Monday, September 1, 2008

A word or two on PAX, before reality seeps back in.

so i just got back from PAX. it incredible experience, to say the least. i got to check out (though not as much as i wanted to) a gorgeous new city, seattle. i FINALLY managed to make it to the west coast for the first time in my life. i got to see and play all kinds of awesome new video games as well as pick up loads of awesome (and lots of free!) merch. i got to see mc frontalot perform...AND he signed my cds...AND i got my picture taken with him. i got to see an amazing q&a with the penny arcade boys, as well as watch them play rock band (AWESOME!) and vs. excitebike. i got to experience the omegathon in all its geektastic glory. the creator of ninjatown recognized my patrick the wolfboy t-shirt and talked to me about art and franco (shawn says hi, guys!). i got to see a fantastic spore demo and realized IT IS COMING OUT NEXT WEEK - after YEARS of waiting for it. and...possibly the best part...i got to see a panel (and new exclusive stuff - live!) from the rooster teeth guys as well as get my stuff signed AND get my picture taken with them. they were...just...amazing. really fantastic.

i have to admit, i'm no stranger to conventions. this was, i think, my eighth year going to philadelphia's wizard world comic-con. it was my third year going to monster mania in cherry hill. it was my first year going to otakon. it was my first pax. (those last three all happened in this month of august, in fact.) while i love the comic book convention (it's got my favorite geek flea market) and the horror convention (there's nothing quite like breathlessly accusing tom savini of being a genius) and otakon was a blast (so much KAWAII), i can honestly say that PAX was the first time i felt like i was really home. i guess it's because of those four things - comics, horror movies, anime, and video games - i've been into video games the longest, since my mom used to haul crates over to arcade games at the mall so i could play them when i was 3 or 4 years old. it took going to PAX to bring back the full nostalgia of it for me and remind me how much of a gaming geek i am - and always have been - at heart. i also have a hard time choosing between watching movies, reading books, and playing video games (and even playing the guitar and knitting), but i think for a while i know which mode i'm going to be stuck on again.

the other thing that i want to comment on is just...seattle. WOW. i could never imagine wanting to live anywhere other than philadelphia. my second favorite city is boston, and my third, baltimore. but seattle...seattle just blew them all away. i could see myself living in dublin, and even belfast, but i could never imagine calling those places my home. the same with boston and baltimore. but seattle...i could see myself living in seattle and calling it my home, really. it's laid back, and from what i saw, it's just my style, from the clothes to the food to the attitude. i utterly loved it there. i'm not sure if i'll be singing the same tune in a few weeks, after i get back from japan, but these are just my rambling, sleep-deprived, jetlagged thoughts as i'm having them.

PAX changed me. it re-opened a place that i had in my heart that's been buried under failed relationships, japanese grammar, netflix queues, and complications of life. too much of my energy and passion is constantly misdirected. but i promise myself - i will never let that place get buried again.