I'm a guy who's been playing games since the age of 2 or 3. Gaming credentials are as follows:
Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega Game Gear
Virtual Boy (lol)
PC (Mostly Steam-based)
Game Boy Pocket
Game Boy Color
Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance SP
Game Boy Micro
Sony PlayStation 2
Sony PlayStation Portable (V1)
Nintendo DS Lite (Borked)
Microsoft X-Box 360
Sony PlayStation 3
PAX East is 10 days away as of this writing. While I'm no expert on the convention, or conventions in general, there are a few tips that I have learned that have made my PAX experience (which started out amazing) a little bit better (making it outstanding). I'm not sure how many of these articles I'm going to write up. I figured I'd start on something that may seem obvious, but I've seen many people (including my close friends) ignore such advice. Today's topic: Power. Unlimited Power.
What do I mean by unlimited power? I mean energy. Raw electricity. You are going to bring electronic devices to this convention. They will die. You will be sad. Let's try to prevent that happening early.
ProTip #1: Bring your chargers. Don't leave it in your hotel room. This is the most obvious. Phone and game chargers do not take up much space. As you roam the Boston Convention Center, if you look closely enough, you can find outlets all around you, but on the show floor and in the game room (the two places where you quite possibly be spending the most time), the outlets are much harder to find. If you have a second, such as when you're waiting on line for the next panel, look around the floor and walls. You may find an outlet. Even if your phone isn't dead yet, give it a little charge. Try to keep it alive as long as possible.
ProTip #2: Device Settings Another obvious tip. If your device has a power saving mode, use it. If your device has brightness settings, lower them as far as you can (as long as you can still see). Turn off your wireless if you're not using it (you most likely will not be using the busy wifi). On your phones, turn off background data. Check for tweets and e-mails manually. Your phone will last a lot longer.
ProTip #3: Extra Batteries This one goes to those of you who have PSP, PSV, Android Phones, and/or non-charging devices. Depending on where you buy them, extra batteries can be pretty cheap and can literally double the life of your device. I was able to buy two extra batteries for my Droid X2 for $20 total last year before PAX and I was never happier with a purchase. Whenever the small battery of my phone would die (a generous 4 hours with use), I'd quickly swap batteries out and easily get another 4 hours (if not more) out of it. Again, obvious, but people don't even think about it.
ProTip #4: Extended Batteries/Battery Extenders The easiest way to make devices last longer is to make them last longer. For 3DS, Nyko's Power Pack line of products will, at the very least, double your 3DS's battery life. They're not made for easy switching. I wouldn't bring the old battery with me to switch them out on the convention floor, but just having the PowerPack+ allowed me to keep my 3DS wireless on throughout the entire day without needing to charge (until I get back to the hotel room). iPhones can get power cases to extend their battery life. There are also many pocket-sized gadgets made specifically to charge USB devices. Examples found here and here. These are just two examples, but there are plenty more if you keep looking.
ProTip #5: Surge Protector This is probably the most unique tip you'll see on here... and possibly the smartest. Bring a surge protector. I've noticed that in most hotel rooms, there are only about two or three outlets. If you're with three other people, all four of you have cell phones, and most likely at least three of the four of you have some sort of game console. I have seen many hotel rooms that never had enough power outlets. A surge protector will calm any fights for outlets at the end of the night... when everyone's exhausted. Bringing it to the convention floor... might be a bit odd... but think about how big of a hero you will be to everyone else waiting in line who need to keep their phones fully charged! (I've never actually brought the power strip to the show floor, but it could work out really well. Especially if you're travelling with friends)
Five ProTips on making your devices last as long as possible throughout your days at PAX East. Need me to clear anything up? Have your own Pro Tips? Let me know in the comments.