A Trip to Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East 2017

Game booth set up

Over spring break, I was fortunate enough to make a trip up to Boston, Mass and brave the 20 degree weather to attend one of the biggest video game conventions, PAX East. PAX, (originally known as Penny Arcade Expo) began in 2004 when the owners of the Penny Arcade thought gaming needed a convention of its own. PAX is split into five different conventions spread across the U.S. and there is also a convention in Australia.

This year, PAX East took place the weekend of March 10-12. Each day, the exhibit hall opened for the entirety of the day. The exhibit hall is the centerpiece of PAX and is where hundreds of booths are set up to promote the various video games that are already out and some being released this coming year. The releases range from games for consoles to games for PC and even board games. Different tournaments also take place on stages set up throughout the exhibit hall during the weekend.

At the back of the exhibit hall are the “Console and PC Freeplay” areas. In these areas, many different consoles as well as gaming PCs are set up in mass quantities so that everyone can simply take a break from walking around to sit down and play some of their favorite games, such as Overwatch or League of Legends, that are pre-downloaded to the different systems. There is also an entire table top section for those who are fans of board games.

If you find yourself tired of the commotion in the exhibit hall, various panels take place throughout the weekend. These have a wide range of topics from building your own gaming PC to inclusion for the LGBTQ community. One panel discussed the Assassin’s Creed movie, which had a few of the actors as panelists, another explained the future of video games, and, finally, one was hosted by a group of favorite video game comedians.

And of course, PAX is a great way to meet your favorite YouTubers and streamers, as many have meet ups and signings for their fans during PAX. Not to mention, it is a great place to meet up with friends made through gaming. The experience at PAX was amazing and for the video game enthusiasts, a “must do” on your bucket list.

PAX East Exhibit Hall
Photos by Sam Schlegel

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