuffled me along. I feel like something just got lost in translation this year.
The most disappointing thing by far was that I didn't hang out with people nearly as much as last year. I feel like I barely saw anyone and spent even less time getting to be with the people I did get to see.
So, PAX is going to be four days next year. They added an Aussie show. They did a pretty good job solving the badge faking issues except that there were new and exciting badge stealing issues.
I'm just not sure I'm up for it anymore. PAX has meant the world to me, it has made me life long friends and changed my life in the best ways possible. But...I came home sick with con-crud, mentally and physically exhausted, with this nagging question of whether it was worth it this time.
Maybe next year I'll sit in a coffee shop somewhere near PAX. It will be relaxing, I'll get to spend a little time with any friends that pop on by and I'll come home feeling refreshed.
Oh, and side note - I did not realize how incredibly depressing it would be to walk into the house on Monday and not have Swiffer stretch off the couch, get his tail going, and give me a big doggy grin. Or wake up on Tuesday to find that he isn't curled up next to my legs on the bed. I think I spent a good 10 minutes just staring at him happily this morning. lol