|Genre||Gaming (video game, tabletop, CCG, role-playing)|
|Country|| United States |
|Inaugurated||August 28–29, 2004|
|Most recent||September 12–20, 2020|
|Organized by|| Penny Arcade |
PAX (originally known as Penny Arcade Expo) is a series of gaming culture festivals involving tabletop, arcade, and video gaming. PAX is held annually in Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, and San Antonio in the United States; and Melbourne in Australia.
PAX was originally created in 2004 by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, the authors of the Penny Arcade webcomic, because they wanted to attend a show exclusively for gaming.Defining characteristics of the shows include an opening keynote speech from an industry insider, game-culture inspired concerts, panels on game topics, exhibitor booths from both independent and major game developers and publishers, a LAN party multiplayer, tabletop gaming tournaments, and video game freeplay areas.
The first PAX, known at the time as the Penny Arcade Expo, was held on August 28–29, 2004, in Bellevue, Washington, at the Meydenbauer Center, and was attended by approximately 3,300 people. The event was then held annually in August, at the same venue, for the next two years. Attendance grew rapidly, with over 9,000 attendees in 2005, and over 19,000 in 2006.
By 2007, the event had outgrown its previous venue, and moved to the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, with a total attendance of 39,000.Attendance continued to grow to 58,500 in 2008, and 60,750 in 2009, and 70,000 in 2011. The show stopped reporting attendance numbers in 2011, citing difficulties in tracking attendance in a multi-day event.
PAX Prime 2013 was the first four-day PAX and took place from August 30 to September 2, 2013. Passes for PAX Prime 2013 sold out within six hours.
In 2010, Penny Arcade hosted its first event outside of Seattle. PAX East was held in Boston, from March 26–28, 2010, at the Hynes Convention Center. With an attendance of 52,290, PAX East rivaled the newly dubbed "PAX Prime" in Washington, which saw 67,600 attendees in 2010. This venue was moved to Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in 2011. An agreement reached in early 2012 committed Boston as the home of PAX East until 2023.
2013 marked the first international expansion for PAX. PAX Australia 2013 was held July 19–21, 2013 at the Melbourne Showgrounds. The following year it moved to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, where it has been confirmed to remain until at least 2019.
The first PAX South was held in San Antonio, Texas at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on January 23–25, 2015. It set a PAX record for highest attendance for an inaugural year.
In 2011, Penny Arcade launched PAX Dev, a new event exclusive to the game developer community to "speak freely and focus entirely on their trade".Differentiating itself from other game developer events like GDC, PAX Dev does not allow press. 750 people attended in 2011.
At PAX South 2017, Penny Arcade and ReedPop announced that a new event type, PAX Unplugged, would be held on November 17–19, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in Philadelphia. The event was designed as a tabletop-exclusive convention, a gaming segment which was only incidental in other PAXes.
PAX was originally known as the "Penny Arcade Expo," a Seattle-only event, but quickly became known by its acronym "PAX". As part of an expansion into new cities, Seattle's PAX was renamed "PAX Prime" in 2010. On November 18, 2015, it was silently confirmed that PAX Prime was being renamed to PAX West.
PAX consists of the following activities:
Each PAX features an event called the "Omegathon," a festival-long tournament consisting of a group of randomly selected attendees competing in a game bracket for a grand prize (which has varied from a large game bundle, to a trip to Japan, to a trip to any PAX in the world). The final round of the Omegathon makes up part of the closing ceremonies of PAX. Past games for the final round of the Omegathon have included Tetris , Pong , Halo 3 , and skee-ball.
Early PAXes were largely run by a large group of volunteers, which the show calls "Enforcers". Now a paid role, most Enforcers are still not professional conference organizers or temps, but rather selected from an application available to attendees on the PAX website.
Penny Arcade is a webcomic focused on video games and video game culture, written by Jerry Holkins and illustrated by Mike Krahulik. The comic debuted in 1998 on the website loonygames.com. Since then, Holkins and Krahulik have established their own site, which is typically updated with a new comic strip each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The comics are accompanied by regular updates on the site's blog.
