PAXmas Eve According to Isaac
written by Isaac Thummel
Welcome to my first article for Lifted Geek. My name is Isaac and I am writing this at 2am on a Friday morning at home while listening to probably the greatest rock n roll record of the past fifteen years, Permission to Land by The Darkness. These are the accounts of my week at the Penny Arcade Expo West. (Rest in Peace Prime)
Day 0: It is a beautifully Seattle day as I walk to the Light Rail on my way down to the Living Computer Museum. We Seattle folk have been plagued by an uncomfortably hot summer of 90+ degrees and sunny skies the past few weeks. I am one of the many rejoicing the return of normal Seattle 60-70 and cloudy weather. The LCM is doing a free showing of Zero Days: White Hat and Black Hat Hackers to go along with their free First Thursday in the museum space itself.
Between my avid love of 80s ‘Future’ Tech and the Cyberpunk genre I feel like I should be hacking the planet with all the different machines and set ups they have from old tape reel data computers to Apple, IBM, and Windows focused exhibits.
Walking into their server room to see the Plexiglas plates on the floor calls on my inner Adam Jensen to pop them open and look for secrets amongst the cables and dust. Sadly I was deterred from this by my friends I was checking out the exhibit with.
After playing a few different games across the different Apple, Commodore, and IBM rigs we moved on to the Sheraton Hotel for the annual Pre-PAX Boardgame Night hosted by Fantastic Factories.
The second floor of the Sheraton is a giant sprawl of tables with plastic numbered cards on metal spindles. It is a sea of 40+ tables all being managed by the wonderful community volunteers organized by the amazing Lexi. (Who also happens to be the Owner/Operator of Old Ballard Liquor Company. It is a fantastic local business making delicious Aquavit amongst other things.) We wait in the queue to get a table of our own to spend the evening at.
My friends and I happen to get sat at a table right between the two sets of doors leading into the hall where the loved PAX Enforcers are meeting at. We settle in at the table, as the Fates would have it, right as they all come marching out to go about their last free night before the beautiful chaos that is PAX for them.
The night rolls on through a multitude of games, random game dev sightings, and a fair amount of drinking. At about midnight the Sheraton staff makes their rounds informing us that they will be closing the floor soon and for us to finish up our games. My compatriots and I get invited to one final game of Secret Hitler (A social deduction game lending influences to Mafia and Werewolf) before we all part ways. I lose as a part of the Fascist force after much accusations and skullduggery is had by all.
Turning down offers of delicious Rum at a local bar, I make my way back up to Capitol Hill while discussing plans for the coming weekend with old friends and new. Upon reaching my home I start going through photos from the day and emailing Mr. Prince about new possibilities that have sprung up. This PAX shall be one for the books folks.
ED NOTE: THIS IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES FROM ISAAC. TUNE IN COME WEDNESDAY FOR THE NEXT JOURNAL ENTRY. -PRINCE