Tuesday, September 9, 2014

PAX Recap, Part 2

At the end of the first day of PAX I spent a lot of time in my hotel room resting and recovering. This was less because the first day had been exhausting and more because I knew that the second day was destined to be far more tiring, as there was far more to do.

It did not disappoint.

I began again by getting breakfast from the Exhibitors' Lounge and working a full day at the booth. I don't remember much about the day itself, although I think that was the day that I met the strange elevator girl.

As a Mecca for gaming and other nerdy type of people, you really kind of expect a certain awkwardness from the attendees. I'm a rather awkward person myself, especially in person. However, I've often been surprised at how comfortable people seemed to be with each other there. It's like the awkwardness we experience in daily life falls away in the presence of like-minded people, which leads me to suspect that most awkwardness is caused by our attempts to translate our internal language into something other people can understand, like someone traveling to a foreign country that understands the language well enough but still has trouble speaking it fluently. At PAX, on the other hand, we share a language and feel less of a need to translate, making us less awkward people as a whole.

That said, there's always someone just a little more awkward than everyone else, whether it's intentional or not. In the case of the elevator girl, I suspect it was a case of being purposefully awkward for the attention, but I could very well be wrong.

On my way back from lunch I took an elevator to the fourth floor of the expo hall. When the elevator arrived, the people coming down to the first floor all exited the elevator, with the exception of one girl. She just kind of stared at the four people, including myself, who entered the elevator. When the door closed she asked for each of our middle names and stared at us until we provided an answer. She then went on to tell us that she's afraid of heights, and that the elevator (which was one of those glass elevators) was terribly frightening to her. She didn't look frightened, though. She looked expectant, like she was trying to creep us out. Which, in a way, worked, though only because intentionally trying to creep people out is sort of an inherently creepy activity.

Once the expo hall closed I got a brief rest in my hotel room before being called to the art show, where my laptop was being used to play a game called Particle Mace. My assistance was required to get the PS3 controllers working on my laptop, but shortly after the party began it became clear that my computer was not quite up to the task of running the game at full speed when 4 people were playing.

The art show itself was pretty fun. I got to talk to friends that I don't get to see very often, like Jon Magram and Melissa King, as well as Ikono Farlight who I only really get to see at PAX. The artwork on display was cool, and the show didn't get nearly as crowded as it got last year. Everyone was able to just hang out and groove to the tunes of Robbie Benson's Super Soul Bros, who gave our booth a groovy soundtrack each day at the expo hall.

Anita Sarkeesian showed up at the art show, which I thought was pretty cool. We had been in contact a few weeks prior, and I had no idea she was at PAX. I was running the merch table at the time, though, so I couldn't break away to say hello. As it turns out, she was actually there to say hi to me, which was a surprise to me--though I would have known it if I kept up with my Twitter messages. Ah, well.

After the party was over, we cleaned the place up and threw everything into the van. Afterward we proceeded to the Hurricane Cafe, a 24 hour dive that's become something of a post-art-show tradition. A much more personal after-party, if you will, where about ten of us eat greasy food and goof off for a while, trying to forget that it's 3AM and we all have things to do in just a few hours. It's one of the most pleasant parts of PAX, and I find I don't entirely hate myself the next morning despite the lack of sleep.

The next two days were fairly uneventful, but I'll recap them next time along with the Legend of the Sandwich: a saga that begins on the first day of PAX and lasts for the duration.

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