PAX-demic West impressions: Creating fun out of thin, masked air

SEATTLE—From the ongoing wreckage of a variant-riddled pandemic comes… a modest, regional, and relatively fun nerd convention.

My perspective on PAX West, arguably the largest Northwest expo dedicated to gaming culture, is biased by the lines, crowds, and hype I’ve seen attached to every incarnation since its first downtown Seattle sellout in 2007. Back then, the show was firmly attached to the webcomic Penny Arcade (also a Seattle creation), but the show’s reputation grew quickly enough to become a multi-day, multi-building extravaganza.

Ever since, the fest formula has been increasingly divorced from its comic origins. The PAX model has officially duplicated and been liberally borrowed in other regions. In recent years, of course, a little worldwide dilemma got in the way.

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