Dag yo! So, it’s your friendly neighborhood, DOMO loving, Funktastic here, looking to inform any newcomers (and even veterans) how to best enjoy your PAX experience. Granted, I’m only a “two” time veteran (PAX 2009 and PAX East), but I’d like to say I’ve got a pretty good understanding of how to enjoy your time in Seattle be it at the convention itself, seeing some of the local sites, or just hanging out with your fellow Dtoiders. This isn’t a definitive guide, but it should at least get you started on the right foot, and may contain some useful information. Grab a snack and a drink, because this is going to be a fairly long read!
First things first, I “liberated” some of this information from power-glove
and DJ Duffy
from what they posted in the PAX Prime 2010 Google Group
. Hopefully neither of you two mind that I used some of the information you posted there in this blog, but if you do, just say something and I’ll edit things out. 1) Get a general idea of the layout around the convention center!
If you’re arriving in Seattle on Wednesday or Thursday (or before the convention), you should take some time to get a general grasp of the area around your hotel, the convention center, any places listed for meet-ups, etc. This will help you in navigating from your hotel to the convention center, other hotels, restaurants, and cut down on the time you end up feeling lost or unknown of your surroundings. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re looking for Dtoiders, head to the Elephant and Castle (GOOGLE) at the Red Lion, and you’re bound to run into a few there. Other safe bets to get familiar with would be Gameworks and The Cheesecake Factory as well, as they’re both right next to the convention center as well. 2) Pack lightly!
If you’re even a quarter of the swag whore I am, be sure to pack lightly and save a lot of room for glorious swag! Bring a fair sized luggage and just pack it with enough clothes to last your trip, toiletries, and a few other personal items. It should be relatively empty when you get to Seattle, as you’ll be getting a plethora of t-shirts, promo items, posters, and other merchandise you may wish to buy. I highly suggest if you’re going all out like myself that you actually pack a duffel bag or small carry on bag IN your luggage, since on most airlines you can check in one luggage and bring one carry on (not including a laptop if you’re bringing one) with no additional cost. This way, if you think you’re going to run out of room, you have the extra duffel bag to carry more awesome swag home, plus if you’re concerned about anything fragile, you’ve got the carry on option as well. Those of you who are also big fans of posters, I suggest you also pack a poster tube in your luggage as it’ll prove to be extremely useful in getting your posters home in one piece.
3) Be early for panels!
I’m not the biggest panel fan per se, but I noticed them as I walked around, and a LOT of them fill up pretty quick. If you’re planning on going to a panel, be sure to make it to the theater AT LEAST
30 minutes early, if not more. Some of the more “popular” ones like the Destructoid one, any keynotes, or the Penny-Arcade ones, you’ll want to be even earlier for, since there is limited seating. Lines also attract people regardless, so you’ll want to be in one before it seems like it goes on forever.
4) Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
If you or a group of you are just hanging out by yourselves and are looking for others to chill with, do not be afraid to give someone a shout. Phones can do too much crap nowadays in my books, but if you’re looking for someone, CALL THEM! Everyone has different interests, but with so many of us going to PAX, odds are that there’s going to be someone else or a group of others that may be interested in going on an excursion or seeing something you want to see. Besides phoning or texting people to see what they’re up to, if you have it, you may also want to use Twitter
to update where you’re heading and inform any of your followers where you’ll be at. Updating your Facebook
may also be another option for those of you with smartphones or nearby laptops. If you’re coming from out the United States, you may also want to get a cheap pay-as-you-go phone and a phone card so you can keep in contact with people or pay about a $20 roaming charge with your current cell phone provider to get cheaper calling in the States.
5) Things have changed from last year!
It seems that with every passing year, PAX is getting bigger and bigger. With that said, there are a lot of changes this year, as here’s off-site panels, exhibitors, and theatres. You should be aware of these changes so you don’t wait in the wrong line or get to an off-site panel too late, etc. Click here for a list of changes that are posted on the PAX Forums
. Concerts will also be a big thing to look out for it seems. I personally haven’t been to any at my PAX experiences so far, but a lot of people do like Anamanaguchi
and The Protomen
so you may want to check them out.
6) Have an idea of something to do? Speak up and recommend it!
