Anticipating PAX 2009

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Okay, so this thread is obviously a bit early - but I don't care. I had a great time this year and am already looking forward to next year.

I want to make it easier for Goodjers to find one another and am wondering at some ways we can do that. I'd love to hear some thoughts from my fellow geeks along the following line:

(1) Perhaps a way to tag ourselves would be nice. I'd like to know who you are by just running into you in a crowd. I'm not saying we need to wear the same tacky T-shirt, but perhaps another way to mark ourselves, with either a button, or hat, or god knows what.

(2) A way to communicate through a common pool of messages. For instance, can we have a twitter feed that we could text things like "making an Expo hall run" or "going to the keynote, meet at the big inflatable monster" or some such.

You see where I'm going with this. I really enjoyed meeting you guys and gals this past Friday and want to find a way to further strengthen those bonds over the life of the weekend. It would be even cooler.

The PAX 2009 Schedule

The Current Roll-Call (Thanks Jonman for getting this started):

Quintin Stone
Yellek
Jonman
Docbadwrench
Momgamer
WineGlass
Johnnypolite
MisterMagnus
Sheazy
MaxShrek
Kosars
Tamren
Sku Boi
Sku Boi's SO
Bnpederson
Kier
BrassMonkey
Elliottx
Lunafae
Matokin
Matokin's brother
Amoebic
Amoebic's husband
Tekman
Itsatrap
clover
Multra
Multra's wife
jdzappa
cormarrr
Edgar_Newt
grobstein
Furtivespy
Mr Eko

Current Status of S&T at a Restaurant:

We are good for 7pm on Friday 8/4 at Kells.

Contact Details

Those of us on Twitter will be tweeting, of course. I will also make myself available via my Google Voice account. Feel free to call me at 42 42 DOC BAD throughout the event to get in touch with my "mini-tribe".

Oh my god! I just got back! I can't think about next year yet, it will drive me insane!

I plan on going and taking the GF. Dunno, maybe I'l whip up a little badge template a month or so before with
{GWJ}
{Forum Name}
{Actual Name}, and maybe a picture of Stan, if certis doesn't mind. It'd make us easier to pick out of a crowd.

Agreed on both points! I was thinking that it'd be cool to have some GWJ swag anyways, and that it'd be especially handy during conferences. I like Kannon's badge idea because it can be worn several days without growing it's own mutant baby head. After being filled with jealousy for Gaald's GWJ shirt, I really want to some GWJ-branded clothing as well

I'm already planning on going next year, too. This year was way too much fun.

I'm throwing down the gauntlet now: I _will_ be at PAX 09.

I'm trying to do a feasibility study on going to PAX in 2009. Obviously coming all the way from the UK will add complication. It's still in Seattle in Late Summer 2009, right?

Other questions: When do the tickets go on sale? How quickly do they sell out? How good is that bit of Seattle for a family holiday with youngish kids (4-6)? Or I guess we could hire a car and see Washington state and do a bit of walking.

I'm really tempted to go, but I doubt I have anyone to drag along with me, so being able to meet-up with people I sort of know would be very tempting.

I was solo at the event, it was lots of fun and I ended up meeting a lot of friends that were up there in their own groups. It would be kind of cool to figure out ways of meeting up with more friends and good people.

The twitter feed is a good idea.
A "Stan's" patch would be a good idea. I suggest the icon, with forum name underneath. Real names can be disclosed later.

A big ol' Stan pin.

If I ever go I'll just have the crazy child killer captain america icon blown up and screen printed onto a t-shirt.

DudleySmith wrote:
I'm trying to do a feasibility study on going to PAX in 2009. Obviously coming all the way from the UK will add complication. It's still in Seattle in Late Summer 2009, right?

Other questions: When do the tickets go on sale? How quickly do they sell out? How good is that bit of Seattle for a family holiday with youngish kids (4-6)? Or I guess we could hire a car and see Washington state and do a bit of walking.

Should be around the same time, give or take a few weeks. They won't announce the definite time for a couple of months now. As far as sales of entry passes (badges), they go on sale several months before and are mailed to you (inside the US) or at the Will Call booth (outside the US). They never really "run out" of badges, as you can buy a badge any time you're there by sitting in a line and then giving them money, but ordering them early gets you a slightly cheaper price. They might also have deals/freebies for younger children, I'm not sure.

Seattle, in my limited experience, has plenty to see and do that are kid-friendly. If you rent a car you can see all around the city, visit the sites, even drive up to Vancouver for a few days and visit there as it's only a two hour drive.

Some relevant sites you might be interested in:
Seattle's official tourist website
Vancouver's official tourist website
PAX official website (currently in 2008 mode, will swtich when official announcement hits)

The only thing I'm wary of for 2009 is how crowded it's going to be next year. Penny-Arcade is hoping to make the crowds manageable by creating PAX East, but that isn't until 2010. Meanwhile PAX has consistently increased its numbers, this year going around 70,000 people or so last I heard...? In any event, it was crowded. Next year will probably be more crowded, even with PA renting more space in the convention center. That said if you're thinking of doing PAX for a day or three in a longer vacation centered around Seattle/Vancouver area you should be fine. PAX has plenty of kid-friendly exhibits and panels so long as you keep in mind you're going to be in a crowd of twenty-somethings that habitually swear, despite their best intentions.

I'm sure knowledgeable people can help you out more; Momgamer would be a great person to contact to find out about both PAX and things to do in the Seattle area and I'm sure someone will come along and point out something I missed or am incorrect on.

All right - we got an Elysium commitment. Fantastic.

