PAX 2008

I spent the weekend in Seattle to attend the Penny Arcade Expo, put on by the guys who make the Penny Arcade webcomic that I’ve been reading since the late 90s.  I met up there with EvilAntnie and Alandovos and had a great time, though I’m not sure if we’ll make the trip next year.

I flew in on Thursday night (the con started on Friday afternoon) and kicked it with maddddddddddddddd and rach-o.  They took me down to Ivar’s-on-the-lake and we had some down-home fast food seafood.  After that scientist took me to Diamond Lil’s card room where we hooted and/or holllared until the wee hours of the morning.  Scientist: about even, me: dead broke.  It was straight up bay area-style asian poker: gambo, gambo, lose.

So I haven’t been to a Nerd Fest in quite a while, but when I was a kid we used to hit up Gen Con in Milwaukee every year until it moved down to Indianapolis.  It was kinda odd coming back into the fold, because I’m a Nerd-In-Good-Standing in some ways (check off the requisite boxes: sci-fi fan, RPG fan, video game fan, quasi-anime fan, CCG fan) while being generally horrified by other element’s of Con Life: cosplay, bad smells, greasy lunatics, EXTREME anti-social behavior.  PAX had some of everything but overall I had a good time; for example I met incredible fucking assholes while playing WoW TCG games and standing in lines (oh, the lines!) The majority of folks, however, were nice and polite.  The PAX Enforcers (volunteers that roam the con) were incredibly helpful.

PAX is mostly organized by a legion of volunteers, and it stands out among other conventions because it’s built around a cult of personality firstly, and shared culture secondly.  So if you want to attend the insanely popular “Make A Strip” session (where the two guys make a comic strip onstage with audience particpation) or the Q&A Session you must stand in a line with literally thousands of people for upwards of one and a half hours before they open the doors the auditorium.  I hate lines and I hate large crowds, so those things don’t sit well with me.

I heard there were 50,000+ people attending this weekend, but as a rule I steered clear of lines and crowds by just going to places where the people weren’t.  If there was a popular session going on, I would miss it and take the opportunity to do stuff that otherwise would have been crowded.  What that means is that I didn’t spend much time in lines, but I also missed the cool experiences that drew me to the convention in the first place which is why I’m on the fence about attending again next year.

The Operational Rule of Nerds: Never underestimate the amount of time a nerd will wait in line to get something free/cheap/signed/limited in quantity.  Even if the place does not open until 10am… if the thing in question is good enough and you think a sane person would show up at 9am, so you’ll be first in line at 8am, then count on nerds sleeping overnight on the sidewalk in front of the doors where the thing will be given away or sold.  Many sane individuals have not gotten a cool thing because the underestimated nerds ability to stand in lines.

I didn’t participate in a whole lot of organized stuff– walked the exhibit hall and saw a lot of new video games that they were demoing (Castle Crashers looks cool), played some WoW TCG tourneys, saw WoW Minis demo, playde D&D 4th ed with Alandovos on Saturday morning (we wiped on the 2nd encounter), and took pictures of all the crziness around me.

Saturday night we hit the concerts: ditched the first band and drank, saw the end of the Darkest of the Hillside Thickets set (pretty good cthulu-metal, if you’re into that), and watched MC Frontalot and The Minibosses.  The concerts went way late so we ditched at around 2am and headed back to the hotel.

I’ll probably have some pictures up once I get back into town (I’m writing this from the SEA-TAC airport). Until then– HOLLLARIT whazzmaster.com.

45 thoughts on “PAX 2008

  1. i would have stuck around for the wil wheaton panel on sunday. rach-o used to have a crush on him. sorry you lost all your skrills… funniest hand was AJo calling your 3 bet with AA cold preflop, then calling your raise on the K high flop cold again, and getting runner runner QT for the $100+ pot. funny asians.

  2. i would have check called the river though… save $8 when you’re beat (super shitty river), and make $8 more when you get AK or KJ or AQ or QJ or K9 to bet river when they might fold if you bet (just as shitty river for them).

    also, i would have got a hot dog. ONLY! @^$2)(#*&%)(*!#^&

  3. I would have hemmed and hawed for ten minutes, deduced that I was indeed beat, and then called anyway. But I learned poker from a wise man. His name? Aaron Pennypickle.

  4. No, goofy. Bet river, and then, after I’m raised, mutter and talk to myself for ten minutes. Maybe flip my cards up, but not watch my opponent for any expression. Through all this nonsense, deduce EXACTLY what my opponent has, announce it to the world and THEN call.

  5. One small comment– I was in late position (madd was small blind and AJFucker was big blind) so I couldn’t have straight away check-called to him behind me. Besides, am I really gonna be scared that someone has those exact two cards? No. If I was in the same position again I’d do the same thing.

  6. My advice was gibberish akin to cals. But real advice, there is a lot more to fear than just the exact two cards AJ. I’d go pussy on that river. He checks; I check. But really whatever. It’s a shitty situation top to bottom.

  7. Yeah, that’s true– he coulda had any two pair or a set (pretty sure there wasn’t a flush possibility– I definitely would have just shut down)– but at that table it’s just as likely that that lunatic has K5 or 99 or whatever. If I was put in the same situation against the same guy– I would play it the same.

  8. yo, whazman, what you want for that rocket mount? i got a level 2 wizard on the come up and i’m tryin to SHINE.

  9. motherfucker’s name is wizardBoots. camelCase to throw off the haters. flexing a rocket mount, he would be undeniable. even cal’s vast learned knowledge could not capably deny. BOOM. wizardBooooooooooooooooooooooooooootttssssss

  10. shite. didn’t know it was on. went to PJ’s casino in my PJ’s and watched some ridiculously hot chick sing cover songs. the fan on the floor to keep her hair blowing and all the lasers might have skewed my judgment. then some asshole bought me baileys (scientist kryptonite) and i don’t remember how hot she was after that.

  11. 1) ok i did it.
    2) Football is back. I know this because all the middle age white men in suits who ride the bus to work alongside me are suddenly all talking to each other. it’s annoying. 9 months out of the year they are silent. stupid football.

  12. same shit here… everyone is mad except 1 guy that is walking around with his arms raised like he just won a fight. they are all claiming he paid off a ref. did the packers win?

  13. David Foster Wallace hangs himself, Brewers lose the wildcard, Zambrano no-no’s the crew in Miller park: kill me.

  14. cal, check out my new idea for voting… you still only get 1 vote, but now you have the option to vote NOT for a candidate. so if cal and greg are both running for mayor of the world, you you 4 choices:
    1) cal
    2) greg
    3) not cal
    4) not greg

    then if any candidate gets more not votes than they do normal votes, that candidate is barred from running for public office for 3 years, and must first be elected to a lesser office before trying again at the same level.

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  16. if called upon, could you step into ned yost’s stinky uniform and manage the team to a playoff birth? could you keep bernie under control and on the slide?

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