Extracurricular PAXtivities - Things to Do at PAX Prime 2013

By Published August 26, 2013 at 5:35 am

PAX Prime is almost upon us once again! It's been nearly three years since we've covered PAX Prime, but in the interim, we've been to three iterations of its younger sibling - PAX East. If you're not familiar with the Penny Arcade Expo's convention layout, PAX Prime is hosted annually inSeattle(roughly this time of year) and PAX East is hosted annually inBoston(March/April timeframe). PAX Prime 2013 added a day to the event to help mitigate the overwhelming demand for tickets, resulting in a 4-day (Fri-Mon) convention. The event runs this weekend from August 30th until September 2nd. Yikes. Almost here.

Unlike E3 and CES, PAX is a consumer-driven event that thrives on the attendance of everyday gamers and enthusiasts; this tends to yield a more genuine atmosphere (less of a PR/media fest) and, in my opinion, results in the best gaming convention this side of the globe. Both PAX events average more than 60,000 attendees, with PAX East being a fair portion larger than Prime due to physical convention space.

We'll be on-site covering all the latest and greatest in gaming and hardware, and for any of you attending, we've compiled a list of additional activities to take part in (outside of the expo hall). We previously did this for East.


H.P. Pubcraft Lovecrawl - A Bar-Crawling Adventure 

Organized by community member 'swordgoatz,' the H.P. Pubcraft Lovecrawl is a Lovecraft-themed bar crawl adventure. Building on typical bar crawl structure, the Pubcraft Lovecrawl features a hand-tuned adventure where attendees will collect clues from various bars to solve an underlying mystery. Prizes will be awarded.

"This fully-baked adventure starts at Cafe Mox in Ballard at 8:30. There, you'll get your first clue, your starting items, and your sanity and stamina. From there, the night will take you on a harrowing journey of epic importance. SaveSeattle! Save the world! (There will be prizes) You can easily catch the D-Line bus to Ballard from downtownSeattle(about a 10-minute ride).Seattle's own fishing village (home to 7 microbreweries) is the perfect place for a Lovecraftian adventure."

Official forum thread here. Facebook event page here (RSVP if you're going). This event does NOT require a PAX badge. The Lovecrawl starts on Saturday night, 8/31, at 8:30 at Cafe Mox in Ballard.

PAX Prime Tabletop Tournaments & Organized Play 

For gamers looking to get involved in some competitive tabletop board games & CCGs, the PAX Tabletop Tournament features all the major board games, card games, and wargames on the market. This is a competitive event that runs independently from the Tabletop Freeplay area (which is stocked with a library for trying out board games), so be prepared for more advanced skill levels.

The schedule is packed with the likes of MTG, Warhammer, Carcassonne, Small World, and classics like Ticket to Ride and Agricola; dozens more games are present on the full schedule, listed here.

Official forum thread here. The event runs all weekend.

PAX Assassins Ball - A Persistent Game in the Real-World 

While traversing the convention center, you'll encounter tens of thousands of fellow attendees -- some of them, the more devious, may be outfitted with buttons representing specific faction alignments. These attendees are active participants in the Assassins Ball, a community-organized, real-time, real-world game that pits players (as assassins) against one another in the convention center. Find the full rules and mechanics information at the game's official thread.

Online ordering for kits is now closed due to the proximity of the show, but entering your email address here will get you in contact with the game's organizer, MarsChelios, who can pass off an Assassin Kit in person. 

Actual assassination of your opponent is discouraged. Play nice. 

Nerdy Concerts! 

Unlike the previous three events, this one is part of the official PAX agenda. One of the most entertaining events of the weekend is also one of the most relaxing: Friday, Saturday, & Sunday night PAX concerts give time to decompress from the packed expo hall and enjoy overtly nerdy jokes and piratical one-liners. We've previously filmed the PAX concert series, viewable in this YouTube playlist, and would recommend that anyone interested in music and gaming / nerd culture investigate.

Friday night features:


Saturday night features:


Sunday night features:


All the artists are incredibly talented and exude a particularly nerdy, gaming-themed vibe, so even if you're not normally a concert person - I'd recommend giving it a shot. Personally? The Super Guitar Bros. and MC Frontalot are my favorites.

On-site concerts in theSeattleconvention center require a PAX badge to enter.  

PAX Magical Mystery Tour of Seattle 

If visiting the sites of a convention-hosting town is your thing, the "Magical Mystery Tour of Seattle" needs to be on your PAX hit-list. Including vintage arcades, toy shops, the Boeing factory, a Sci-Fi museum, a pinball-equipped ice cream parlor, and more, the tour offers more than any PAX-going person could ask for.

Check out the full list of locations, times, and prices here. Highly recommended if you get time away from the expo.

There's plenty more to do at PAX Prime, so if you haven't found something particularly appealing yet, go check out the official forums and website!

- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Last modified on August 26, 2013 at 5:35 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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