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Your Move

Your Move: PAX South

Samuel McConnell

Back in 1998, a couple kids in Spokane, Wash. started a webcomic called Penny Arcade. It became incredibly popular, and from that, they were able to start a yearly expo for gaming and gamers. So, in 2004, they had the first Penny Arcade Expo, also known as PAX.

Since then, there has been a PAX every year in Seattle. In 2010, they started a second annual PAX in Boston, called PAX East. Then, in 2013, they expanded to Australia, and now, the middle of the U.S. gets its own PAX, PAX South, in San Antonio next weekend.

The main feature at PAX is the expo hall, which is filled with dozens of game developers and publishers, showing off their newest games and often games that may not come out for months. There are also panels with game developers, concerts with geeky musicians, and giant board game areas where you can play almost any board game you’ve ever heard of. In fact, there are big freeplay areas for classic video games and newer console games as well.

Also featured at PAX is the Omegathon: a six-round tournament that takes place across all three days of the show. Twenty attendees are chosen at random to participate in the single-elimination tournament, which always has an eclectic mix of games. Aside from games like Mario Kart, competitors have also had to defeat the other Omeganauts in games of Jenga, Dance Central, or even Skee Ball. The winner gets an all-expenses paid trip to the Tokyo Game Show.

The best part about PAX though, and what sets it apart from other gaming expos, is that it is focused on the game fans more than the games. Earlier gaming events were focused on journalists or the industry, but PAX is there just for the gamers.