The last few weeks have been stressful ones to me. I have been trying to figure out a few things that have been weighing heavily on me. Mainly next steps in my life, because right now, things are not going to well. For a long time now I haven’t been doing the right thing when it comes to actually starting my life. I am almost 30 years old and I still live with my parents for instance. I get it, the economy is hard, tons of people are moving back with their parents. But still, I always fashioned myself a smart guy, who should be able to do something with all of this. But unfortunately for most of my life, I have also been lazy. I wasn’t willing to put much work into anything. Well for a while now, I have been working to turn that all around, and I kept on being told that a good fit for me would be law school. So I went, took the LSAT’s, did well, and even got accepted into a local law school last week. They even offered me an eighty percent scholarship to go. It seems like despite the work I put in to get to that point though, I am going to walk away from that money, from that acceptance, and find something else.
That life, the life of a lawyer is not something for me. I don’t want to work 90-hour weeks, and sacrifice my free time to writing briefs. I would be good at it, but I would hate myself for it. Much the way I did when I worked in car insurance. So I am weighing other options now in the job front, trying to see what’s right for me. What can get me a stable living in this uncertain time? I wish it was writing about games. I love to do so, and I think I need to start doing this again, regularly, stop being lazy, start pushing content, not just written. But can I count on this to be a stable job? Maybe one day in the future, when I have taught myself a lot more and paid a lot more dues.
But until that day comes, I am looking at other options that will allow me to provide for a future. I don’t want to be rich, I have no need for expensive cars, or clothes. I just want to be able to do a job, then come home, and live my personal life. But yeah, stressful times lately.
Stressful. Every year, I do something that normally alleviates that stress. It’s a busy time, but ultimately fulfilling and totally worth the trip and expense. But this year it was not the same. PAX East was exceedingly busy, cramped, full of hassle and frankly boring. First off, my biggest gripe. Lines are a part of any convention. I expect that. But the way lines are handled is really what defines the quality of a large event. If you’re in a line, you’re ready to wait, especially if you show up early for a big event. Like I did. It did not go well.
The Giant Bomb panel for PAX East, easily the highlight of my PAX experience, started at 9pm on Saturday. I got there insanely early, at about 5pm, to ensure I would have a good spot on line. However, there were other panels for the same theater first and those obviously needed to be lined up and shown in. That’s no problem, that is the way it should work. However, it was obvious I was not the only one willing to wait hours for the Giant Bomb panel. In my immediate vicinity there were about 50 people also waiting patiently, wanting a good spot in the auditorium. We were not in a line, because well…we tried to form a line, but the Enforcers said we could not form a line yet. So instead we simply mulled about in the general area, which kept on getting pushed back to a different area. This was annoying, but a few of us were joking about it, happy that we were at least early enough to get to the front of the line.
Then…we got moved again, down the hallway, to a place where there was apparently another line that we were not told about. And we got put in the back of this line. Really? I get these people had been waiting too, but who had decided this was the official line? In the end, we got alright seats, as the line then got repeatedly folded in on itself, and a mob was formed, which allowed those who were willing to get a better place in line by just repeatedly jostling forward.
While the panel itself was great, that really isn’t the point of this. Anyone presenting at PAX East this year did a great job, as they always do. The main failure of the convention was how it was setup. It felt stupidly busy, the Enforcers were not particularly helpful this year, especially compared to years past. They had no leadership, which led to several Enforcers giving conflicting information for the same thing. They also need to plan better for the better panels, like Giant Bomb, like the PA panels.
On top of this, the convention staff itself was handling things horribly. I know the city is being careful after the horrible events of last year, but designating so many doors as exit only is extremely frustrating. Doing this created way too many choke points with way too many slow bag checks. All this lack of communication, and lack of convenience killed the event for me. It made everything feel very tiring and pointless. It made me not want to track down cosplayers, it made me not even want to bother waiting for panels. And the floor was too choked, and honestly not even as impressive as years past.
It was not the relaxing event I go to every year. I don’t know if it because I am just older, or if the show has truly lost a step in its execution over this last year. I know the PAX team has a lot on their plate right now with Australia, and now San Antonio, and it is possible they’re simply overextending themselves. Honestly, there is a strong possibility I will still go next year, but it will be with less enthusiasm, and I honestly won’t be too broken up if it doesn’t happen.