In 2004, the folks at Penny Arcade decided they wanted a show exclusively for gaming. Sure, comics, anime, and other nerd hobbies were cool, and those activities all had their own shows… so what about games? From that idea spawned a small 4,500 person event in Bellevue, Washington, focused on the culture and community that is gaming.
Since then, the show hasn’t looked back. Doubling in size each year until venue capacities were reached, in 2010 the show expanded into Boston for PAX East, drawing tens of thousands of attendees in the inaugural year. The shows in Seattle and Boston represent the two largest gaming events in North America!
When the first PAX was birthed in 2004, live music was one of the core pillars to the show. We were fans of the Minibosses and MC Frontalot, and from there we expanded both our knowledge and lineup of the genre. At the time, having that many people in a room listening to nerdcore music wasn’t “a thing.” In fact, nerdcore music was barely “a thing.”
Fast forward a decade later, and we’re excited to see the genre grow along with the sizes of our main theatre crowd, always filled to capacity with thousands of fans listening to and participating in these acts. A big part of PAX is connection, and we’re proud to say we’re a niche show with fans that treat these niche acts like the rockstars they are.
Here’s the problem with your gaming setup at home: One, your living room is a mess. Two, you don’t have every game or console at your disposal. Three, you aren’t high on the PAX experience, so everything isn’t nearly as awesome or fun there.
In the Console Freeplay area, we bring hundreds of the latest gen (and classic!) consoles along with all the titles you may have missed throughout the year. Utilizing the ShoatEngine5000, we’ve created a free, easy-to-use checkout system for all PAX attendees. ENJOY!
Publishers and Developers putting their best foot forward with unreleased games and hardware? What more could you ask for?
Before PAX existed, the only place in North America you could see an E3 style exhibition floor was… well, it was E3. Since that show was for industry insiders only, PAX has been the only place the public could see, hear and experience the insanity that is a game industry expo hall. With over a hundred thousand square feet of show floor and all genres, platforms and styles of games represented, this area makes for one of the highlights to the PAX experience.
It started with an open area that fire marshals wouldn’t let us setup a booth in and slowly became one of the mainstays to PAX. With each show offering hundreds of beanbags for your use, these organically created meetup areas allow those with 3DS’, PSPs and Vitas to congregate and play to their hearts content. Heck, we’ve even seen some Nomads in there. Grab a beanbag, occupy a corner and look for those ad-hoc games!
20 contestants are chosen, and six rounds later a single survivor travels together to Japan as their grand prize. This is the PAX Omegathon!
The tournament comprised of randomly selected preregistrants takes place across the three days of PAX. Each of the games played are publicly announced weeks before the show, but the secret final round is always a surprise.
Will it be an unreleased, never-before-seen title? How about a game you haven’t thought about since the 80s? What about a giant claw machine? Perhaps a combination of them all? You never know with the Omegathon, but if you attend all the elimination rounds throughout the weekend and the final round on Sunday, you’ll see history be made!
Wow! That photo up there is really not a great representation of your average panel at PAX. It’s true that’s a main theatre panel, and that photo is from PAX… but still, most of the sessions we run are between 400 and 500 attendees. Whether it’s your favorite webseries or a lecture from the developer you love, the panels at PAX have knowledge or entertainment for gamers of all types. Do you have a panel you want to put together capable of entertaining a few hundred people? Submit it here!
For those that can’t stand the closed system of the console world, we’ve set up huge areas with hundreds of high-end PCs for your enjoyment. Laugh at those poor developers struggling to squeeze everything they can from console hardware made years ago, as we’re catering to you- the PC gamer that is satisfied with nothing but the MOST gigs and the HIGHEST resomolutions.
Ranging from as hardcore to D&D to as casual as Bananagrams, the PAX Tabletop area has games for all gamer types and skill levels. With hundreds of freeplay tables and the ability to checkout games like you would books at a library, this area could easily keep you occupied for the entire weekend. Forget all those digimal beep boops - rolling a twenty and looking your opponent in the eye is where it’s at!