Quite possibly better than Christmas.
is easily in my top 3 things I look forward to most during the year. It's absolutely amazing, and it's amazing for a lot of reasons. First, is the convention itself and what it's about. Unlike the very few comic conventions I've been to, PAX is a much more interactive convention. That's not too surprising seeing as how it's a video game convention, but it's a notable distinction to make. At comic book conventions, I'm usually looking at art that's available, buying everything in sight because I can't help myself, and meeting people. With PAX, you get to play the games that on display there, and it ranges from PC and console games to CCG and tabletop gaming. You can buy stuff and go to pannels and meet people at PAX too, but it's the ability to not only see the new things coming out but to actually put your hands on them and play them. Maybe this is just an advantageous aspect of games in general, but even so, in my mind it's a big part of what I'll probably refer to often as the PAX experience. But getting back to the subject of the convention and what it contains, it's everything I like and nothing I don't.
Another aspect of PAX that I love are the people I go to it with. My group of childhood friends has dispersed rather profoundly to many different corners of the nation and globe, but we all manage to get together for this event. That alone is something impossible to place value on; and each year we go, it's like adding another chapter to a long chronicle of our collective history. For me, the group adds an extra dimension to my PAX experience through group traditions. Certain things change, but some things never go away, and it turns PAX into something that couldn't be recreated any other time of the year.
Also, PAX has costumes, and I love costumes. Last year was the first year I wore a costume to PAX, and I'll never go without one again. This year, I'm bringing two. I love putting costumes together, and this gives me an outlet to make all the awesome costumes that just won't be appreciated the same way they would (or more likely wouldn't) in a lot of other places. Plus, being in a costume makes you feel a lot less obtrusive when asking other people in costume for pictures.
There are a lot of other reasons PAX is great, and I think those reasons are a little bit different for everyone. Each person's PAX experience is a little different depending on these reasons. Some may go just to wait in line to play that game that's coming out
, others may not wait in a single line all weekend. I plan on doing what I do every year, which usually amounts to three days of little to no sleep, the only time during the year where I eat at Taco del Mar, one lunch at PF Chang's, drinking nothing except Bawls and alcohol (usually not mixed together), waiting in lines to play games, avoiding lines to get free stuff, and just walking around amazed at how much awesome they can fit into one event. By the end I usually feel like a depleted husk of a person, but I immediately look forward to next year. I can't wait.