My third and final PAX of 2016 (and my third and final PAX, period) has drawn to a close. Following the three day events of PAX South and PAX East, the extra day of PAX West really felt like it took its toll as today was mostly a lethargic day. Some of my media friends left yesterday or took the day off today and flew home. Many of the booths were low or out of their swag for the audiences so there was a general sense that pretty much everyone who was here all week was ready to wrap things up.
But then there was meeting new friends like @ClycloneMC, who has been working all weekend. We ran into her bright and early this morning at the entrance to the convention. She was very excited for the day ahead and a pleasure to finally meet. We share similar interests in theatre so I always appreciate tweeting at her/talking about Hamilton, In the Heights, Next to Normal, etc. Unfortunately, I had to head up to an appointment so I wasn’t able to hang out with her more.
I headed straight to Adult Swim Games to check out their demos of the Rick & Morty VR game and the reboot of ToeJam and Earl. I had a lot of fun going hands-on with these titles. I certainly felt bad because I apparently became the first person to crash their VR demo. Oops. But they were able to get me set on another unit and things ran perfectly fine the next time. Then I got to play through the new ToeJam and Earl game alongside the original creator Greg Johnson. So that was a pretty cool way to kick off the final day.
From there, I rejoined my friends for brunch. They had attempted to get in line for the same VR demo but the line was capped by the time they arrived so they wandered the floor briefly and then head to food instead. I described the demos to them and we had some good conversations about the DC movies as I’m firmly in the “not a fan” camp and wanted to have a discussion with people like Kaylie who liked it without being confined to 140 characters on Twitter.
After brunch, the group returned to the hotel room so Kaylie and Joseph could back before their return flight to Chicago tonight. I wandered downstairs to take in a final panel; this one on the topic of Custom collectible figures. It specifically focused on amiibo, but touched on the idea of customized Disney Infinity characters and Skylanders as well, or even molding dollar store action figures together into custom figures.
After the panel’s end, the rest of the group finished resting up and we all went over to the convention center one last time. We divided and conquered a few different games/booths/etc. I went over to look at the upcoming game We Are Chicago. Others tried grabbing a few final pins or other swag. Then we made one final trip to the Rooster Teeth booth to say our goodbyes to Andy (others said some of their goodbyes earlier in the day). And Cly made her way back to us one last time as well having seemingly enjoyed her experience.
To close out the day, we made our way back to the hotel room for everyone’s (but mine) favorite game: let’s watch bad movies. Tonight’s marathon burned through Shutter, The Others, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip. Ugh… I spent the evening actively avoiding the movies by staying connected to social media. A friend of mine from college who lives in Los Angeles but happens to be visiting Seattle this weekend talked about meeting up for a drink. So I was continually hopeful she would spare me. But alas, she cancelled on me and left me to the hell on earth that was the fourth of the Alvin and the Chipmunk movies…
Finally, it ended though and when requests for the next movie came in, I said let’s just do tv. It’s late. We should sleep soon. Frank found Blue Brothers on the television so we went with that while I finished this up.
And now I’m flying back to Phoenix in about 12 hours. Overall, it’s been a great week with great friends, even if so many of them do love watching the shittiest movies they can find. This show did run a bit long but I’ll take more video game time than the doldrums of the real world any day. And I had more great conversations with people I look up to in the industry than I can remember. It’s been a hell of a year and we’ve got my favorite show (the PlayStation Experience) still to come.
I’ll continue drafting up some more detailed entries to cover the games and panels in the coming days but thanks to everyone who made this PAX such a special experience.