Geek’s Guide to Seattle during PAX West

So you’ve bought your passes, packed your suitcase, and you’re ready for PAX West! But while you’re in Seattle, what else are you gonna do?

One of the largest U.S. gaming events, PAX West is something you’ve probably looked forward to for months…if not years. Personally I’m pretty pumped for the event and I’m a Seattle native. I can’t imagine how much excitement there would be if you’re riding, flying, or driving into town for this event. The good is that the wait is almost over! And even better, you’re coming to one of the nerdiest cities this country has to offer. Even beyond PAX West there’s a whole ton to do here while in between events, or if you just want to get away from the crowds for a bit. Here are some of my favorites!

MoPop Museum

Right now the Marvel exhibit is being shown at the Museum of Pop Culture and it is absolutely to die for. Not only does it feature first edition comics and original costumes from all of your favorite Marvel movies, but it’s more extensive than you might think. Another feature of the MoPop is their Indie video games lab and sci-fi/fantasy exhibits. I’m actually a member of this museum I go so often. It really is the best.

Add-a-Ball Arcade

This gem can be found a block away from the Lenin statue and across the street from Theo Chocolate (which gives chocolate factory tours FYI). The spot is jam-packed with arcade games, pinball machines and all kinds of nerd goodness. It is a bar, so this is not a kid friendly establishment, but if you’re looking for one of those you can try out Full Tilt in Ballard.

Pink Gorilla

This retro game spot has drained quite a bit of my savings on their rad retro games and gaming systems. They have just about everything you could wish for with retro gaming and even some newer games/gaming systems. Word on the street is that they might have a booth at PAX West but, just in case, you can find them in the University District.

Pinball Museum

Still looking for some fun? Check out the Pinball Museum on on the south side of downtown with the Pinball Museum! With systems dating back to 1934, the Pinball museum is a great way to keep the nerdom alive in between events.

Archie McPhee

This is a joke…shop. This store is packed to the brim with practical joke merchandise, and is a fun spot to grab a souvenir more impactful than a magnet. You’ll find this haha spot in Wallingford.

Columbia Tower

While most may point you in the direction of the Space Needle, you can save your dough and get some pretty spectacular (weather permitting) views from the Columbia Tower. Hop in and take the elevator to the 73rd floor for the observation deck! You won’t regret it.

Outsider Comics and Boutique

This little shop is pretty awesome and you’ll find them at a lot of geek events around Seattle. You can find all of your fav comics and game pieces here as well as jewelry, clothing and events.

Food place

Since there a are quite a few food places that you could/should stop by in Seattle I’ve added some great ones here with links to their pages. Pick your poison.

Happy Con, everyone!

 

PAX West: A N00B’s Predictions

It surprises a lot of people that I’ve never been to PAX West. I mean, I live in Seattle. It’s basically down the street. But here’s a fun fact: I’ve actually only been going to conventions for four years. I started going when I lived in France because conventions were some of the few places I felt like I belonged. It’s always fascinated me that no matter what language you speak you can connect with others based off of your nerd knowledge. Fandom is a lot like music in that it connects with so many different kinds of people.

When I eventually moved back to Seattle in 2015 I was determined to keep attending conventions…and to cosplay. That was the first time I went to Geek Girl Con, and then I went to Emerald City Comic Con for the first time. It was bliss. Last year I would have loved to go to PAX but I completely missed the train on tickets. This year I had a ticket buddy who let me know as soon as they went on sale and FINALLY, I’m going. PAX is pretty expensive, so I’m only going 2/4 days but I’m still so excited!

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what I’m getting myself into, but here’s what I have a feeling PAX will be like:

1. The lines are going to be insane

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One thing everyone has confirmed is that the game lines at PAX West are worst than a school’s-out day at Disneyland. Knowing that I’m kind of okay with the fact that I’m going on two of the less popular days. Being around people can also be extremely draining for my little introvert soul, so it’s probably for the best that I’m going for only a couple of days.

2. The people are going to be awesome

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Something I really love is the people I meet at conventions. It’s one of the best feelings to be around people who are of the same mindset. People who don’t think gaming is for 40-year-old men who still live in their parent’s basement. People who own just as many Funko POP figurines as you do…and don’t judge you for buying more. Since the other two conventions I go to are later in the year it’s going to be super fun to have something coming up sooner. I can’t wait until September.

3. There’s going to be some insane cosplay happening

Okay, so I have no idea if this is a thing at PAX as much as it is at Comic Con but I sure as hell hope that I’m going to see some jaw-dropping cosplay happening. I need it for my soul. I will be cosplaying for PAX…but I’m not quite sure what I’m going to go as, yet. Since I really like Overwatch I’m thinking I’m going to do a gender bend of one of those characters, but who knows!?

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4. I’ll buy too much merch

Related imageThis is pretty much a given because my self-control for spending gets thrown out the window when I walk into a convention. I’m not sure if it’s the pressure of so many people being around or just a comfortability in the space, but I love finding merch that I would never have otherwise known existed (AND BUYING IT ALL). Since I’m actually not sure about the setup of PAX I don’t know if there will be as much from local artists etc. but I’m looking forward to finding out!

5. I’ll make some new friends

Related imageI’m not an extremely social person. I like the people I like, and I’m pretty good with that handful of people. Conventions are awesome because they’re usually a safe space where people can connect easier. I’ve met some of my best friends at conventions and I’m pretty excited to be back in that space again! Cheers to making nerdy friends who connect with you on what you’re passionate about!

Have you been to PAX West (or any other PAX for that matter)? What was it like? What was your favorite part? Let me know in the comments!