After nine hours, five long lines, three swag t-shirts (two surprisingly nice looking ones and one that nobody in their right mind would be EVER caught dead wearing) and $23 in parking, The first day of PAX 09 is in the books. Although I plan to go into more detail on it later on, I’ll say that this year’s show is well put together, and even with the show completely sold out (at least it was until they found a couple thousand more tickets to sell) the crowds were surprisingly manageable, and I got chances to play quite a few of the games I was looking forward to trying here on day 1. There will be plenty more on PAX to come (after all, I’ve still got another day to go to) but in the meantime I thought I’d put up something a bit less nerdy.
Sure, to someone who enjoys playing video games PAX is quite the experience, but I think that even the most avid of gamers is going to need to get away from the convention center and take a break every once in a while. For one thing, the food choices inside the convention center are a tad lacking (to put it nicely) and it’s always a good idea to take a break every once in a while anyway. As such, I managed to wander over to Westlake Center for a bit to eat a slightly late lunch (well OK, 4:30 might be pushing it a bit as far as the whole lunch thing goes) and recharge a bit. In front of the center, there are a number of “ads” for Group Health, Seattle’s friendly neighborhood humungous faceless HMO which is trying to encourage people to be more healthy (after all, it’s not like they need the business or anything.) On the sidewalk in front of the mall was this:
Aside from the fact that getting to the nearest forest and/or mountain from here is going to involve a fair bit of hiking and/or a nice little ten-mile swim through waters infested with who-knows-what, who’s got time for any of that stuff anyway? After all, this is the middle of Downtown Seattle, and everyone’s got places to go, people to see and deep-seated sociopolitical grievances to share loudly with everyone in sight.
That’s OK, because it seems that this particular excursion in the Great Outdoors (or a not particularly reasonable facsimile thereof is going to last all of six steps anyway, and burn all of maybe a tenth of a calorie in the process. Not only that, but about the only way you’re going to manage to find anything even resembling a forest in this maze (such as it is) is to take a wrong turn and somehow manage to end up there (I suppose the part about getting eaten by a bear is probably optional though.) I guess we do all have to start somewhere, but this doesn’t exactly seem to be setting the bar all that high.