PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged
PAX (originally known as Penny Arcade Expo) is a series of festivals dedicated to video gaming, arcade gaming, and tabletop gaming. Five of them (PAX West, PAX East, PAX South, PAX Australia, and PAX Dev) cover all kinds of games, but the sixth one is special. PAX Unplugged focuses solely on tabletop gaming.

The history of PAX conventions began in 2004. The event was originally created by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, the authors of the Penny Arcade web comic, who wanted to attend a show exclusively for gaming. The inaugural festival was held in Bellevue, Washington.

By 2007, PAX had outgrown its Bellevue venue (Meydenbauer Center), and moved to the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle. The PAX family of events eventually expanded to include conventions in other American cities (Boston and San Antonio) and even in Australia. The organizers also launched a special convention for game developers.

PAX Unplugged is the latest addition to the PAX family. It was announced in January 2017 at PAX South in San Antonio, Texas. Designed as a tabletop-exclusive convention, the inaugural PAX Unplugged event was held on November 17–19, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

The term “unplugged” usually refers to acoustic music, i.e. music that uses little to no electric instruments. In this context, however, it is used to emphasize that the convention doesn’t cover electronic games. Its primary audience is tabletop game fans.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that PAX Unplugged is worse than other PAX events. It’s just different. The convention offers diverse and exciting programming, introducing its visitors to an impressive selection of tabletop games. PAX Unplugged features well-known game developers and publishers, as well as innovative indie teams. For the latter, participation in the event is a great chance to showcase their work in front of a big audience and maybe even find sponsors or partners.

Alongside numerous exhibitors in the convention’s Exhibit Hall, PAX Unplugged features panels with game developers, publishers and other industry experts, a full schedule of gaming tournaments, an assortment of live performances, special events for families and kids, Tabletop Freeplay, Diversity Lounge, RPG Dungeon, Miniatures Area, LFG Area, first look at new games, and other activities and areas.

Any PAX convention is unimaginable without Omegathon, so, of course, PAX Unplugged hosts one. Omegathon is a mega-tournament spanning the entire length of the convention and featuring various games. It starts with 20 contestants, and players are eliminated each round until the last two compete in the final round on the main stage.

PAX Unplugged




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