Do not be afraid to recommend something to do if it seems you’re bored or you want a break from the convention. Last year, due to some ill advised planning, a lot of us went to a bar that did not even have close to enough room to support all the Dtoiders. Hopefully we don’t make that mistake again. Also, there’s a LOT of tourist sites for people to go to, so you may want to recommend going to one of those, much like how about a dozen or so of us went to the Seattle Aquarium
The following is a list of places that DJ Duffy
loves and where she’ll be going. You don’t have to feel obligated to go, but if you have an interest in these places as well, then you may want to get in contact with her.
Events/Tourist Sites Bumbershoot
– It is North America’s largest urban arts festival. It takes place in the heart of the city at the 74-acre Seattle Center. Over 150,000 visitors from near and far spend the weekend revelling in the world of Bumbershoot
, experiencing everything from regional favorites to international superstars across all arts disciplines. Tons of amazing bands and performances of all kinds will be going on during the weekend. Pike Place Market
– It doesn’t really need an explanation, but it’s a giant market
with a ton of cool stores, where there’s something for everyone, and you can watch freshly caught seafood be tossed around. Underground Tour
– Head over to Pioneer Square
for this, it’s a nice little tour
. Spookier than DJ Duffy
thought it would be!
– Over in Chinatown they have their actual store
as well as a more arcade oriented one north of the convention center. While their store at PAX has most of their stock, they still have some rare gems they leave at their main headquarters.
Bars/Clubs Whiskey Bar
– Big hit last year at PAX. She suggest we hit it up again
this year. While the Elephant and Castle
is convenient, it really isn’t that great of a bar. This place has over 200 kinds of whiskey and all the regular drinks you’d want as well.
– This is probably DJ Duffy’s
favourite club in the city. It’s a gay club but with a really big mix of all kinds of people. If you need some more information just click here
– Well, apparently this place
has the best eggs Benedict you’ll ever have!
– If anyone has a car, we could check this place
out. Apparently it has been featured on Man vs. Food!
– A little more pricey, but really good seafood
and close to Pike Place Market
– One of DJ Duffy’s
old favorites. It’s a cozy little place up on Broadway and really good for late night nachos and drinks. The atmosphere in this place
is a one of a kind experience! They have these little kind of cubby hole type things, it’s so cute you just have to see it!
In The Bowl
– Tiny little place with really good Thai food
. Best part is, it’s all vegetarian and they use really convincing fake meats of all kinds.
– Really good sushi place
in Belltown and it’s within walking distance. DJ Duffy
and a few others went there last year and Jermaine (Kryptinite
) was a sushi virgin no more!
NOTE: The site is blocked at my work for some reason, but when I Google it, it says that the place may be closed due to renovations, so you may want to double check that if you plan on going.
Well, those are DJ Duffy’s
suggestions and all, so get a hold of her if you’re interested as well. Hopefully you don’t mind me posting this list milady, but if you have any issues, I can easily remove this. 7) Check for updates often!
This is more of an offshoot of suggestion number 4, but if you end up going to an event or something and you don’t see any Dtoiders there, be sure to check for updates on the various social networks pretty frequently, as things can change on the fly. 8) Bring a camera or camcorder with you!
As many of you have seen, a certain jerkface who isn’t coming to PAX, was lit on FIRE
a couple years ago. You never know what’s going to happen at PAX, so you won’t want to miss taking pictures or recording some awesome memories. For all you know, you may meet up with the President of Nintendo of America
or unknowingly meet a YouTube celebrity like Nintendo Fangirl
9) Be sure to wish Samit a Happy Birthday!
As some of you may know, EVERYDAY is Samit’s
birthday! I’d say the very minimum is to get him a birthday dessert
at EVERY meal!
10) Most importantly . . . HAVE FUN!
I don’t think I need to say this, but seriously, just have fun. Be it playing upcoming games, going on swag hunts, buying PAX exclusives, seeing tourist sites, or just hanging out with Dtoiders, just have fun. END OF GENERAL GUIDE!
