*Community Blog by Qalamari // PAX 2009: The do's and do NOT do's
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PAX 2009: The do's and do NOT do's

With less than a week until the doors of PAX are thrown wide, I thought it might be useful to share some of the things I've learned by attending for the last two years, in a handy and simple do/don't format. Actually, most of this stuff is applicable to any convention you attend. Print one out! Folds up and fits right in your pocket.


Wear comfortable shoes. I can't stress this enough. During the convention, you're going to be on your feet a LOT. Whether you're standing in the concert hall , perusing the show floor or walking around downtown Seattle on a pub crawl, chances are pretty good your basic mode of transport is going to be the Shoelace Express. Do your feet a favor and wear some shoes that you've already broken in. There aren't too many maladies that can ruin fun faster than a blister.

Bring your portable system and a charger. PAX is a digital wonderland, and if you ever wanted to play multiplayer on that obscure Japanese game you imported, this is probably your best chance to find someone else as crazy as you are. You can also let your Nintendogs out to play, battle Pokemon, or level the hell out of your pins in The World Ends With You. You will be standing in a lot of lines, so take advantage of the time to get in a few games of Tetris DS or Monster Hunter. Just don't forget the charger, and make sure to power up every night.

Plan your day beforehand. At any given time there are 5-7 events going on simultaneously. It's simply not possible to see and do everything. You may have to make some tough decisions, but that's where the program guide you get when you register is your best friend. There's a graphical version of the daily schedule in the guide, so it's easy to circle what you want to do and refer to it regularly. And if something you thought you would like turns out to be less interesting than you thought, don't feel bad about leaving and doing something else for a while. The primary goal here is to have fun.

Plan on using plastic whenever possible. Normally I wouldn't recommend this, as I feel it's better to have cash in hand when you want to purchase something. However, the ATM in the convention center ran out of cash daily last year, and there's a $3 fee every time you use the thing anyway. So long as you pay back the balance before the end of the month, it's much cheaper and more convenient to use your credit card for whatever you buy. This isn't to say you shouldn't carry some cash, but plan on using it for food and gratuities, not souvenirs.

Speaking of food, that brings me to the 6-2-1 rule. PAX is a busy weekend, and it's easy to forget to take care of basic human necessities. During each convention day, you should do your best to get:
6 hours of sleep,
2 meals, and
1 shower.
You can try mixing up the ratio, for example getting two hours of sleep and eating six meals, or getting one hour of sleep, taking six showers, and eating a single meal. This has been attempted in the past, and is not advisable.

Bring a camera. Cosplay pictures, upcoming games, some freak wearing a blue shell hat... You won't be able to post pictures on your blog if you don't have it with you. Try to keep it as accessible as possible (shoulder/neck strap, man bag etc.) so you don't miss capturing something epic.

Last but not least, Wear deodorant. There will be more than 50,000 people visiting Arcadia over the holiday weekend, which means there will be, at a conservative estimate, 100,000 armpits. Even though you are certain that your sweat glands release the scent of fresh-baked pastries, please apply deodorant anyway. Everyone around you will show their appreciation by not gagging, turning white, or passing out.


Make an ass of yourself. The PAX rules are written on your badge, and they aren't hard to follow. Breaking them reflects poorly not only on yourself but on anyone you're with... like, say, a certain group of fun-loving bloggers.

Bring home consoles. I tried to do this last year and found out the hard way that most hotels lock out the inputs on their T.V.s specifically to block this sort of thing. Sure, it's a dick move on their part, but learn from my mistake and save yourself the hassle of shipping a console to yourself at your hotel or trying to take it through airport security.

Spend so much time at the convention that you miss out on meeting other people from Destructoid. I did this last year and I've been regretting it ever since. Last year I came up with a big group of friends and spent most of my time hanging out with them. I don't regret that, but only after did I think to myself, "Hey. I see these guys all the time. I just missed an opportunity to hang out with people I won't see for at least another year." If you're going, you really have no excuse not to check out the PAX meetup group's Cblog at the very least.

