I am old beyond time.
(Not actually true, but I ain't young. I still get carded every single time I go to the liquor store or buy cigarettes, and they always make a big deal about it when they read my birthdate off the ID, so I guess that's good.)
I am omnipresent.
(Okay, not true either. But I've lived in a lot of places. Currently adjusting to living in a smaller town after coming from a huge one.)
I have watched your kind over the years, learning.
(Well, I can be a little antisocial; I'm an introvert. Social situations exhaust me. But I'm actually pretty friendly and have learned, with painstaking practice, to hold up my end of a conversation.)
I have watched you evolve.
(I like all sorts of games. I have some over-analytical tendencies, and when no one's looking, you might actually catch me playing with a notebook and pen at my side, taking notes. I love to see games do new things, create new systems and new ways of playing. Games like Catherine, Journey, or Child of Eden - or even little indie strangenesses like Passage and One Chance - always get my imagination fired up.)
I have participated in your rituals.
(Music - Electronica, darkwave, ambient, 80s, chillout, punk, rock, conscious hip-hop, some folk and indie. See last.fm for things I tend to listen to; the profile's out of date, and of course doesn't account for any non-digital music I own.)
I have absorbed your literature.
(Books - Stephen R. Donaldson, Michael Moorcock, Gene Wolfe, Warren Ellis, Stephen King, Chuck Palaniuk, Hunter Thompson, Richard Morgan, Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, Lovecraft, Haruki Murakami, Jeff Lindsay, Mervyn Peake, Borges, Harlan Ellison, Emma Bull, Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, Banana Yoshimoto, bros Hernandez, Nancy Collins, Jessica Abel, Brian Wood, Mary Roach, Mary Karr, Jane McGonigal - and many more.)
I have aided your heroes.
(Fondly remembered games - Final Fantasy series and FFT, Persona series, SMT and DDS, Portal, Bioshock, Batman Arkham Asylum, Fallout, Silent Hill, Valkyria Chronicles, Culdcept, Baroque, Katamari Damacy, Odin Sphere, The Red Star, Rez, The Longest Journey and Dreamfall, Soul Calibur, Panzer Dragoon, Oblivion, Planescape Torment, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Civilization, Limbo, Puzzle Quest, Demon's Souls, Okami, Parappa the Rapper, any and all co-op beat 'em ups, PixelJunk Monsters, and I'm probably forgetting tons worthy of mention).
I have chosen you to hear my words and bear them to all who will listen.
"This should be fun. When do we leave?" - Gogo the Mime
It's been about a month since PAX. I keep meaning to write something about it, when work isn't kicking my ass. Thus far, the ass kicking has been relentless.
They say they'll lay off the brass knuckles if I get all my spreadsheets done.
Also, I'm kind of lazy. And I didn't take any pictures, because I have the attention span of a flea with a mood disorder and a Red Bull problem.
But that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it.
The last time I went to Seattle was more than ten years ago; passed through it, I should say, rather than "went to." I was visiting a friend in Snoqualmie, and really didn't see much of Seattle other than that it seemed rainy and full of coffee shops and flannel and the spirits of long dead alien scouts from other worlds, hungry and in need of fresh, untarnished, virginal souls - which is pretty much what everyone expects Seattle to be. But convention time is different.
During PAX - well, I guess all I really saw was downtown. But because of the massive convention clustered right near its heart (like a cancerous growth, but very slightly less expensive), it really became something Other - like a city in a novel, full of weird and wonderful sights. You roll out of your bed in the morning, as early as you can stand, because awesome is happening right outside and you need to be part of it (and why can't waking up be filled with that feeling more often?).
You stumble towards coffee, and a bunch of N7 troops from the Normandy are lounging near the counter in fatigues and tank tops, ordering espressos and blearily trying to remember where they parked their ship. As you're chewing through your thing-that-was-a-pastry-once, you can see Mario outside posing for a picture with someone - no, wait, that's Ron Jeremy. Ron Jeremy in a Mario costume? Probably wouldn't be the first time. Maybe itís not Ron Jeremy. You're not quite awake enough to figure it out.
Give this man a mushroom. Right now.
As you trundle towards the convention center, the streets are teeming with Soul Collectors and Creepers and BlazBlue warriors and "sexy" Pikachus and a sad man in a yellow blanket who thinks he's Pac Man and may have diabetes. And so much more. It's like a forum exploded, and everyone is dressed as their avatar. It makes just walking around a heartlifting experience. It's beautiful.
Forums! Geez, I never go there, which is my own damn fault. I spend too much time on the internet to begin with. But did you know that the forums are filled with awesome, and that everyone in there is bombsauce? I met so many cool Dtoid forum people I don't even know where to begin. Jack Shadow and Hei, Diverse, GOBUN!, Fleet3000 and lady, Glitchy, the amazing Changston, Scion of Mogo, and many other rockstars whose names I cannot remember right now because BOOZE. Also met a handful of the many community leaders whose names you may not see that often if you're a front-pager only, but who do an amazing job of helping people have a good time, on the site and off - Tactix, Powerglove, and so many more. Also met the incomparable Elsa for a few minutes, which was an absolute treat, as well as the polite Mr. Kraid, sublime intern Ali D, Heiyu who is a hilarious friend of mine that needs to delurk - the list goes on.
All of these people are awesome, and are only one tiny piece of the Dtoid army which lurks in secret. Okay, they lurk in public. And they are actually kind of loud and sometimes wear funny hats and foam swords and are not actually that secret. My point is, they are all as awesome as you could possibly expect; hilarious and legit and straight up nerd-sexy, and the meetups at E&C and Pink, not to mention the Dtoid panels, absolutely made my damn show.
Want to know a secret? Every once in a while when there are no new texts from my friends or material in my RSS reader, I'll flip open the GroupMe app on my phone and look at the chat record of that weekend - hundreds of fellow Dtoiders greeting each other, meeting up to get food, get booze, find trouble to get into, and sometimes something or other about gaemz. For a second, if I'm stuck in a line or doing a really boring task, it's a breath of fresh air.
What is there to say about PAX?
I mean, most of it has been said already. Everyone who wasnít there is sick of hearing about it already, and everyone who was there - well, they were there, and the moment doesnít translate into words very easily.
Mostly, I think I want to set some of it down just for myself.
Because over the course of this year, there are going to be some bleak moments. Iíll end up stuck late at work, sleep-deprived and laboring away on something I donít care about. Or one of those foul moods will sneak up, the ones that convince me that nothingís worth doing, no oneís worth seeing, and that if the earth would just sink right back into the water before I have to put on my shoes and go out the front door, that would be the best of all possible outcomes.
Unless I had slick shoes, and didn't use the door. That'd be fucking awesome.
And when that grim breath passes, I remember all the things worth doing in this world, and the fact that I just found a new one, and that it happens every year like magic.