Hi. We’re back.
PAX was great. For the TL;DR among you, it was better than last year.
Jen and I left Daphne behind with the grandparents and drove from Seguin to the convention in San Antonio.
More from this sign later…
We unfortunately just missed the “You Have Died of Dysentery” panel. So we did a slow pass through the Expo Hall, picked up a Charizard for Daphne, then scurried over to get in line for the “Making Friends in Geek Spaces” panel, which I assumed was going to discuss the odd relationships created between online gaming “friends” and/or guildies. But no, it was exactly what it was billed as being. An hour of tips and tricks for simply making friends.
Which was fine! I’d even call it quite interesting in places. Particularly when the panelists were waxing anecdotal about their own foibles.
It just wasn’t what we’d expected.
Our second panel was, “Traversing the Cow Level, the Challenges of Being a Gamer IRL.” And this was a bit more our speed. It was relatively conceptual, and talked about the psychology of gamer culture and how it’s somehow still marginalized and scapegoated. We left there with quite a few topics for discussion, and headed over to Esquire for an early dinner to chat about them.
Esquire had a charming decor, and we got a fantastic table out on their patio, overlooking the
Sewage Rivulet River Walk.
Char Char’s wings were too big for my Bag of Holding.
Unfortunately, things went a bit downhill from there.
Our server was decidedly lacking in the personality department, and botched my order. “Plain & dry burger, medium-well” arrived as “stacked with all the trimmings we could find, pink and cool in the center.” And what I assumed was a tin of ketchup on the side turned out to be a pot of barbeque sauce. Blech.
We weren’t all that impressed with their highly touted beer menu either. Most of it was typical local brands like Live Oak and 512. Although it’s entirely possible that we’ve become spoiled by the selection at our Whole Foods. (Wow…how white bread was that?)
Their lack of decent beer turned out to be an unexpected windfall, because we ordered their ginger beer instead and it was fantastic. One of the best I’ve ever had. If I thought they carried Gosling’s, I definitely would’ve ordered a dark n’ stormy.
Anyway, for the price I expected a little bit more.
After dinner we headed back to Seguin to find a happy but exhausted daughter. Turns out she’d been playing and swinging in the backyard for most of the day, which tends to wear a little girl out.
She did wake up long enough to meet Charizard though…
Jen stayed in Seguin on Saturday, and I took my niece to the convention in her stead for the afternoon. We had a good time; it’s fun to introduce someone to their first geek convention. Once she’d been sent back out to Seguin to spend the evening with the grandparents, I wandered down to check in the aforementioned X-Wing tournament.
Which went about as expected.
Although, my first game was as close as it gets to being a win. Bossk fired one last volley into Dash Rendar and got him down to one hull point. Dash then returned fire, and scored just enough damage to cause Bossk’s Space Stapler to explode, thereby ending the game.
“Mah stapler. I b’leeve you broke it.”
Sadly, the next game wasn’t much of a fight. Bossk went down in the first 5 minutes of the round, and Boba Fett went into “leaf on the wind” mode for the rest of the game. He did manage to stay alive for much longer than expected though, which was a point of minor frustration for my opponent. In fact, both guys I played against said they were amazed that these were my very first two games of X-Wing, and told me I piloted my ships really well. A nice compliment after going 0-2.
Anyway, I’d intended to play the third and last round, just to get another game under my belt, but after I finished game two I stood up and the whole world spun underneath me. Yes, I forgot to eat again. All I’d had all day was a bowl of blueberries at 9am. (This was 6pm.) So I dropped from the tourney, packaged up my ships and tokens, and drove home.
Finally, it was Daphne’s turn for PAX.
She wasn’t happy about this at all.
And I’m proud to say, she absolutely aced her first PAX trip. We were a bit worried that all the people + neon + giant screens + noise would prove too much for her. And we were totally wrong. She had an awesome time.
And particularly liked the Alienware truck.
She spent the whole day squealing and giggling and whacking me on the back like a tiny jockey urging on a horse. [SPOILER ALERT: I’ll have a SEQUENCES later in the week detailing this very activity.]
This was 2 hours later, on our last lap of the day. Already jaded.
So that was pretty much our PAX.
As for the games themselves, the con was lacking on the usual “heavy hitters” (like WotC, Blizzard, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, EA, etc.), but what it lacked in corporate bloat, it more than made up for in enthusiastic indie developers. And there were quite a few that looked interesting.
Just Shapes & Beats was hypnotic as hell, and slowed me to a syrup-walk each time I passed by.
Tron Run/r plucked at my nostalgia enough to make me want to download it once it’s released in a couple weeks.
I overheard more than a few One Night Ultimate Werewolf – Daybreak games being played at some of the freeplay tables, and it sounded like they were having an awesome time.
And finally, Secret Hitler isn’t yet available (as of PAX), but it had been successfully Kickstarted and I heard quite a few people talking about it.
On our way home, Jen and I decided we’d attempt to find the time to play the Pathfinder:ACG game that’s been collecting dust upstairs for a few months now.
We also talked about picking up the new Pandemic: Legacy game, and giving that a shot.
Hey, let us know if you want to come by and play.
(I don’t think the “blogging” tactic was covered in that “Making Friends” panel…)
Okay, see you tomorrow.