Acquisitions, Inc. Gets an Audit, Passes with 5 Stars
Ah, YouTube. Between you and Wikipedia, I will never run out of random-but-still-fascinating material to entertain myself. I know longer remember for certain, but if I had to guess it was probably after my marathon of The Guild and my spike in consumption of then still nascent Geek and Sundry material that prompted a suggestion that I watch a video of a little group called Acquisitions Incorporated. So I started and then I just didn’t stop. Mike Krahulik, Jerry Holkins, Scott Kurtz and Wil Wheaton (my hero from my Star Trek days) all sat down in front of an audience hundreds or thousands strong. They were there to take part in, and help shape, a story that had been prepared for them in advance by one Chris Perkins.
I don’ remember if the episode featuring Paul and Storm was the first or second one I watched but whichever it was, by the time I was finished, my sides, stomach, and face were all sore. I had no idea you could have that much fun playing a game like D&D and I had been a gamer since I was six years old! (right around the time the first Nintendo Entertainment System was released in North America)
I was hooked. I was thirsty for more. I ended up going through all of the YouTube videos and the audio recordings that Wizards of the Coast had archived on their website and then I noticed something that piqued my curiosity. The video description kept referring to something called PAX Prime. I knew pax is the Latin word for peace, but I was pretty sure that is not what they were referring. Nope… not even close.
PAX Becomes the Highlight of My Year
They were, of course, referring to the Penny Arcade eXpo, the great convention of gamers, by gamers, for gamers, conceived (ironically) by a couple of comic artists who also happened to be gamers themselves. I did mention I was already a long-time gamer, right? Well I needed no second bidding. I HAD to go. I already had it figured out. I had a good friend I could stay with while I was up there, and I had a $300 travel credit with United Airlines that I needed to use before it expired. That meant two of the perhaps three major expenses of any trip (travel, lodging) were going to be basically zero. The third (meals) could be easily controlled by keeping a supply of groceries in the fridge at my friend’s apartment. That meant I only had to really worry about was admission and spending money. I was thinking this trip was going to be one of the best I had taken and life just couldn’t get any better. I was only half right. It got even better. Because I missed my chance to buy a badge… by weeks.
I for long time I had been daily checking the PAX website waiting for badges to go on sale. Eventually I forgot to keep checking. Then around April or May, I remembered again, and discovered it was sold out. It was equal parts comforting and shocking when I determined the show had sold out in 6 hrs. It was shocking because we were talking about 20,000-25,000 people in 6 hours. It was comforting because I realized with that kind of demand, there was a good chance I would have come up empty-handed anyway. And then I saw the tweet.
I no longer remember his name but a guy working for Mojang’s Seattle office tweeted that Enforcer (convention staff) applications were being accepted for the upcoming PAX. And I happened to be on Mojang’s website for completely unrelated reasons just three hours after that tweet had been posted.
I almost talked myself out of it. If the badges were hot, then competition for Enforcer positions had to be even fiercer, I reasoned. But I finally said to myself “F*** it. If I apply and get accepted, I’m in. If I apply and fail, I’m right where I am now, but least I have a shot for something instead of the promise of nothing. I’ll lose a few hours working but that’s a small price to pay.” So I applied. I’m still quite proud of the application, not just because I took a shot, but because of what I did to make myself stand out from the crowd. That was in May. In August I found out I had been accepted. My admission was no longer an issue. I was going to PAX Prime. And I was in the audience for the next episode of Acquisitions Incorporated.
It was fantastic. I got to play my first game of D&D at that PAX as well. And I get to keep coming back for more.
From D&D to PAX the INsider
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