Adventures Video Games

PAX Prime 2014 Part I: Show Floor & Art Shows

As usual, I had all sorts of romantic ideas about having a whole series of posts about my adventures at PAX Prime 2014 ready to go as soon as I got back. And as usual, life had totally different plans for me. Some of those plans have been great, like finally jumping into the swing of community management for Cardboard Utopia, while others have not been so great, like the nasty cold/flu I am now battling.

That said, this round up might not be as robust as I would have liked, but I’ll be making a point of sharing the rest of my PAX Prime stories as I remember them. I’ve opted to organize these posts around different aspects of PAX, so this one will focus on the trip down to Seattle, my time on the show floor & the surprising number of pop art shows I found myself at this year. Future posts will focus on cosplay, panels, and of course, games.

Because there weren’t any direct flights to Seattle from Montreal available, I’d actually decided to fly to and from Vancouver so I could also visit with my family and then just take the bus down and back. This was great because I relish any chance I can get to visit them, especially since travelling across the country is usually more expensive for me than it would be to go to Europe. Sigh.

Arriving at the bus station in Vancouver was kind of funny because it was so obvious who was going down to Seattle for PAX and who was just another tourist. My dad even managed to point out who he thought was going, and he didn’t even know what PAX was until I’d told him the night before. The other funny thing was that there are actually three different bus companies with service to Seattle all operating out of the Vancouver bus depot, but the company I’d bought my ticket with doesn’t actually have a counter in the station, you just had to wait out on the street in front of the station and hope that your name is on the list the driver has.

Luckily there weren’t any problems there, and since I’d opted to sit near the back of the bus, it really did feel like I was on the part bus to PAX. The people around me were young, boisterous, and luckily friendly, even sharing their snacks with me. Also, I got to learn a lot more about their friends and their relationships than I had counted on. It was hilarious, and totally reminded me of my friends back in college.

Once we crossed the border and were dropped off in Downtown Seattle, my next mission was to locate Daryl, my host for the week and figure out how to get a temporary sim card to avoid those legendary roaming charges. The first task was a little weird, only because I’d never actually met Daryl before and we’d only exchanged the briefest of emails on Facebook since he was technically a friend of a friend/acquaintance who’d been hooked up due to my travel plans being so last minute and every affordable hotel room in Seattle that wasn’t a billion miles from the convention center being booked.

However, once we did manage to connect I was happily relieved to find that he really was the nicest, most generous dude ever. Like, ever. This man was a life-saver. Also, I promptly fell madly in love with his doggie Doc, eventually even surrendering one of my convention purchases to him because he was just too cute.

PAX Prime 2014 Me and Doc

Cutest dog ever, or cutest dog EVER?

As this was my first time attending a PAX convention not exhibiting on the show floor, it meant that I could actually play games and enjoy the surrounding events. It was pretty magical. That said, I didn’t get a chance to talk with as many people as I would normally working in a booth, but I also really enjoyed actually getting a chance to enjoy some of the PAX related activities that I’m usually too pooped from working to enjoy. That said, I still felt like I’d been hit by a truck by the time it was all done, although I’m sure ended up at a full on DANCE CLUB for the first time in like 10 years might have had something to do with that.

Some show floor highlights included feeling like a super star in my Delsin cosplay while touring around the Sony booth (I even got extra free stuff!), accidentally getting into the wrong line at the Alien: Isolation booth and having to play the 3 minute death challenge inside the alien egg instead of the regular demo, and actually getting to chat face to face with some of my favourite game makers.


Another accidental theme that seemed to emerge this year was art. I actually ended up attending three different art shows, all associated in some was with PAX. First up was When We Were Young at The Raygun Lounge, a cafe/gaming space up in Capital Hill. I’d heard about the show from Stasia Burrington’s blog and had actually tried to check it out a day early, but there was nothing on display yet. Whoops. While not exclusively video game themed, there were a variety of pieces based on 80’s cartoons and nostalgia, although not nearly as many as I’d thought there would be. Oh well.

Since that had been kind of a bummer, after dinner and another panel I wandered back up to Capital Hill for the Press Start III: Turbo Mode show at Ltd. Gallery. This show was amazing, and I especially liked the fact that most of the art was also available to buy as much more affordable prints. Sadly, I’d failed to heed Krystelle’s convention advice and didn’t have a poster tube with me, meaning anything print-like I purchased would surely have ended up a crumpled mess by the time I got back to Montreal. Luckily it seems like many of the prints are still available for purchase on the Ltd. Art Gallery website.

Last up was the Fangamer Vs. Attract Mode party which in addition to music and cocktails by The Drunken Moogle, also featured a whole range of limited edition prints available for sale on a make-shift gallery wall. Again, I opted not to buy anything because I couldn’t guarantee it’s safe return home, but I still really enjoyed getting a chance to check out everything on offer.