Forget to leave room in your bags for souvenirs. It's easy to get carried away, and there's a few things at PAX you can't find this side of Akihabara. You'll also end up with quite a bit of swag, some of it posters and other things that may not travel well. There's a Kinko's in the lower level of the convention center that can help with shipping it back home if that's what it comes down to... but it's easier just to plan ahead and leave some room in your suitcase.

Be rude to the speakers/other guests. If you need to leave a panel/movie/whatever, try to do so without disrupting other attendees. Don't slam the door on the way out, and wait until you're outside to start talking. This is just common courtesy, but unfortunately that seems to be less and less common every year.

Miss the next PAX. While this may be the last wholly unifying game show in Seattle, the fact that PAX is becoming a bi-yearly event means there's less excuse than ever to miss one. You will have to make sacrifices in time, money, and perhaps favors owed, but I can attest with no uncertainty that it's entirely worth it.

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About Qalamarione of us since 5:34 AM on 02.16.2007

Scary Womanizing Pig Mask was a good friend. Wherever you've gone, I hope you're in a better place.

Beyamor's avatar fathered mine's love child at PAX East. It's ok though, 'cuz he gave me a picture of a Kirby as child support. Cheap bastard...

I inspired a song. (Thanks, Alphadeus!)

I am an element of Destructoid. (Thanks, Corduroy Turtle!)

10 things that may help you to understand me better.

I used to be the Cblog Recapper for Mondays. It was a good run.

May want to stay out of the old stuff. I didn't know what I was doing when I started here.
Like most other D-toiders I am male, 15 to 30 something, introverted to the point of social ineptitude, and grew up obsessing over whatever videogames I came across-- somewhat to the chagrin of my parents. I have about 9-10 gigs (yes, GIGS) of hard drive space devoted to game music, original soundtracks and remixes alike (Much love for OCRemix ). I've logged many, many hours into World of Warcraft, though I cancelled my account and have been "clean" for a couple of years now. I am a moderately slavering Nintendo fan because-- let's be fair... they were easily the biggest influence in my formative years. Because of this, it is my belief that Smash Bros. Brawl was created specifically for me. The fact that the rest of you may enjoy it is merely coincidence.

I am something of a stickler for both grammar and punctuation, and the use of "LOL" and its truncated ilk sometimes causes me to cringe. Fairly warned be ye, says I.

I work and go to college part time, which is a strain on both my finances and my free time. As such, my gaming collection isn't as up-to-date as I'd like. Somehow, I have managed to obtain a Wii, PS3, and a 360. My favorite console, however, is still the original NES My brother and I bought ourselves 20-odd years ago. I'm almost never more than 50 feet from my DS. I just replaced my computer's innards, and have found that I have more PC games to catch up on than time to do it in. I manage to stay current on most games by visiting friends with other systems, and the ancient art of borrowing. And that's a nice thing about games... if you miss `em you can go back to them years later and they're just the same as they ever were.

I tend to be more of a lurker than a contributor, but if I see something I think is particularly humorous or worthy, I do enjoy sharing.

E-mail: Qalamari {at} gmail {dot} com. Infrequently checked, you're better off sending me a PM on the site.

PSN: Qalamari. Haven't been on there much lately. =/

Steam: Qalamari. Steam sales are craaaazy! Always willing to help with Hat Fortress 2.

Xbox 360: Qalamari. You may be picking up on a theme here by now.

I love to see new Miis. If you add my Wii code, let me know! 5015-7633-5088-2932

Brawl code: 1289-7907-1240. PM me if you add it so I can hit you back.

Mario Kart Wii code: 0731-5535-7924. Same deal.

I had Pokemon codes here once, but I don't think anybody cared.
Xbox LIVE:Qalamari
PSN ID:Qalamari
Steam ID:Qalamari
Mii code:5015 7633 5088 2932


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