PAX South was in San Antonio, Texas January 12-14th this year! The convention, now in it’s fourth year is one of the newest installations of the Penny Arcade conventions primarily focused on gaming culture.
This is my fourth year at Ye Ol’ PAX South! This weekend was packed full of video and table top games, and plenty of people (seriously I really need to know the stats on convention attendees because there are SO many people at South)! When PAX rolls around it always is a great start to the year, new games, new panels, new experiences—I always have a good time. This year was no different albeit a bit more low-key than previous years.
As much as I do enjoy PAX, the convention is an overstimulating experience, with the thousands of people, packed demo haul and lots of walking it tends to be a sensory overload for me personally. I try to enjoy the con in my own way as to not let anxiety take over, I attempt to make a loose schedule of events, but ultimately take it easy and see what I can at the con.
Saturday and Sunday were the main days of the convention for me. Lines were long and games were a-plenty. I generally am not extremely interested in demo-ing many games unless it is something I am truly looking forward to for the year, i.e., the Nintendo Switch at last year’s PAX. I really do love finding out about indie titles by walking the convention, the place is so packed that it is hard to truly enjoy finding out about a game so I generally keep a note of things that interest me on my phone for further research later. I will say, Monster Hunter World had an incredible display but was I eager enough to stand in line to play the demo? Nah.
I made this year about playing tabletop games. Over the past year or so, I have been playing more IRL games over the virtual, it is a good way for my partner and I to spend quality time together; in 2017 we started a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with our friends (which I will get into a little later) and half of our party was at PAX. During the weekend we played a few games that will probably be hitting my shelves at home soon! Coup, Spy Net, Slash and Ticket to Ride to name a few.
Saturday night, outside of the convention my friends and I played a one shot My Hero Academia themed Dungeon’s and Dragons based campaign. I created my own villain character Jinn-y who’s quirk (powers in the My Hero universe) is based in possession of other people’s bodies through sight. Our guild scrappily tried to take on the Heroes Eraser Head, Mt. Lady, Midnight and Present Mic, but enough of that…
Sunday rolled around and we used that day for shopping, I purchased new dice, donated to the Able Gamers non profit organization and finally signed up for a game of True Dungeon. This experience was quite fun and truly unique, it’s a live action D&D session where you problem solve and interact in a “real dungeon setting”. In our session we worked through a puzzle together in a team of 10 people, four of which were my friends and the other five were strangers; we also got to fight an animatronic dragon that interacted with us, we ended up beating the dragon back with only one “casualty”, our rogue didn’t get the chance at death saving throws unfortunately because of our time limit. The whole experience was about an hour long, 30 minutes of waiting, 15 minutes of a walk through on how to play our characters and a 15 minute puzzle and fight. I can honestly say that getting to do True Dungeon was the highlight of the weekend and best saved for the last day.
This wrapped up PAX South 2018 for me! It seems to be how I open up every year for the past few and I can’t imagine missing it. I do hope that South reaches the level of East or Prime in terms of companies who show up and show out, the games on the floor and the booths seem to have stagnated. In terms of size, interest of panels and events, as well as the crowd of people who turn out each year becoming more and more diverse in terms of women and femmes and people of color? I am pretty satisfied with our little PAX down South.
Sammus the Rapper took this iconic photo with my sis, Motor City Pretty in her Captain America costume! Check the cosplayers out on IG @motorcityprettycreative (Cap), @cutiepiesensei (Wonder Woman) and @charlierocketcosplay (Sammus)!
BEST DAY OF MY BLACK ASS LIFE pic.twitter.com/YKt7Xeiza9
— SAMMUS the RAPPER (@sammusmusic) January 13, 2018