Be sure to stay tuned for the rest of my PAX Prime recap, including a few more picks of my Delsin cosplay and the details of how my very first panel went down.

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    margotmeanie
    September 16, 2014 at 3:00 am

    Those are shows look like they had great stuff!! Sorry about your flu! 🙁 being sickerly is never fun!

    <3
    margot

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 16, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Thanks, Margot. I’m so sad I didn’t have a safe way to bring back art… although it was probably better for my pocket book this way.

  • Reply
    Fiona
    September 16, 2014 at 4:34 am

    Yay for Daryl and Doc – can’t wait to see cute doggie pics 🙂 The art looks amazing – totes jealous! I hope you’re not too under the weather – feel better!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 16, 2014 at 9:51 am

      You better brace yourself, Doc is the cutest.

      • Reply
        Fiona
        September 17, 2014 at 4:45 am

        he is the cutest!!

        • Reply
          Mariko
          September 17, 2014 at 12:39 pm

          And sooo sweet. On my last night there, he made a point of not going into the bedroom with his owners to sleep with me on the sofa.

  • Reply
    Nagareboshi
    September 16, 2014 at 6:50 am

    Cool post! Those buses sometimes can be an adventure! Looks like you had fun. Looking forward to reading the rest. ^__^

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 16, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Luckily the bus from Vancouver to Seattle is pretty quick and direct (as far as buses go). But yeah, I kinda felt for the group of middle aged British tourists who really seemed to have no idea what they’d gotten themselves into.

  • Reply
    Nagareboshi
    September 16, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Oh yeah, and – GET WELL!!! Tell those germs to get lost. ^^

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 16, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Thank you.

  • Reply
    Jane Y.
    September 16, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I love how you featured your photos in a neat slideshow fashion! Get well soon! Looking forward to your next recap!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Yeah, I just had too many to sprinkle throughout the post without making it nine miles long. And I managed to find a slideshow plugin I like. Happy to hear you like it.

  • Reply
    kaycreate
    September 16, 2014 at 10:40 am

    I hope you feel better soon! Being sick sucks. Love the recap and photos – looks like a great trip. I feel like I would have spent so much time drooling over all the art galleries haha! Also, those Assassins Creed costumes would be sweet to see! I’ve only ever played the first game, but I really like the design for them.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 16, 2014 at 10:59 am

      Thanks, Kayly. It was seriously tough not to just buy ALL OF THE ART PRINTS, but knowing they would be ruined on the way home did save me lots of $$$.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    September 16, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I would have been so scared meeting up with someone I had never met before… I’m glad Darryl turned out to be a nice guy though! Also I’m lad you got to spend some time with your family 🙂 I’m sorry that you’re sick, I hope you feel better soon!! Great photos too, I really liked those Assassins Creed costumes!

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 16, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks! I wish I’d been able to get more pictures of stuff, but I guess I just got too overwhelmed. And I’ve always preferred doing stuff over taking pictures of doing stuff. Which I guess is good for me, not so good for the blog. lol

  • Reply
    nerdburger
    September 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Your cosplay was FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!! You are way too rad. We have pax here in October. I wasn’t thinking of going but your post made it sound super fun. 🙂

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 17, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      D’awww… thanks Cazz. If you are into games (video, tabletop, RPG, etc.) then PAX is definitely worth a look. Typically I prefer to spend my time with the indie folk as it is less crowded and those are the projects that usually interest me the most.

  • Reply
    Kerry
    September 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Sorry you’re fighting off a cold – I hope you’re feeling better soon! I love the pics from the art shows, there’s nothing like good fanart. And that dog? Cutest dog EVER.

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 18, 2014 at 7:45 am

      Yeah, I kinda wish I’d taken more pictures of the art stuff, but I always feel kinda bad taking pictures instead of buying stuff. And yes, Doc is THE CUTEST!

  • Reply
    Joie Fatale
    September 18, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Your hair looks brilliant!!! And those Assassins’s Creed costumes are making me drool (I just recently started playing and am totally hooked)! I hope you feel better soon!

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 19, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Thank you! Think I’m over the worst of it, finally. Gonna try to keep it low-key this weekend, though.

  • Reply
    Sophierocious
    September 20, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Oh so glad you did this post. I really missed being at Prime this year! <3

    • Reply
      Mariko
      September 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm

      Aww… Glad I was able to make you feel suitably nostalgic. 😉

  • Reply
    PAX Prime & Seattle Loot - Gamerwife
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  • Reply
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    PAX Prime 2014 Part II: Panels & Cosplay - Gamerwife
    January 4, 2016 at 9:22 pm

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