August 31st – September 6th was my first journey to Seattle for a PAX West adventure. I’ve been to the last two PAX Souths and PAX East 2018, but I never made it out to PAX West until now and this convention was great. The expo halls were huge with three floors and what seemed like never-ending activities to check out. The convention hall was more of a vertical convention hall so it required going up and down floors, which meant that it took a day or so learn how to navigate the floors. Once you got the hang of it, it was easy to find your way around.
The convention was so large that it went through not only both buildings of the convention center, but it spanned into the surrounding buildings. Fortnite held a tournament down the street from the convention center and Bethesda had all of their stuff in their own building. In all honesty, at a convention this huge, I’m not exaggerating when I say that there was definitely something there for anyone and everyone.
PAX West 2018 Recap: The Games
The great thing about PAX West was the number of games that were showcased and the diversity of the game-type and publishing/development studios shown. They had the AAAs like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Kingdom Hearts 3, among others. The AAAs weren’t the only ones with big display booths even a cult classic like MapleStory 2 was there to show off and get everyone ready as they prepare to release in October after months in a closed beta.
Perfect World was there to showcase Neverwinter’s new expansion along with their new games: Remnant: From the Ashes and Torchlight Frontiers. This was the first time I have seen a big presence from Perfect World at any convention, but I was all about it and as an avid fan of Neverwinter I am looking forward to the next chapter. Valve also made an appearance to showcase Artifact, their DOTA card game. This was the first public appearance for the game and also the first-time Valve has been at a convention in quite a while, notably, they skipped both PAXs and E3 earlier this year.
Indie game presence also dominated the floor with the Indie MegaBooth and PAX Rising sections. If there was a game you were interested in seeing and checking out there was a very good chance that it was there. All of these games don’t even include the massive tabletop selection of games, which is always a cornerstone of any PAX.
Community and Friends
The community aspect of PAX is still one of my favorite parts of these particular conventions. The ability to get to meet up with friends and people from all around the world that you don’t get to see that often is what makes PAX a great experience. We have gone to plenty of these conventions now and we have made quite a few friends along the way.
This time at PAX West we were finally able to meet people from the West Coast that we’ve never got a chance to meet before. Social Media has allowed people to communicate and interact with people all across the country, especially through Twitter. PAX and other conventions have done is allow you all to gather in a place to meet, as the cool kids say, IRL. PAX has allowed people to not only meet up with people from various areas of the country, but they also do a great job of holding meetups, gatherings, gaming experiences that allow meeting new people that similar interests to you.
This PAX allowed us to meet up with some familiar faces such as our friends from Stack-Up and TerrenceM – who by the way won the Geico Gaming Hearthstone Tournament. We even got to meet some of our social media friends from Game Boys Podcast for the very first time. I know this been a rather broad statement instead of more PAX West only, but this occurred at PAX West and some of the people we met based on location would have only been able to ever meet at a PAX West.
My wife also got to connect with Latinx in Gaming group, a group focussed on highlighting and supporting Latinx creators in the gaming industry. They held a panel where Latinxs in gaming got to share their stories and highlight their experiences and they also hosted a meet-up afterward. I don’t have the experience to speak here but seeing her excited to meet people who have the same experiences as her in gaming made me happy, I’m glad she was able to have this experience at PAX.
I really enjoyed this PAX West and between the people, the city (Seattle is amazing), and the convention was run extremely well. I am glad I was able to make it. I have made it to PAX South, East, and West this year and while I still want to say East in Boston was my favorite overall PAX for this year, I really enjoyed this West.