No way to really prepare for something like PAX

I was very fortunate to be able to attend PAX East this year with some friends, the convention continues today and Sunday however we only got tickets for Friday.

There is simply no way to really prepare for something like PAX, sure I had a map I had a full schedule of events, I had plans in my head of what i wanted to see and do but that all flew right out the window once I stepped into the convention hall. The first thing that I noticed about PAX was just how many damn people where there. Knowing most of my gaming friends online, it can feel like a relatively solitary hobby but there in front of me where thousands of gamers. Hardcore gamers, casual gamers, table top gamers, PC gamer, console gamers, TCG gamers, gamers as far as the eye could see.

PAX East

Once we got our badges we headed for the showroom floor, to do this we had to join a cue. The cue is a line to get in line to get into the floor. If there is one thing to bring to PAX is a a patience for lines. The cue and line moved fast though and we where in in no time. There was an insane amount of stuff on display, the big games like Borderlands 2 and Max Payne 3, and small stuff like iOS games and several indie games. We dove right in hunting down the games we loved and all the swag we could get our hands on.

Sadly I was never able to get any hands on time with Borderlands or Max Payne 3, both had lines that where so long the PAX enforces told me to just come back in a half hour, and I only had the one day so I wasn’t willing to spend half of it in line for one game. I did get some hands on with Far Cry 3 multiplayer, Ghost Recon Online, Tribes Ascend, I Am Alive, Minecraft on Xbox, Fable Heros,  and bunch of others. It was a ton of fun and i got quite a bit of swag for my efforts.

One of the highlights for me though would probably almost knocking over Felica Day, while looking at one of the impressive displays i almost walked into her. Later I went to see if I could get an autograph however the line was massive. She was at the Xbox booth from 2 – 4 and they had to cut the line at 2:30!

After the showroom closed at 6 we went to the tabletop area, I got myself a bunch of Magic cards and we played a bit before heading out to the PC Freeplay area. Finally with my feet as sore as they have ever been, sore shoulders from the swag bag, and with a slight pounding headache we called it a day. How anyone could survive 3 days of this amazingness I have no idea, but i definitively know I will go again next year and hopefully for all 3 days.

Boxchild Day

All eyes were on Tuam in Co. Galway today as Irish Travellers celebrated Boxchild Day.

The annual festival, taking place on the last Thursday of February, centres around a ritual believed by Irish Travellers to determine the tone of their behaviour over the Spring and Summer months.

The ritual involves releasing a Traveller child from a huge cardboard box in view of the festival officials.

boxchild day

According to folklore, if the child attempts to fight his own shadow, several months of misbehaviour, including street brawls, breaking chairs over publicans’ heads, hitting ponies with big sticks, drastically reducing the value of land, bareknuckle fighting and eleven year old girls wearing thongs and asking male passers-by of all ages if they would like a blowjob, lay ahead.

On the other hand, if the child smiles at his shadow, then a period of relative peace among the Irish Traveller community is predicted to last until Autumn. This period may contain such activities as: drinking in moderation, measured appeals on current affairs programs that Irish travellers be officially recognised as an ethnic group, friendly and legitimate lawnmower sales to people in rural areas, community clean-up drives, being honest, loveable rogues on reality television programmes and the formation of focus groups to spearhead nationwide celebrations of Irish Traveller language and culture.

The guest of honour at this year’s ceremony, Shite in the Bucket O’Donnell, announcing the official result as a likely year of good behaviour, claimed that the thrill of seeing members of the Traveller and Settled communities come together for one day every year was far more satisfying than tearing his vest off in a rage and pummeling a man’s face into a bloody mush.