Have you ever smashed a kid playing Pokemon cards? Have you ever dressed up like Link while playing the bagpipes and riding a unicycle? Have you ever decided on the artwork for a “Magic: The Gathering” card? Waited in a crazy line to play a new game? Attended a lecture on Nerdcore Hip Hop? Experienced a top of the line virtual reality system? No? Well, you’re missing out on life. You can do all that and so much more at the PAX gaming convention, formally known as the Penny Arcade Expo.
We were in town to cross the Gorge off our bucket list, and had a few days to visit Seattle. As we were leaving downtown to venture into hipster Capital Hill, I thought my husband was having a heart attack. For a quick second, I panicked wondering how fast I could get the geek in my passenger seat to a Seattle E.R., but luckily it was just a Magic banner hovering above the street.
I’m currently running for Wife of The Year, so I tell my husband, “Fuck Capital Hill, let’s check on what’s going on with Magic.” He looks at me in disbelief but I finally convince him to park the car, bringing us ultimately to this gold mine. I mean look at it… It looks like warriors and gypsies invaded and claimed the west coast. (they did not).
I see my husband skipping down the street as I embarrass him, photobombing people’s pictures of this new “artifact” warrior horse looking thing. He asks me if he can play cards for an hour but unfortunately the skipping was stopped abruptly as you needed to have a badge, which were sold out way in advance.
He looked at me like I’m crazy when I said, “Let’s go to the registration and see if we can get a ticket,” but we went anyway and were blessed by the sight of many artistic souls. While we had no luck at registration I seriously got to see this man dressed up like Link playing the bag pipes while riding a unicycle. My weekend was already made in every single shape and form, even before he put a Darth Vador helmet on. So, I’m standing there watching Bagpipe Link with a man waiting for his kids, so they can go get dinner and I tell him how Geeky my husband is, and all he wanted while visting this weekend was to make a kid cry, losing at the Magic card game and SCORE – two free tickets to the sold out PAX Convention.
Nate gets a free deck and sits down with Wario and Mario, while I take more pictures and score him a real-life professional-looking life counter card. Let’s pretend I knew what that was… I think I’ve already won Wife of The Year at this point, but I may as well seal the deal.
I obviously know nothing about this game but it was fun to see people in their element, so happy and creatively charged. I watched them yay and nay on artwork for new cards. Yes, that’s unfortunate it was wasted on someone like me but it was truly mesmerizing.
I’ve yet to go to Comic-CON but I’ve heard it’s a nightmare – too much happening for such a small city. However, at PAX the events were held throughout scattered buildings, making it pretty easy to get around. You could even call for a tricked-out Final Fantasy Uber.
We went to another building where there were just pockets of people playing games, trying new things out, listening to panels, or relaxing with their phone waiting for the next thing to start.
I missed Capital Hill that day and ended up having to pitch a tent in the dark but it was well worth it. I feel like I got a free pass to a magical kingdom and I’ll never forget it. Just so you don’t have to scroll up, here’s Link again.
© Faith’s True Tales 2016. All original words and images by Faith Brady.