PAX Prime is Seattle’s biggest gaming convention. It was started in 2004 by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, the creators of the Penny Arcade comic. Since then it’s grown into a monster of a con, with more than 80,000 attendees. Tickets sell out in basically a millisecond (okay, it was like half an hour).

We’re super freaking excited for PAX this year. The con originally began as a consumer response to E3. Only game industry professionals are allowed into E3, so PAX was intended to be E3 but for all the normal folks who love games. It’s since grown into a huge industry event as well, with the PAX Dev game-developers’ conference happening in the two days before PAX Prime. Most of the games that debuted at E3 are on the show floor at PAX, as well as some new ones.

This PAX will be our first chance to get our hands on Skylanders SuperChargers, Minecraft Story Mode, and The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. Courtney is also excited for Below, by Capy Games, and Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime.

PAX is a good chance to hang out with friends in town, check out new games (board games as well as video games!) and meet professionals in the industry. You can also sometimes get sneak peeks of upcoming games.

Are there reasons not to go to PAX? Definitely. It’s not a great place if you don’t like crowds, loud noises, or… germs. Yeah, you’ll want to bring some hand sanitizer. With 80,000 people touching the same controllers all day long, the con becomes a petri dish.

If you’re considering going to a convention for the first time, PAX is probably a little much. We recommend GeekGirlCon in October, a small and intimate con that’s the perfect setting for hanging out with friends and family.

If you do go to PAX (and manage to score badges), make sure you stay well fed and hydrated! Be good to yourself, and don’t try to do too much at once. It’s a lot of fun, but not if you burn out on day one.

Make sure you keep checking back here to get all our coverage of PAX Prime. And let us know what you’re looking forward to in the comments!

Happy PAX!

This article was written by

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.