Another year, another PAX.
I'll be honest, I don't really play a lot of games, certainly not enough to stand in line for 4 hours to demo one. But I want to. I feel games played the most formative part of my childhood and added a lot of actual value to how I think and react. It's nice to be around others who've had the same experience, and to see other kids in the midst of it. As the signs around the convention center say, "Welcome home."
PAX is about much more than games though, as the community takes on a life of it's own. This year I participated in Buttoneering, which was 200 or so PAXers who had pinback buttons made representative of them for trade with one another. Many, including myself, also made a bonus button available for trade for other bonus buttons or some other special feat.
My main button is the tiny button in the lower left hand. It's also my avatar on the PAX forum. It's Ness from Earthbound up against a giant Iron Pencil, I just used photoshop to make the pencil 100x bigger than it is in game. If you ever hear me talk about Earthbound it will sound like I'm talking about my first love, the game was just that good. Our first trip to Japan the souvenir I brought back was the original Earthbound game, Mother, for the Japanese famicom system. This button was a good representative of me, the gamer to a crowd of 25,000.
My bonus button was that large thing up top TEAM NOTCH. Notch, a wonderfully sweet man who Jason and I got to meet when we delivered 2 of these buttons to him, is the creator of Minecraft. He's a true overnight success story. And after Minecraft his company is creating a game called Scrolls…except giant game company Bethesda has a line of game called The Elder Scrolls: Some bullshit tagline stuff. So, Bethesda is suing Notch and his company on the grounds their games might get confused. So, the button is my show of support for Notch. It was ridiculously popular for the whole crowd and ended up going to anyone dressed up as a block or creeper from Minecraft as well.
I handed out over 100 buttons, which allowed me to collect over 100 buttons from other Buttoneers.
The creativity in the buttons is amazing, and it was a great way to meet other people. I'm already working on my buttons for next year so that they can top TEAM NOTCH.
Since I'm hoping to be fully and well into the buttonmaking business for PAX Prime 2012 my goal is to be able to have a pre-PAX button making party, and to offer button making services for PAX for everyone that are affordable and include a donation to Child's Play.