Now moving on. Since this is my blog and all, I thought that I’d post what I will be doing this coming weekend, if anyone wants to hangout with me and DOMO! I’ll be getting in tomorrow (Wednesday, September 1st) at around noon and leave Monday, September 6th at around 5PM, so if anyone wants to pool for a taxi or get to downtown together, post on this blog or send me a private message. I’ll be staying at the Marriott Springhill Suites
, which is a bit further from the convention center, but I’m staying for free (go Marriott points), so if you want to hangout with me there, give me a shout!
On the Wednesday
I arrive, I plan on settling in my hotel as well as go to Pike Place Market
and just browse the shops there, as well as visit the first ever Starbucks and all that good stuff. Time permitting, I may even make my way to Qwest Field
to see where the Seattle Sounders play. Some of you may know that I’m a huge football (the REAL kind) fan, so even though it’s an MLS pitch, I may still check it out.
, my goal is to go to Pink Gorilla
in Chinatown and since I’m there, visit the super Asian (and very DOMO friendly) stores of Kinokuniya
. Both places have a lot of import stuff and just cool stuff to see in general. Plus, there’s pretty good Asian food to eat there as well! Since it’s in that direction anyways, I may also end up going to/doing the Pioneer Park/Underground Tour
. In the evening, there’s apparently (and possibly free) laser show or some other at the science place at the Space Needle
, so I may swing by there too.
The rest of the week will consist of PAX and PAX related activities, but up next is a list of restaurants I WILL
be going to, since I just LOVE
food, so feel free to tag along if you want. In brackets will be the day I’ll be trying to hit said place:
– I am an avid watcher of the Food Network
and one of my favorite chefs would be the gorgeous Giada DeLaurentiis
! She mentioned on one of the shows (The Best Thing I’ve Ever Ate) that the crab cakes at this place
are out of this world. So, I’ve decided I must heed her advice and try them out. [Wednesday] Elliotts’ Oyster House
– This place has like a couple dozen different raw oysters
for people to try. I’m only going to try like half a dozen since oysters are pretty pricey, but if I’m in a city where they get them fresh, I’m there. [Wednesday] Pike Place Chowder
– I’m a big fan of clam chowder
and have had stuff from around the world, but when you ask most people, it’s either Seattle or Boston that has the best stuff. I’ve been to both places and had various kinds from both cities, but I’ve got to say that the chowder at this place is the best I’ve ever had. [As many times as I can, probably starting with Thursday] Westlake Center Food Court
– I should have probably mentioned this in the suggestions to make PAX an enjoyable experience above . . . but oh well! The food at the actual convention is GROSSLY
overpriced and not of exactly the best quality. A much better idea is to go to the food court at Westlake Center
, which is just a few blocks from the convention, has a larger variety of choices, is cheaper, and has higher quality food. All I know is that one of the places had like the BEST
fries ever! [During the convention] Panels
Now, if we’re talking about panels and such, you can find a full list of them by clicking here
. Everyone will be going to different ones. Myself? I’m not a big panel person but I will be going to the following:
GameTrailers.com Presents: Entertaining the Gamer: What Does it Take?
– This is the one that has “Hey Ash What’cha Playin’?” and “Once Upon a Pixel,” so there isn’t need for much more of an explanation than that. Friday, 5:30PM – 6:30PM, Pegasus Theater Destructoid Live
– Seriously? Did you expect a reason or something here? Saturday, 10:30AM – 11:30AM, Unicorn Theater PAX Prime Chiptune Music Showcase!
– Destructoid’s very own Zen Albatross
will be performing his rockin’ beats, and I suggest everyone to come out and show some support! Saturday, 1:00PM – 3:00PM, Jamspace Further Greetings from a Dead-Tree Dinosaur Cartoonist
– The author of my favorite comic strip, FoxTrot
, Bill Amend, will be making another appearance at PAX to talk about how video games have influenced his life and comic.
just posted a list of all the meet-ups for all the evenings on the front page, so that saves me some time typing them all up, so you can just click here
to see where the majority of us will be every night.
Well, I think that about covers it, in terms of how to have an enjoyable experience at PAX and what my plans are. Hopefully this has been helpful to all of you and that I’ll be able to see you guys there. Also, I should add that I have the honor of getting to be Mr. Destructoid
on Saturday at 5:00PM
, so if you want a picture of me donning the robot helmet, find me somewhere around then, hahaha! Until next time, latez mates!
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