PAX East Sells out of Badges so Fast Because There is a Secret PAX
I had a conversation with a good friend of mine about Pax East and how the 3Day badges selling out was just ridiculous (despite lasting longer this year). He brought up that they could just as easily make more 3Days from the singles. I tried to argue against this – something about fire codes, and selling more single days so that they could get more unique visitors giving more people the opportunity to see the show.
I mostly dismissed the notion – I mean again it made sense to me that they just didn’t have as many 3Days for that reason, and that’s why they sold out so quickly. However that notion died because of a very interesting conversation I just had in one of Boston’s Irish pubs (I’m writing this Thursday night before the show).
I told my fellow bar-friend that I was in town for the Pax East convention, and lo and behold so was he. He however was a few more drinks in than me. He asked me about what I did, and I got to mentioning my work on my own Tabletop games, and my background for video game development.
What follows can only be described as one of the weirdest experiences I’ve ever had, but one that makes much more sense in the full context of what I was told.
There is a real reason why badges sell out so quickly – it’s because there is a real fire code level in the building. However they need to sell out badges ‘artificially’ so quickly because they need the 3Day badges to account for the secret underground Pax.
Pax was formed as an anti-E3 type game convention, one that focused on the gamers and not the big budget companies. It’s mission was to give power back to gamers and the gaming community. This manifests itself in all aspects of the con. And I do mean ALL aspects. In truth the leaders of the massive indie game movement meet at Pax East. There are secret rooms where games and prototypes are shown long before the public knows.
The media and blogging community (heralded by the monster that is Penny Arcade) gather in these secret rooms and plan out who will ‘support’ a game – but in a manner without sponsors or back room dealings in order to feel like genuine praise – and we the public eat it up. They know that games like these spread like wildfire on the hot air they blow, and the fans fueling the flames.
Why though would they need a 3Day badge? Well the problem is that these folks are often for the most part unassuming (Phil Fish or Notch being exceptions), and they need access. Why not just give them a VIP badge I asked my bar friend?
This is because they can’t have records placing them there – too many questions. They need to meet in secret to plan the indie game movements of the year (a movement that has only grown to those paying attention) So at the moment badges are available a large portion are already sold out for the massive spaces used by the underground Pax conventions. And this has only grown as both Pax and it’s influence expand.
My friend however realized I was asking too many questions (taking notes that I said were about the beer) and asked as if to confirm if I was in the Indie MegaArcade. I told him I was not, but said my name was Erik Ferris – paid my tab and left. I tell you this now under the veil of The Buffalo in the hopes I’m not found out and destroyed or discredited by the Pax machine. To all those at Pax know that just beyond your reach lies another world.
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The Buffalo is Nerdfit's longest active content contributor. Having helmed various podcasts (What's Nu in Animu, WritersCast), columns (I Hope Nippon Sempai Notices Me, Advanced Game Theory, Booze Reviews, Anime Season Previews, etc) - currently he writes a weekly article column of 'Buffalo's Shit to Think About'