Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PAX 2014 Highs and Lows

Wow. Pax was mostly pretty wonderful, though I did have one ugly Enforcer incident, and one very failed demo, both of which I'll whine about below.

Dragonflight is more my speed (the crowds of tens of thousands at PAX were at times overwhelming) but I certainly had a great deal of fun.

High Points:

  • Flying Frog Productions blew me away with their sheer power of their awesome friendliness. My wife and I really connected with Scott Hill and Mary Beth Magallanes, and we gabbed with them quite a bit. They gave us lots of free stuff, a great deal on something too big to just give away, and then they go their whole staff to sign everything, and then gave us more free stuff so they'd have an excuse to sign some more things. It felt like we were reconnecting with old friends, not having our first real conversation with total strangers. It's cool to learn that the designers of some of my favorite games (I love A Touch Of Evil, and the demo I played of Shadows Of Brimstone was great) are such friendly, excellent people.  If you have money burning holes in your pockets, might I suggest you spend it on a Flying Frog game?
  • Games On Demand was great. For those unfamiliar, Games On Demand is like going to the library during the con, except you're not checking out a book you're checking out an RPG to play, and the GM to run it.  My wife and I were volunteers. I ran three tables of Psi*Run for total strangers, including two amazing incredible games, and one just merely solid and enjoyable. My wife ran three tables of Microscope, which were, to quote one of her players, "Fucking _Metal_ As Hell!"  Good times.
  • So many awesome things to spend money on! Dice, T-Shirts, RPGs, board games, video games, you name it. Expect a series of posts about all the cool stuff we bought, at least until the check for our internet bounces. Then expect smoke signals.

Low Points:

  • Overall there weren't enough chairs or tables, and the lines were too long. With 70,000 people out there, it's hard to find a place you can just catch your breath for a moment. Random chairs in the various nooks and crannies and back passages would be wonderful. I don't quite get why they stuff 50 bean bag chairs into two places, rather than spreading them out across 10 or 20 different spots across the various floors, which I think would be a huge improvement.
  • Absolutely pathetic demo of the Netrunner card game from FFG. The guy from FFG forgot to tell me two really important rules that resulted in me actually losing during my first turn, and then couldn't shut up about how he'd never seen anyone lose that quickly or make such a big mistake.
  • One of the Enforcers (a bearded guy in the Indie Megabooth area sometime between 2 and 3 on Friday afternoon) was a total asshole too me, screaming in my ear from well inside my personal bubble because the heel of my right foot was across a line of pink tape I hadn't even known existed. When I tried to apologize, he flailed his arms and yelled more like he thought I was starting shit. His aggression actually drove me out of the convention center for more than an hour till I could calm down and cheer up, and I stayed out of that part of that exhibit hall for the next two days in case it was his assigned area. If someone on my staff behaved the way he did, I'd fire them immediately. The Enforcers don't have badge numbers or name tags, so there was nothing I could do to report him. I suspect his blue uniform labeled "Enforcer" had gone to his head. Seems like that word is just asking for trouble. At the very least that term has some risk of attract raging jerks to the position, and I suspect it was provoking a bit of Stanford Prison Experiment mentality too. I would strongly encourage the PAX organizers to change the labeling of their staff, but they'd probably just tell me I should just be happy the shirts read "Enforcer" not "Dickwolf". 

1 comment:

Manu Saxena said...

Glad y'all had a good time overall. I'd love to hear about your PsiRun games. And yeah I also had an ugly enforcer incident too, had to console myself with just imagining the chokeholds and arm locks I could have subjected him to instead of doing the. For real :)