Dudley: I have to assume that the next one will still be at the downtown Seattle convention center. There simply isn't another huge venue that is as tech-connected as that one, and there's even more space than what we used. There were some really confused lawyers that descended from the upper floors, where they had their convention.

There is a ton of cool, family-friendly stuff to do in Seattle so I wouldn't worry about your family. Whether it's going to the museums, taking an Argosy cruise, going on the underground tour, or what have you, you will have options. Outside the city there is a variety of natural beauty to take in. Oh, and I don't know exactly when tickets go on sale for next year, but it's sometime after the start of the new year (I believe).

As regards the whole 'keeping in contact' thing, I think that a pin is a good start, but just be aware: about 1 in 10 people are wearing 20-to-50 pins on their person. What that means is that, by the end of PAX, I didn't even see pins because I have a case of pin-overload. I think that a more standardized name-tag-ish thing might draw our eyes that much easier. Of course, if you're going to wear a full-blown insane Captain America shirt, it'll create a nice minigame called "find the goodjers".

I don't know much about Twitter, but I would imagine there's a way for us to each join a GwJ group that monitors our individual feeds or something. I think that between now and next year I can figure out how to make my cell phone work with it.

I was planning to go to my first GenCon next year. However, as I've said before, my sister planned her wedding for that Saturday. So I will be doing PAX instead. Hooray for all of you!

I'm really pushing hard to go to PAX next year. I nearly made it this year, but committed too late to find a reasonable hotel room and hurt myself, to boot.

So, mark me down with Elysium as "I'll be there with a beard on!"

You can get custom pins for pretty reasonable prices, which is how the whole pin thing ended up happening this year. Of course, I didn't find out about it until after PAX, or I would have given them out at the S&T.

Maybe GWJ shirts? Bandanas (which double as armbands)?

- Alan

DudleySmith wrote:
I'm trying to do a feasibility study on going to PAX in 2009. Obviously coming all the way from the UK will add complication. It's still in Seattle in Late Summer 2009, right?

Other questions: When do the tickets go on sale? How quickly do they sell out? How good is that bit of Seattle for a family holiday with youngish kids (4-6)? Or I guess we could hire a car and see Washington state and do a bit of walking.

I really wish my wife and daughter had come out with me. Seattle really is a neat city, and there is plenty to do. My brother and I even walked down to the Pike Place Market for lunch. It is a very short walk, and it is a great place to see them toss fish around. Plus there are shops and other restaurants.

I stayed an extra day and did the Space needle thing, but even cooler was the Experience Music Project, which is museum dedicated to the Seattle music scene (grunge, Jimi Hendrix) as well as music altogether. They have a cool area where you can work in a studios and play music with others, are just learn a lot on your own. It was fun watching my niece learn about samplers, and the get to sample her voice, and then compose with it. It is a great interactive exhibit.

Throw in cruises, mountains, and great places to hike, and it really is an excellent place for a family vacation. It's not far from Canada, obviously, and you can get up to Alaska from there as well. If you are coming from overseas, there is really a lot you can add to the plate in just the Northwest.

My problem is that its always at the start of the semester.
If they moved it back 2 weeks I would be all over it, train out and bum it for a week.
However, it interferes with classes.

I may take a train next year. From georob's account, the train up from California (I believe) was packed full of PAX folks who gamed the entire way up. Sounds like a blast, to me.

Jayhawker wrote:
Throw in cruises, mountains, and great places to hike, and it really is an excellent place for a family vacation. It's not far from Canada, obviously, and you can get up to Alaska from there as well. If you are coming from overseas, there is really a lot you can add to the plate in just the Northwest.

Great. Now I'm all homesick for Seattle again. Haven't been there since Pax 2007, guess we have to go to PAX 2009 now!

If we're really brainstorming planning, and 2009 really is going to be bigger than 2008, we should come up with some drink/food payment method that'll keep the waitress from going insane.

docbadwrench wrote:
(1) Perhaps a way to tag ourselves would be nice. I'd like to know who you are by just running into you in a crowd. I'm not saying we need to wear the same tacky T-shirt, but perhaps another way to mark ourselves, with either a button, or hat, or god knows what.

http://www.beerforben.com/nametags.doc

I will do anything to be there next year.

bennard wrote:
docbadwrench wrote:
(1) Perhaps a way to tag ourselves would be nice. I'd like to know who you are by just running into you in a crowd. I'm not saying we need to wear the same tacky T-shirt, but perhaps another way to mark ourselves, with either a button, or hat, or god knows what.

http://www.beerforben.com/nametags.doc

I'll make my own if we're using that. I want one of those awesome reflective picture things so my avatar can dance on the nametag too.

I keep saying it every year, but I'm close enough for it to not be an excuse. The wife and I are looking into going this time! To be honest, I'm more interested in the inevitable 'Goodge-up, all the other stuff is a bonus.

How soon in advance is it best to buy tix?

Might be a little tighter with E Hunnie's schedule this year, since they moved it to Labor Day weekend, but we still hope to make it.

wordsmythe wrote:
Might be a little tighter with E Hunnie's schedule this year, since they moved it to Memorial Day weekend, but we still hope to make it.

Dude, don't freak me out like that! I plan on going again, and Memorial Day would be way to soon, and totally impossible for me to make.

But alas, it is Labor Day weekend.

http://www.pennyarcadeexpo.com/

;_;

I want to go so badly.

Right now Yellek and I are planning to go.

I would love to go to this. Labor Day weekend, eh...sounds plausible.

Jayhawker wrote:
But alas, it is Labor Day weekend.

Sorry about that. Brain spazzed.

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