Ladies and Gentlemen we are now a fortnight away from the people behind Penny Arcade’s PAX East opening their doors and starting the biggest videogame convention that the East Coast has the pleasure of hosting.
This year will be the fifth year attending the PAX East convention, and I was going to write a blog post giving out tips and advice on how to properly effectively capitalize on the most of everything that PAX or any other videogame/comic book convention has to offer you. Then I remembered that I already wrote blog post over at Sheep the Diamond last year. After re-reading the post I realized that I anything I write now would just be parroting that post. So I decided to take a leaf out of the triple A videogame industry by taking the original post, spicing it up a little by adding a bit of content at the beginning and end and re-released it as a “definite edition”.
So without further ado:
This Friday kickstarts the 2014 Penny Arcade Expo, one of the biggest video game conventions on the East Coast and this year will mark my third year going down to Boston to experience all that is PAX with my family and friends. Over the years I have compiled my own list of must-haves to bring along if you do not want to miss a single moment of PAX or a similar videogame convention/expo.
A Good Backpack: This one is self explanatory, even if you take a glancing pass through the Expo hall you will end up having more loot that you can hold. Plus you will need it to hold everything else in this list. While the expo may supply you with a bag in the loot bag they do tend to rip and tear throughout a day of heavy use.
Phone Charger/Device Charger AND surge protector: Live tweeting takes a lot out of your phone or tablet’s battery and if you plan to play with a handheld while passing time in the lines you will be needing a charge and because electrical plugs are finite in the building, bringing a surge protector along so you can share the electricity with other people. Who knows you might even make a friend or two.
CA$H: While the use of mobile apps that performs credit card charges on the go are increasing, plastic is not the preferred choice for the expo booths, and trust me you do not want to miss your chance to get a T-shirt from your favorite booth just because they don’t accept debit cards.
An Autograph Book: There are going to be plenty of famous and internet-famous people attending and you do not want to be caught with your pants down when you run into one of your idols and you don’t have anything on hand for them to sign. * Note: this packing tip comes from personal experience of mine when I ran into the creator of Red vs Blue on the expo floor.
Travel sized deodorant: There is already the stereotype of the smelly geek attending gaming convention, please don’t feed into it. Deodorant also serves as a college-age makeshift shower after being crammed into a convention hall with thousands of other geeks for three days.
Trail Mix: The snack food halls tend to drain the most out of your wallet so trail mix serves as a great way to cheaply save a few bucks and keep you going long into the night. The advanced expo traveler might even try to pack some lunch meats sandwiches in the morning before going. True masters might even try to pack the recommended nutritional value worth of food for the three days, but this is optional.
Energy Drinks: Trail Mix and good food may provide great healthy energy, but that always pales in comparison to the high you get from good old fashioned carbonated sugary caffeinated soft drinks. To quote a classic 90’s videogame mascot: during this weekend, YOU GOT TO GO FAST.
And now I am going to save yourself some hassle, pack some Emergenc-C or any types of Vitamin C drops: Bring this along and be sure to eat plenty of Vitamin C for the Post PAX crash because it comes down to this – there is so much stuff to do over this single weekend, the only real benchmark on how well you participated in the event is how comprised your immune system is on the following Monday.
To add some little more content to this post I also highly recommend spending quite a bit of prep time looking at all the panels and events available throughout the weekends and building a schedule around those activities. One of my mistake during my first year at PAX was that I ending up wandering around the Expo hall for too long and I only realized that I missed out on some interesting panels only after I looked at the schedule the next day.
If you are planning to attending a panel, especially if it is a panel about a popular topic or with popular people allow your schedule to wait in line. These panels fills up incredibly fast and in some cases a half hour before the panel even starts. if you have a particular panel or content that you want to not only attend especially if you want good seats.
I hope this post helps any PAX East first timers, and if you are going to be attending PAX East this year leave a comment down below. We could try to do a makeshift meet up.
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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays