PAX 2016 ticket royale

Some friends and decided that we wanted to get tickets to PAX West 1 this year. Knowing that the last few years have sold out quickly (within an hour), we were sure to take a technologically-assisted approach to the problem by setting up alerts on the PAX Twitter account and registration site.

Unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones with that idea. After weeks of delay, tickets were finally released today at 1 PM Pacific time. As Murphy’s Law would have it, I was in the middle of a heavy cardio workout at my gym. After getting my push notifications, I walked back to work with the expectation that tickets would be hard to get, but not so hard that I couldn’t take a few minutes to get to the comfort of my PC (I live in SF and my gym and work are less than a block apart).

Of course I was wrong. I entered the queue 2 at 1:06 PM (six minutes after tickets went on sale). By the time I got to the front at 2:09 PM, over an hour later, Saturday passes were sold out 3.

Luckily, I have friends more vigilant than myself who were able to buy four sets of four day tickets, some of which went to myself and some other less attentive compatriots. They entered the queue at about roughly 1:02 PM. Those four minutes made all the difference.

The ludicrous part about all of this is that PAX isn’t even a very good convention; mostly consisting of vendor booths and a few mediocre talks and sessions, all with very long line-ups (I’m using it as an excuse to see some friends from Calgary and Seattle). Gamers aren’t bound by mortal limitations such as common sense though, and apply the same determined effort to buying PAX tickets that they would to leveling up their WOW/Destiny characters.

I’ll write more about the event when it comes around.

1 Previously PAX Prime, but renamed in an attempt to make attending the event less desirable. Needless to say, the gambit failed.

2 PAX has a queueing system to help normalize the checkout process. You enter the queue based on when you visited the registration page, and have 8 minutes to check out tickets once you hit the front of the line.

3 In yet another attempt to optimize attendance, PAX only sells passes by the day. This incentives buying passes for only the days that you plan to attend.

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