PAX Unplugged 2017

Last November, Mike and I attended the inaugural PAX Unplugged convention in Philadelphia. The concept is similar to the other PAX conventions, in that it celebrates many types of gaming, but here they exclude video/computer games (hence, “unplugged”). The focus is shifted instead to board games, card games, and tabletop role playing games.

The experience was good for a first-time con, although there were some hiccups. The two biggest issues were having enough activities to keep attendees busy (cutting out video games really decreased the amount of programming and things to do relative to what I’ve seen at PAX East) and traffic control/communication (some of the signage was confusing or missing, and it wasn’t always clear where we were allowed to go or what entrances we could use). Both of these problems can be fixed, so I’m optimistic that the con will improve.

Unfortunately, there was not a ton of cosplay to see. The PAX conventions are never the most cosplay-heavy, but the lack of cosplay at Unplugged was noticeable even relative to PAX East. I also hope that changes, as part of the fun of a convention, even if it’s focused on something specific like gaming, is seeing people express their love of nerd culture through cosplay.

Here I’ll share the photos we took other than the formal shots we got of our costumes. I’ll follow up with another post featuring those.

We played a number of board games throughout the weekend. We started with an old favorite, Colt Express.
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

After that we played Letter Tycoon, which was a new game for us. I am terrible at spelling games, but I still enjoyed it.
PAX Unplugged

For some reason the person who goes first is denoted by this airship. Airships have nothing else to do with anything in the game, so I’m not sure why that was chosen as the token.
PAX Unplugged

As I mentioned before, we didn’t see that much cosplay. But what we did see was pretty cool. Here is Anne as Keyleth from Critical Role.
PAX Unplugged

There was a giant-sized version of King of Toyko!
PAX Unplugged

These figures are normally only few inches tall in the board game.
PAX Unplugged

Game demo
PAX Unplugged

Me and Michelle learning a new game called Veggie Garden. I liked it!
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

More cosplay
PAX Unplugged

Nora as Julian and Kayleigh as Lucio from The Arcana
PAX Unplugged

Cute display in the expo hall for the game Shiba Inu House
PAX Unplugged

The tabletop gaming area
PAX Unplugged

Philadelphia sunset
PAX Unplugged

Pretty colors at Level Up Dice
PAX Unplugged

A cage die at Level Up Dice. The center part moves separately from the surrounding cage.
PAX Unplugged

Nick, Michelle, and me deciding our strategy for Codenames: Pictures
PAX Unplugged

A tabletop miniature setup
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

“Old school” games in the classic board game area
PAX Unplugged

Dimitry and Gus playing Concept
PAX Unplugged

The board for Concept
PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged

The tabletop game lending library
PAX Unplugged

Playing another new game, Celestia. We liked it so much that we bought it.
PAX Unplugged

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