PAX video gaming convention visits San Antonio

Penny Arcade Expo delivers amusement, fun, and entertainment to community


Mary Griffis

Numerous gaming fans gather for a Star Wars photo op at the PAX South convention in San Antiono. Fans of all stripies shared their love of games at the second annual expo.

Mary Griffis, Entertainment Editor

While some make fun of video gamers as loners who only connect with other people online, at the PAX South Expo, all of those negative stereotypes disappear.

At the second annual gathering of video game enthusiasts at the Penny Arcade Expo in San Antonio, gamers of all stripes come together to share their love of gaming. Unlike other conventions PAX South, levels the playing field between the game developers and the fans, allowing everyone to have a shot at the spotlight.

For example, instead of flashy marketing campaigns complete with strobe lights and paparazzi, video game streamers featured on Twitch and YouTube known for their knowledge and enthusiasm for gaming are a focal point of PAX. Also, at the center of the action are panel discussions, booths for independent game developers and even game inspired music performances.

The organizers of this year’s PAX South stepped up their game significantly this year after the first expo was held in San Antonio in 2015. While it is only a regional spin off of the larger PAX Prime event held in Boston Massachusetts, the event has really come into it’s own.

In its first year, the event was fairly lackluster but PAX heard their fan’s cries and amped up the 2016 convention.

Product lines like DXRacer, LootCrate, and Astros made an appearance selling their products and giving attendees the opportunity to enter give aways but these products weren’t the only booths doing giveaways.

Yager Development, held crowds of 100’s of interested players and let five of those players, a round, play their new game Dreadnought against the developers for a chance to win Alpha access to the game.

Dreadnought wasn’t the only crowd inducing booth. Twitch had starstruck fans waiting in a line to meet their favorite streamers such as GoldGlove, Gassy Mexican, and OMGitsfirefoxx but those more interested in the live game play gathered in front of the booth and watched streamers play games such as Hearthstone.

With all the mayhem downstairs, the upstairs invited those who wanted to lay back and play their handheld consoles. Attendees snuggled up to one another in pits of beanbags and played games such as Pokemon and Super Smash Brothers.

While people were in the beanbag pits others were playing in the newly introduced arcade. The arcade brought PAX’s older audience back to when game cabinets were cool and Pacman wasn’t old.

Since not everyone wants to play Dance Dance Revolution or wait in line to meet a streamer, a tabletop tournament and play area, was open to those who wanted to buy 20 sided dice and use their newly acquired heroes in their favorite games like Dungeons and Dragons.

Because of the major brands and the huge tabletop following it may seem as if the independent game developers are being overshadowed but because some of those games have streamers involved many people are eager to play.

As PAX came to a close streamers and cosplayers alike started to file through the halls with their newly purchased gaming equipment and souvenirs. Through the halls you can hear the excitement of what’s to come next year and how amazing it was to see highly anticipated games and to meet those they look up to in the gaming and streaming industry.