PAX South - Day One

So here's the thing...

Last night, a particular knerd who shall remain nameless insisted on cranking up the air conditioning in the room. And with six roommates, we had a minor shortage of blankets and pillows. So combining those factors meant I woke up after about an hour's sleep freezing on the floor, with the air blowing right on me. Eventually, I made my way over the other guys asleep on the floor (who managed to at least still the thin unused comforters off the two beds before I could) and turned off the thermostat. But the damage was pretty much done. I tossed and turned all night, getting very little sleep.

So I spent most of my first day at my first PAX back in my hotel room catching up on some much needed sleep while the rest of the gang was out and about.

That said, I did explore a little bit. Prior to this, the only conventions I've really attended were my two PlayStation Experiences. Now both of those shows had a very clearly delineated starting point. You attended the Keynote first, and then the expo hall and panels started afterwards. By comparison, PAX felt a little less intuitive.

I initially walked into the line to get into the Expo Hall with a few of my friends before looking at the maps and realizing, "Oh. Well I don't really want to go to the Expo Hall first, I want to head over to the Loot Crate panel on the third floor so let me wander around over there instead," not realizing that pretty much the only purpose of that big first room was to get everyone to queue up before going into the rest of the event.

Didn't see that on any signs or in the PAX Guidebook anywhere. Oops. So by the time an Enforcer finally told me I wasn't going to get in until the "Queue Hall" had emptied, I just went back in to wait in line with everyone else. On the plus side, while I waited I saw this tweet from Insomniac Games:

So I swung by on my way through the hall and got the first of the pins they handed out. (And apparently Pins are a big thing at these events?)

Then, it was off to the Loot Crate panel, which took longer than anticipated because, again, things weren't particularly well-marked so I got turned around with the maps initially. But I eventually found my way to the line for the panel and played Bastion on my Vita while I waited.

Panel itself was cool and I'll touch on it more when I write-up a Panel-centric post early next week. But the big announcement was Loot Gaming, another new subscription box they'll be launching in the near future. As someone already subscribing to Loot Crate and Loot Pets, my immediate response was of course:

They also announced that the first 1,000 people to sign-up for it could get an exclusive lanyard at their booth downstairs. So instead of sticking around for the Q&A at the end of the panel, we went to do that.

Here's another mild annoyance, the cell reception in the hall is atrocious! Why? We're in downtown San Antonio? Why the hell does it take forever to connect to anything in that hall? Because there are a ton of other people trying to connect? Well then PAX or the convention center should really be prepared for that and boost the signal. 

Anyway, Frank managed to get his Sprint phone to connect while the rest of us failed so we all signed up and got our lanyards. Then we headed up to see Sean and Xyger, who spent the morning volunteering at the Take This Diversity Lounge. And while Frank and Joe took over for them at 12:30pm, my shift isn't until Sunday morning so I decided it was time to go back to the room and get some sleep.

A few much-need hours later, I headed back over to the convention to effectively check out the things I still want to check out. I'll probably stick mostly to the Indie game stations but a couple of the apparel booths and retro game booths caught my eye so I'll likely revisit them in between panels.

On the way back to the hotel, I stumbled upon my core group and we went to Whataburger (again, I'm pretty sure Sean has a problem). Then it was eventually off to the IGN/Kinda Funny meet and greet. But the place we originally had reached out to screwed us over and doubled booked us. So while Sean tried to sort that out and get us more room, he sent Xyger, me, and the others to Dave & Busters to scout that as a possible back-up. And that's where we ended up.

The meet and greet was easily the smallest and most intimate of the Kinda Funny or IGN events I've attended. There were basically about 30 of us around some tables in a back room of the D&B's. I was fortunate enough to sit next to Destin Legarie and new IGN Editor Alanah Pearce. As I would love to work alongside them someday, I certainly relished the opportunity to catch up with them, having last seen them at PSX.

Eventually, we all headed over to the nearby Twitch party...and then almost as quickly left (at least the core group of Kinda Funny friends I was with). The event was 21+ and super packed so there wasn't really enough to keep us in there. So back to the hotel it was so I could write this up and everyone else could head down to one of the gang's other hotel rooms from some more Smash.

I'm definitely planning to get more sleep tonight. Though I still need to resolve the whole "lack-of-a-Saturday-pass" dilemma. It could be entirely possible my PAX South - Day Two write up is just a bunch of tourist-y pictures tomorrow.

Oh wait...apparently we're heading off to Whataburger...again.