What is there to say? What can be said?
With the addition of the sixth floor - something we’ve tried to get in previous years, but were unable to - the flow mechanism of PAX has become incredibly robust. The sixth floor is, itself, large enough to hold a smaller conference on its own, and in previous years it has done just that for other people. Now, this floor is turned to our own dark purpose, with multiple, comparatively vast theater rooms, a broad LAN scenario, also other things, but most importantly multiple ways in and out of each, so that the areas that were previously huge bottlenecks now were capped by human release valves every which way, so that the sensation of being trapped prior to slaughter was minimized as one travelled through the show, which… is good.
A line will always be a line, that is to say, it is inherently not what you wanted to do. But it need not be purgatorial, and we experimented with Get in Line Games (a team we met out in Pittsburgh) to smooth it out to the extent it is possible to do so. We received tons of absolutely unsolicited positive feedback, so let’s call this progress.
Friday night, when my energon reserves were at their lowest, I wandered into the main theater for no particular reason. Shortly thereafter, a few thousand people entered in advance of that night’s show, sealing me in the venue like some ancient king. I’d hoped to catch the Anamanaguchi show, and now I had no choice but to so, and in the process met a bunch of people I hadn’t really intended to who turned out to be fucking awesome. I was hoping to catch Metroid Metal as well, since we finally got them out here, and they were up next which struck me as auspicious. Thinking I might catch a couple songs and then crash, it quickly became clear that I was watching one of the best concerts we’ve ever held at the show.
It’s a good thing I stayed, because it’s probably the last show I’ll be watching in quite awhile. That’s kind of another story.
It has always been the profound irony of the show that we created it because we wanted to attend it, but attending it is (for us) virtually impossible. Someone asked us in an interview what our relationship to the show actually is, and where Gabriel said hosts, I said ghosts: like creatures perpetually out of phase with living beings, we float from room to room haunting their inhabitants. Perhaps because the quality of the attendees is so incredible, or perhaps because the Enforcers have so mastered this venue, but I’ve never felt more like an attendee: able to commune authentically, to be a part of the strange organism which manifests there each year.