As mentioned previously, here is my account of the things that occurred at and around PAX Prime this year.

Friday

I had arrived to PAX much earlier than I would’ve liked due to the other people I rode with, but it was alright since I didn’t have much planned for the day. After having brunch with some of my PAX crew, they reminded me that the Games Journalism Hunger Games MMXIV panel was happening at 12:30. Although I was interested in going, I didn’t make it a concrete thing to do at PAX. But since I didn’t have anything planned, it made sense to go cause I had no conflicting events. Luckily, there wasn’t really a line so I was able to find space with the other people in my crew and reconnected with the people I met at previous PAX events.

The panel was hosted by Gamespot’s Danny O’Dwyer. The idea was to have teams from various outlets competing against each other in local multiplayer games until one remained standing. As far as I know, the panel was recorded but sadly both SD and HD versions of the recordings were messed up in one way or another. So I don’t feel as bad telling you that IGN ultimately won. Here’s the trailer for the panel Gamespot uploaded to promote it.

The panel was a lot of fun. Thanks to my snaking my way into the line, I was sitting 3rd row in the middle. This allowed me to get one of my favorite pictures (Again, I know I didn’t take many of them. I was too busy living the thing).

PAX Prime 2014 - 1

They came, they saw, they won. Even though the tournament wasn’t ran well. All part of the fun, I say.

PAX Prime 2014 - 5

See, I was right there! Until I moved around.

The major thing I attended wasn’t until later that night when Giant Bomb had their Premium PAX Party. I am a paying subscriber of their website, and I was lucky to RSVP for their party fast enough. I had a lot of fun here. Not only did I meet new people and saw familiar faces, but I got to see the staff of Giant Bomb live and have them answer various questions from the members as we stood outside the building waiting to get in. Sadly, I had to leave in the middle of the party, but I enjoyed it, and hopefully they do it again. If you were wondering, yes there was a bar, and yes it was open. Trust me, I had a buddy who got his money’s worth of his subscription and more in alcohol. It was a fantastic sight.

Saturday

The only thing of note I did was the Giant Bomb Panel, or rather, The Giant Bomb Guide to eSports Victory! They did the same thing they did last night at the party, but with a lot more energy and a lot more antics. I sat stage right (again!) in the 3rd row. How I get good seats for these things I don’t quite know. All I know is that I had fun here as well. I also continued my streak of catching stuff they throw into the crowd, this time catching a Maleficent figure for those Disney Infinity games. Instead of keeping it, I gave it to a woman in front of me who stood up really wanting to catch something, while I sat there and snatched it out of the air once it got into my vicinity. I still have my Disney figures from last year still in the box, so I learned that I was never going to open them so I gave them to someone who I assume will actually use them. Yet during all of Saturday, I knew I was missing the Wu-Tang Clan at Bumbershoot. Waiting for the panel I did listen to some Wu-Tang, but it was cold comfort. Next time.

Sunday

Had to get up bright and early for this one. I arrived around 8:45 A.M. to line up for the Pax Prime Game Industry Rumble, or the panel name, The Game Industry Rumble! Live on the N64! Aaron Trites and Eric Pope from Harmonix got 30 people in the video game industry to play Wrestlemania 2000 on the N64. I had better seats for this than the Giant Bomb panel, as I was in the middle section, 2nd row. So I was pretty much right up against the table where the commentary and the game was happening. This was the most fun I had at a panel this year. Not only did I get to see my favorites play a wrestling video, as a wrestling fan they pulled out crazy wrestling-style antics that were absolutely amazing live. Leading up to the Rumble, I was planning on getting a poster

Jack Mantykiewicz (@itsHumanity on Twitter) made this poster. Harmonix printed up copies for everyone who attended the panel. It's hanging on my wall right now!

Jack Mantykiewicz (@itsHumanity on Twitter) made this poster. Harmonix printed up copies for everyone who attended the panel. It’s hanging on my wall right now!

for the creator of Sentris, Samantha Kalman. I failed. I got home from the Giant Bomb panel and realized I did absolutely nothing to make what would’ve been a 30 second poster. Then I saw my whiteboard and I wrote “Kalman’s House” since Samantha is from Seattle. Credit to the Harmonix guys because they brought paper and pens for people to make posters as we waited in line.

The rumble itself was, bonkers. Although watching the game itself is probably the least interesting part of the whole thing, it’s worth it to see the story told throughout the panel. Just watch the madness ensue. Also at 44:24, Kate Welch, formerly of ArenaNet, now She Geek Show! came with the quote of the event. Watch and listen for yourself.

The combination of not getting enough sleep, yelling and having a ball at the panel, and 3 days of constant movement and activity, I was exhausted. I went home in the afternoon and took a long nap.

Monday

Nothing. Well nothing of note. I played some board games, hung out with more people and said my goodbyes to new and old people I’ve met through PAX.

Although waiting for weeks on end to get passes to PAX was a struggle, the struggle was worth it. More than the video games, I enjoy PAX for the social aspect of it all. Meeting all kinds of people who come to PAX for various reasons. I can honestly say that I didn’t meet a single person who was in any way, shape, or form was disrespectful. Sadly, I wish all parts of the video game community was like this. A vocal minority of people ruin video games for the rest of us. PAX is a great reminder that the majority of people in the community aren’t that.

This makes it three PAX events I’ve attended. The luster is sort of gone for me, the whole “so many video games I can play” appeal. It doesn’t deter me away from going in the future. Again, it’s the people. If it wasn’t for that, for sure I wouldn’t attend. But knowing that I could strike up a conversation about video games, or any sort of gaming in general with virtually anyone attending makes it a lock that I will be hitting F5 on my keyboard for a month waiting to get a pass for next year.