PAX East Reflections

I’ll never forget the feeling as I rode the escalators down to the main floor for the first time. It’s a feeling that has happened to me year after year. It’s crazy how that one scene can fill you with awe and leave you speechless for a few minutes. It’s never gotten old and I hope it never will.

I can confidently say that PAX changed my life in 2014. On April 11th, PAX was the beginning of me focusing on moving forward. And without it, I’m not sure where I would be today. I can’t specifically elaborate why at this point in time, but it was during a part of my life where I had lost my sense of direction. It was why I bothered getting out of bed that weekend.

My first year I was obsessed with getting as much free stuff as possible: skins, props, game codes, you name it. I wanted it all. But as the years progressed, my outlook on PAX changed. It went from a free goodies bonanza to something I learned to appreciate differently.

I stumbled upon a game that I never would’ve played otherwise without PAX. Now discontinued by EA, Dawngate was a game that I could play for hours on end. The devs were dedicated to making the best game possible, and the streamers always stayed as engaged as possible with fans and the community. It also helped that the community was small, friendly and had the bare minimum of toxicity that equaled to your average friendly banter. The day the servers were shut down, I realized that nothing really lasts forever, and it really made me appreciate what I had.

In a weird roundabout way, I learned about myself and other people at these conventions. Who I wanted to be and who I didn’t want to be, the examples were all there in front of me.

I loved and will always love PAX. To me it’s so much more than a geek convention. It’s a place where people from all over the world gather together to share a common passion, gaming. They share their work, goals and dreams with one another. My favorite part about PAX has always been the indie games, devs chasing their dreams and sharing their work with whomever possible. It’s been inspiring, and gives me the drive to keep going after the things I want to achieve in life.

PAX East has given me a lifetime of memories and fun experiences. As I write this I don’t rule out the idea that I would return for more conventions in the future, but the reality of the situation is that it’ll get harder and harder to make time for these things as I graduate from college and start working. If I’m in Boston after graduation, I’d always make time for it but the truth is I don’t know where I’ll be two months from now, so everything’s feeling a little bittersweet at the moment.

If you’ve ever considered going to any Penny Arcade Expo, I’d definitely recommend it. And if you actually read anything I’ve ever put out, I appreciate you and your friendship from the depths of my heart. And no I couldn’t think of a better title for this.

I’ll be putting out more content, similar to op-eds and my own work from last semester since I never really shared them. Thank you for your support always.