Last night at around a quarter to midnight, Eastern time, I finally arrived home to my little one-bedroom apartment, officially ending my first-ever PAX.
I want to send all of my thanks to the wonderful Dtoid peeps who I met and hung out with. You were all so welcoming and friendly. Every staff member I met was unbelievably humble and entertaining, and the community bros are an awesome and sociable bunch. I guess I'll recap the weekend as it went for me.
Thursday I spent the whole day flying or waiting to fly. I've never flown before, unless you count this one time when I was a baby, and I don't. First it was a silly 40-minute flight from Augusta to Atlanta, followed by a 4-hour layover and then 4-hour flight from Atlanta to Seattle. While waiting in Atlanta, I attempted to listen to the newest Podtoid using the official Android app. It worked like a champ, until one point when I paused it so I could listen to a gate-change announcement. After moving my shit, I tried to unpause the podcast, only to have the app decide to start it over and apparently seeking doesn't work. I had about an hour left. I wasn't about to listen to it all over again right away.
The dudes in the email thread weren't kidding. The walk from the SEATAC terminal to the Light Rail station felt like forever, but was totally worth it. It was a very pleasant and super convenient ride. Nearly everybody on it was clearly there for PAX, which was awesome. And here's a secret: I accidentally rode for free. I felt really guilty about doing so, as it wasn't intentional.. I'm just a clumsy mess when it comes to travelling and somehow completely missed the ticket booth, and instead saw a wide-open and unguarded train door. My thought was "durr, maybe you pay when you get on?". Spoiler: you don't.
I checked into the hotel at about 8:30 that night. 32nd floor of the Crowne Plaza. I didn't request anything fancy when I reserved, in fact my only criteria for hotel choice were vicinity to the convention and price, so I know I didn't book an expensive hotel. But apparently I ended up with a "club floor" room. Free breakfast every morning and I needed to use my key in the elevator to get to the floor. I felt ballin as fuck. Also, the key was an advertisement for Mass Effect 3. Seriously:
I spent the next few hours awkwardly roaming the floors of Gameworks, taking it all in, shaking a few hands, not knowing anybody else (being a first-timer) and trying to adjust to the fact that the West coast doesn't have Yuengling.
Eventually I just decided to grab a recently-emptied seat and that's when the night became awesome. I proceeded to spend the rest of the night drinking and laughing with Jim Sterling and Max Scoville. I'm not exaggerating when I say that was basically a dream come true right there. It was almost too perfect. If I did nothing else over the weekend except play a few games and then fly home, I think I would have been happy.
Friday Running on four hours of sleep, jetlag, and a hangover, I got up dark and early because I wanted to be in line. I know veterans must think it's kind of gauche to bother with getting to the expo early but dammit, it was my first PAX and I wanted to play some vidyas. The whole thing was really exciting. The downside to that morning is that, even though I was close to the beginning of the line, I was still on the "wrong" end - furthest from the skybridge, meaning I was farthest from my first destination once the hounds were released at 10:00. By the time I got to the Guild Wars 2 booth, it was already packed and all of the invitations to the developer's Saturday night party were already completely gone.
Throughout the first day, I played Guild Wars 2, Lollipop Chainsaw, Skyward Sword, and oggled everything representing Bioshock Infinite with my eye parts.
That night, the Elephant and Castle was pretty awesome. Destructoid took over the basement area which was kinda cool, and the bar's taps were spewing nothing but foam the whole night, which was less cool. MuddBstrd and I attempted to check out the Protomen concert initially, but we discovered that the Corazon is a total shithole. Glad we ditched that plan in the end, man!
Saturday Originally my plan for Saturday morning was to take my time and not be concerned with being "early" in line again. I slept a little longer, grabbed a coffee on the way to the convention, and.... still ended up in line around 9:00. Oh well, due to my timing I managed to successfully snag one of them awesome Guild Wars 2 bandanas that ArenaNet was passing around all weekend.
Speaking of which, I actually immediately left the convention and went across the street to get in line for the Guild Wars 2 panel not scheduled to start until 1:00. I'm glad I did. I was among the first 5-6 people in a line that ended up being maybe 700+ people. This was crucial as I not only got to sit at the very front, but the first few hundred people that lined up received a special (and free) limited edition GW2 tshirt. After the panel I shook the lead game content designer's hand and struggled to not explode in fanboy joy.
After that, I played Skyrim in which I kicked a wolf in the face and also dragons. Buy Skyrim.
I also bought some sexy artbooks.
Sunday After the hysterical and awesome Destructoid Live panel and the group photo, the rest of the day was a mad dash to get playtime in with the remaining things I wanted to try. I played Firefall, Jurassic Park, El Shaddai, and Rhythm Heaven Wii. I know it might sound like I didn't do a lot, but so much time is spent either waiting to play or trying to decide what to play. If I had more time, I would have tried Twisted Metal, Sonic, and Aliens. Or I would have played more Guild Wars 2.
That night, the community met up at Rock Bottom for one final party. Lucky timing got me seated once again with Max, as well as Niero, Nick Chester, MuddBstrd, power-glove, and the Destructoid helmet. We ordered Dragonfruit mojitos because dragons (and also they were actually delicious).
Monday morning, Zoeker and I formed a party to safely get each other back to the airport without getting lost. That mission was a success. We parted and I spent the day flying and waiting and flying. I attempted Podtoid on the app again but once again I didn't finish it, only got a little further than last time. Since this week's will be late, I'll make a point to finish "Katy Perry Is My Kryptonite" soon.
Thanks again to everybody who made the weekend awesome. I'm dead exhausted and sad it's all over. I can't wait until I get to do it all again.
P.S. I think I've decided to drop the letters from the end of my username on Dtoid. I discovered that the "csci" doesn't roll off the tongue very well when saying it out loud which made introducing myself awkward. So there.