I think it’s safe to say I haven’t had an experience like this year’s PAX East in a very long time, if ever. I’ve been to conventions before. I’ve been part of their staff for an event or two. I’ve joined communities and made friends, but… none of these previous experiences held a candle to being an Enforcer at PAX.
Before I get to that, let’s talk about the Expo floor. I didn’t get to spend much time there last year, and I made a concerted effort to change that. I visited all sorts of booths, from RiotGames’ League of Legends locus to checking out the next iteration of Magic the Gathering’s Duels of the Planeswalkers. I gave the beta of WildStar a try, and saw some interesting things going on with Ubisoft and Square Enix. But by far the highlight was the Supergiant booth and the preview of their next game, Transistor. I’m going to see if I can throw together a preview post with my thoughts.
I became an Enforcer for a few reasons. It had little to nothing to do with free admission or swag, though those are both nice. The point of PAX, to me, is that it’s an expo that’s by gamers for gamers, focused far more on the community and fostering good & healthy interactions rather than on marketing hype and sales figures. I’m 110% behind this concept, and it’s my belief that as many people as possible should enjoy as much of their experience as possible, even if it’s just waiting in line or walking down a hallway. Being an Enforcer empowers me to make that happen for people. And when I “took the black” (even though the shirts for East are red), I discovered so much more about it.
Enforcers are helpful, generous, and overall fantastic people. I’m sure there are exceptions, but every one I had the pleasure of meeting and working with fits that bill. I was assigned to work outside of one of the satellite theaters in the hall, but I also ran things for other Enforcers, embarked on secret missions, and helped break down several booths down on the Expo floor. It was surprisingly intense. I ended every day somewhat sore and quite tired. My joints continue to ache and I am seriously lacking in sleep.
And I can’t wait to do it again.
I’ve been asked by several Enforcers if I will be out for PAX Prime in August. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t giving it some serious thought.