Remember the Alamo? Near the location of this historic site in San Antonio, Texas one of gaming’s biggest festivals, PAX South, has just had its annual event this past weekend where it welcomed thousands of people who share the same enthusiasm and love of gaming culture.
PAX, neé Penny Arcade Expo, is a gaming-centric festival and showcase that has been going on for more than a decade, although its San Antonio event, known as PAX South, only just began 4 years ago when it saw a record-breaking amount of 40,000 people in attendance.
With multiple panels and discussions, contest and tournaments, shops and tabletop tables galore, PAX South is a monster-size convention next to the banks of the River Walk that Alamo City lovingly welcomes every year as it brings people from all over the country to share in on the rich culture of the city and the passion for games.
The event sports one of the biggest exhibition floors out there to the point of needing most of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center’s spacious rooms and halls. It is also known to attract big companies that want to take the opportunity to showcase the latest games, tech and products that are coming soon or are already in production. This year we saw some big names such as Microsoft, Capcom, GEICO, Elgato, HyperX, Fangamer, Discord and Twitch. No Nintendo booth this year, unfortunately, which saw a massive amount of people playing the Nintendo Switch and Breath of the Wild before their release last year.
A few of the things showcased this year ranged from fully-equiped simulation stations such as the U.S. Air Force Rapid Strike to live HearthStone live competitions, Twitch streamer panels, the latest and greatest innovation in gaming monitors, headsets and chairs to things like free-play VR, the PAX Pokémon League, build your own lego creation and a giant dragon to represent the upcoming Monster Hunter: World.
PAX also hosts a handful of small vendors selling a myriad of gaming products such as caps, shirts, backpacks, toys, handhelds and the all-too-famous multi-sided dice as this event has one of the strongest tabletop communities out there. People of all age and sizes can play for free, compete in tournaments, as well as purchase all the latest tabletop games.
Like most conventions, Friday was a relaxed day that allows most pass-owners to explore what the festival has to offer. You can get in line for most booths and quickly get a hands-on experience on most of the new games, systems and tech available. You can play some of the best classic games, something completely new, or even something unreleased yet.
Saturday, however, it turns into a chaotic and lively mess since it’s one of the most popular and packed days of the weekend. You see cosplayers putting their hearts on display, fans getting a bigger shot to see their favorite streamers and celebrities, the panels are bigger than ever, sometimes filling whole rooms with over 3,000 people at once. Saturday is also the day where trying some of the booths may become more difficult. The lines can go up to 2–3 hours long and the tabletop tables are completely taken which makes people look elsewhere for the much-needed rest after walking the humongous expo hall. Still, it is one of the most memorable days of the whole event as you share in the excitement of everyone around you.
On the dawn of the final day, Sunday, you get another, more relaxed experience. A few people don’t make it to Sunday, however that does not diminish the fact that most of the place will still be packed and some things may take waiting in line for an hour. The closing ceremonies end the event that has finally come and gone, cheering and hoping that everyone there had a blast as the organizers gear for the next festival to come (either PAX East, PAX Aus, etc).
Article from Pax South created by Dario Sepulveda (Founder of iEmulators). Follow Dario on its Twitter as @mithical .