ALRIGHT GUYS! This is one heck of an image-heavy post. I apologize but I can't help but share all my photos from another phenomenal trip out to Seattle to visit my sweetie. I flew out just after my birthday because Dan got us tickets to PAX! PAX is a super-massive videogame expo that occurs annually in Seattle. It is actually so incredibly successful that there are additional expos in Boston, San Antonio, and even Melbourne! My flight out from Philadelphia was delayed for an hour and I quickly realized how many people present were flying out for PAX. We all had our 3DSes out and were playing Mario Kart & Animal Crossing to pass the time. On the plane I was even seated next to a dev who was traveling to promote his game!
I was warned ahead of time by people at the airport (and later again by Dan) that PAX is all about lining up to see certain panels and shows. I had no idea just how many lines I would be in over the 4-day expo. Dan and I waited for a lot of great panels including Hironobu Sakaguchi (the creator of Final Fantasy), the team working on remastering Grim Fandango, and my personal favorite: Pat Rothfuss. During those queues I was constantly getting streetpassed on my 3DS. It was amazing!
Also occurring within PAX was the League of Legends LCS tournament. I don't personally play LoL but I do enjoy watching competitive gaming. I was really impressed by the huge setup Riot had and the enthusiasm of the crowds. I wanted to sit in on a few matches but seeing as I don't really play the game I opted to relinquish my seat to someone who was far more enthusiastic about it than I was. How could I not poke my head in for a little bit, though? I mean ... LOOK AT ALL THE FLASHING COLORFUL LIGHTS. I was drawn to the area like a darn moth!
The Patrick Rothfuss panel by and far was my favorite part of the expo. He's one of my favorite authors (The Name of the Wind / The Wise Man's Fear) and he read us some excerpts of his work and entertained us with his absolutely excessive use of the word 'fuck.' I mean ... he actually used it with such frequency that a mother escorted her child from the auditorium while covering her ears. After the laughter, the great readings, and mildly disturbing storytime he closed the panel by leading all 3,000 people present in singing "You Are My Sunshine." Admittedly, I got a little bit misty eyed and had chills all over. It also put a huge smile on my face for the rest of the day. It prompted me and Dan to grab coffee & donuts sit in line first thing the next morning to get all his releases signed by him. 100% worth it!
It was also made more worthwhile cause by the time we got out of the signing they had free delicious turkey legs waiting outside to advertise the new Gauntlet game. Breakfast AND lunch taken care of!
Another really cool thing that happened on this trip was that I FINALLY GOT TO TRY THE OCULUS RIFT!!!! This is a piece of technology I am so excited for. Dan's friend ran the Tuscan Villa simulator for me and I got to explore a cute little house on the sea while being completely immersed in the environment. I hope I one day get to try many other games on this, and I can't wait to see what is eventually released specifically for the Oculus.
The weekend concluded with Omegathon which is a tournament that occurs throughout the expo and is the grand finale for the convention. This year the final game they played was competetive Pac-Man. I never thought I would witness so many people screaming and cheering over the game, but that's exactly what happened. The positive energy in the crowd was absolutely contagious! When we made it back to the house I was a little bit sad it was over -- although my legs were relieved!
PAX felt like a safe haven. Where I could be myself and not feel judged for liking videogames and fantasy novels. It was an extremely positive experience for me. I normally have debilitating anxiety in crowds of people but when I found myself among everyone I only had genuinely pleasant interactions. If you knew me personally you'd know that a lot of my experiences with strangers as of late have been unpleasant and upsetting. PAX restored my faith in humanity. Shoutout to the girl working at Geek Chic who showered me with a lot of really lovely compliments and made me feel super pretty!
Now you guys officially know how much I like videogames. ❤
Also, on my last day out I FINALLY TRIED CREPES FOR THE FIRST TIME!!! That was the icing on my happy cake. :D