I put on my robe and wizard hat…

Last year, the slogan for PAX was ‘Welcome Home’.

I confess that, whilst I was always up for coming to PAX if only to see the spectacle for myself, I was apprehensive. Honestly, I was sort of worried about the kinds of people who might be here. It’s ridiculous, really – quite aside from the fact I’ve been staying with folks from the internet, I’m a lot like many people here, but whilst I’d like to think I’m fairly well-adjusted the stigma of the gamer is strong and difficult to ignore. I had a few feverish visions of having to deal with the very worst of the stereotypes.

Of course, I was dead wrong. And the last few days have been a lot of fun, a lot of fun. I’ve met a bunch of people whose screennames have become familiar sights over the last few years, and I’ve now got a wealth of memories that will stay with me for a long time. Some highlights:

– Seeing WickerBasket, a Scotsman who flew over just for this expo, furiously singing Cool for Cats into a Rock Band microphone at 1 in the morning.
– Trying to figure out who the werewolves were (you had to be there).
– Finding out TinyLobsta is not actually a jerk, and him discovering I’m not a douche.
– Wandering around the gigantic expo hall searching for loot and giveaways.
– Hiding a perfectly spherical panda in a fridge.
– Bumping into forumers left right and centre, and being reliably cussed out for my sniping.

Speaking of sniping, you know how I said we were due to play in the 6v6 TF2 tournament here? Well, we made it to the final before being firmly (but not brutally) put down by a semi-pro team who obviously knew what they were doing. Team was:
RandomEngy, Demoman
TinyLobsta, Scout
Snappy, Medic
Lemur, Soldier
Musan, Soldier
and myself, of course, on Sniper, of course.

It was a hell of a lot of fun (we cruised to the final without conceding a single point) and there are photos of our team somewhere, no doubt to soon be shared. We won a processor worth $1300 – but only one. We’re going to eBay it and split the profits. A nice little bonus that nobody had counted on.

I don’t know, I’m trying to put this into words but it’s really pretty difficult to. It’s hard to explain the sheer novelty of what is still a pretty unfashionable hobby/culture being celebrated so enthusiastically. Rest assured there is a reason that I haven’t made it to WordPress to update, despite being surrounded by computers.

Welcome home, indeed.

4 Responses to “I put on my robe and wizard hat…”

  1. 1 Wavecutter 06/09/2009 at 1:29 pm

    You are now officially a pro gamer, for money. Like a whore. (cause I’m jealous)

  2. 2 JonXP 06/09/2009 at 3:48 pm

    At least when we got eliminated in the next to last round it was the same team that got you guys.

    Glad you’re enjoying PAX, man.

  3. 3 Renée 07/09/2009 at 12:53 am

    Sounds like a quite enjoyable time. And you totally should have worn a wizard hat.

  4. 4 Arminas 13/09/2009 at 4:28 pm

    HA! I discovered the same thing about TinyLobsta

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