Need To Know: PAX East 101

Need To Know: PAX East 101

Pax East will be back in Boston in a few weeks. Here are five things to know if you are new to the world of PAX (aka Penny Arcade Exposition).

When and where is it? PAX East is March 21st through March 24th at the Boston Convention and Expo Center. Tickets start at $67 per day or $250 for all four days. Tickets are on sale now here. Saturday is sold out as an individual day ticket.

Who is PAX for? Depending on what generation your belong to, a gamer was a stereotype limited by gender, age, perhaps even personality type. Throw that all away because the world of gaming has changed since the first Atari was hot. Now, gaming is increasingly for everyone and anyone regardless of age, gender, sexuality, interest, personality type, race and social status. Yes, of course there is work to do for equity in gaming but the doors are wide open and you should just walk in whether you think you are a gamer or not. At the very foundation we are all human and we all like to play and that’s what PAX East is at its core.

What age is PAX best for? Well for starters children 6 and under are free with a paying adult so let’s talk children. There are some video games designed for children as young as 5 or 6, but if that’s not your thing I saw many families playing tabletop games and testing out new types of puzzle games and card games as a family. PAX is not just for screen time in fact a huge portion of the floor is all about tabletop and role playing games. A ticket to PAX would be a great gift for a teen, a mom, a couple who loves gaming. It’s a fun family weekend activity too. PAX East is such a huge event that there are games for everyone at any age. Some events on the schedule are flagged for 13+.

How comfortable/safe will I feel? In terms of COVID and any other seasonal virus trying to level up, masks are no longer required, but definitely recommended. In terms of navigating a huge event, there are plenty of signs and maps and people to help. There are quieter spaces to chill, plenty of opportunities to sit and try a game or listen to a talk or watch people play. There are LGBTQAI+ spaces. There are places to grab a bite to eat and spaces to gather with old friends or new found friends to play a game.

I have my ticket now what can I expect to see and do? My general rule for large events is to plan ahead, highlight what interests me and then during the event go with the flow. I might see 1/2 of the talks I was interested in, but wander into a new room, get caught up playing a new game, or find myself chatting with someone who invented a toy or game that I had never heard of. You can see all the features of PAX East here and the site will be updated with more details as we get closer to the event.

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