Jerry Holkins is an American writer. He is the co-creator and writer of the webcomic Penny Arcade along with its artist Mike Krahulik. Holkins sometimes uses the pseudonym "Tycho Brahe", which is also the name of a Penny Arcade character based on Holkins.
Tokyo Game Show, commonly known as TGS, is a video game expo / convention held annually in September in the Makuhari Messe, in Chiba, Japan. It is presented by the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) and Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. The main focus of the show is on Japanese games, but some international video game developers use it to showcase upcoming releases/related hardware. The duration of the event is four days. The first two days of Tokyo Game Show are open only to industry attendees (business) and the general public can attend during the final two days.
Child's Play is a charitable organization that donates toys and games to children's hospitals worldwide. It was founded in 2003 by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, authors of the popular video games-related webcomic Penny Arcade. The charity is seen as a way to refute mainstream media's perception of gamers as violent and antisocial. As of 2017, Child's Play had processed $44,538,978 in donations since its inception.
A gaming convention is a gathering centered on role-playing games, collectible card games, miniatures wargames, board games, video games, or other types of games. These conventions are typically two or three days long, and often held at either a university or in a convention center hotel.
Robert Khoo was the President of Operations and Business Development of Penny Arcade from 2002 until 2016. He was the Business Manager for the company and the Show Director for PAX, the largest consumer gaming show in the United States. Khoo also served as the Managing Director for Child's Play.
MAGFest is an annual festival held in the Washington metropolitan area that celebrates video games and video game music, as well as their surrounding culture. MAGFest's primary features are a large open video gaming room, a hall of arcade cabinets, concerts by chiptune artists and video game cover bands, and a Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) LAN Party.
Entertainment for All Expo or E for All was a public video game trade show, created to allow the general public to see and experience new products from the video game industry. The inaugural E for All Expo was open October 18 to October 21, 2007, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Second E For All Convention took place from October 3 through October 5, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Ska Studios is an independent game development studio founded by James Silva in 2007 after winning a contract to publish The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai to Xbox Live Arcade. Ska Studios has released four Metacritic-aggregated console games since then, more than any similarly sized studio. Ska Studios currently consists of James Silva.
Video Game Orchestra (VGO) is a Boston-based project that performs its own "rockestral" arrangements of video game music with a rock band, vocals, and orchestra. The project was created by Shota Nakama, a Boston-based producer from Okinawa, Japan. Comparative to the other existing major video game concert acts, which mostly focus on the pure orchestral performances, the rock band element is the core essence of the VGO. Their concerts are presented as a rock show with entertaining audience engagement and improvised solos.
Pink Gorilla, LLC is a retro and imported video game retailer with two locations in Seattle, Washington. It was known as Pink Godzilla Games until 2009. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer considers it "Seattle's best" among such retailers.
Christopher Perkins is a Canadian American game designer and editor who is known for his work on Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, currently as the senior story designer.
TooManyGames is a three-day gaming convention currently held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.
UK Games Expo (UKGE) is tabletop-game convention and trade fair held annually at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.
EGX is a trade fair for video games organised by Gamer Network and held annually in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Game On Expo is a multimedia gaming convention that began in August 2015, and is the largest gaming convention in Arizona. It covers all types of gaming from video games and arcades to board games and tabletop games. The expo boasts a large vendor hall, video game lounge area, free-play arcades, tournaments, cosplay contests, panels, and a variety of special guests. The Game On Expo is also host of the annual event "Retro World Championships". This event is organized by Dorion Whitlock, Mike Iarossi (Nintendo PowerFest champion, Chris Tang, and Thor Aackerlund (original Nintendo World Championships champion. The Retro World Championships is sponsored by RetroUSB who provides a limited edition special Game On Expo edition cart as the main prize.
Melbourne International Games Week is the largest game professional and consumer communication and networking platform in Asia Pacific, hosted by Creative Victoria. It comprises a confluence of events for three areas of interest, business, consumer and industry.
Thy Geekdom Con is a multi-genre convention held annually at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, PA. The convention has a wide array of activities that features panels, live performances, video game tournaments, artist alley, dealers room, and celebrity guests.