Your Guide to PAX East 2012

The Expo Hall

It’s massive, crowded, and full of awesome – the PAX East Expo Hall is jam-packed with exhibitors showing off their upcoming games, selling merchandise, and meeting with fans. With all the cool stuff going on around you, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Lucky for you, I’ve provided just a small sample list of awesome things (that you might otherwise have missed) to get you started:

Robot Entertainment – Orcs Must Die 2

2K Games – Borderlands 2, XCOM

Telltale – The Walking Dead

Uber Ent. – Super Monday Night Combat

Sega – Jet Set Radio HD and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 2

The Behemoth – Battleblock Theater

Ubisoft – Assasin’s Creed III

Xbox – Trials EvolutionMinecraftDust: An Elysian Tail

Team Meat – Super Meat Boy iOS

On Expo Hall lines: Getting a sneak peek and hands-on time with unreleased games is cool, but when estimated wait times range between 2-4 hours, you may want to pass on it. Last year, people waited up to 6 hours for a look at The Old Republic. Why? Don’t waste your time waiting to see a demo that will be uploaded to YouTube tomorrow.


PAX East is home to a variety of free panels and presentations tailored to every interest. From how to break into games journalism, to live podcasts, to game design presentations, and even game shows, you’re bound to find one that really “clicks” with you and your interests.

If you’re looking to get a good seat, you’ll definitely want to line up early – Gabe and Tycho, BioWare, and Irrational Games panel lines generally start 2-3 hours early, while others tend to start about an hour prior. Make sure you follow @PAX_Lines on Twitter for information about panel lines and how many spots are left for each theater.

Click here for the PAX East 2012 Panel Schedule

Handheld Lounge

The Handheld Lounge is perfect for those looking to unwind and take a break from the hustle and bustle without leaving the show. The Lounge is lined with hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of deluxe Sumo Beanbag chairs free for you to sprawl out and take a nap on, relax, and chat with friends. It’s also host to a number of tournaments for Mario Kart DS and Mario Kart 7Kid Icarus Uprising, and Tetris DS.

The Handheld Lounge is also home to the PAX Pokemon League! PAX attendees can challenge Gym Leaders, win real badges, take on the Elite Four, and become Champion. All you need is a DS/3DS, a copy of Pokemon Black/White, and a team of six. For more information and the official rules, check out the PAX Pokemon League website.


Freeplay areas are designed for meeting new people and playing games together. The Console Freeplay allows you to checkout games and controllers from the PAX library and play at your own personal station for 30-60 minutes. The Tabletop Freeplay area is just like Console, but exclusively board games. Both are free to use – you just need photo ID.

Dr. Exoskeleton

Look, I can’t really go into detail about this one, as information about Dr. Exoskeleton is classified. What I can tell you is that Dr. Exoskeleton is definitely not a secret weekend-long ARG.. It’s not cool at all and in no way a scavenger hunt with real prizes. I’d like to tell you to look out for golden envelopes Friday night, but I can’t. I can’t even tell you there will only be 100 of these envelopes. Sorry. I shouldn’t have even included this in the guide.

The PAX fun keeps going long after the expo hall closes, with concerts and parties every night. I’ve compiled a huge list of events to keep you and your friends occupied after the exhibitors close up shop:

Concerts at PAX

Friday, 3 PM


Keith Apicary, The World is Square, Mega Ran, Brentalfloss

Friday, 8:30PM

Main Theater

Supercommuter, Minibosses, Metroid Metal, and Protomen

Saturday, 3:00 PM


Those Who Fight, Battlecake, Arm Cannon, Powerglove

Saturday, 8:30 PM

Main Theater

Video Game Orchestra, Paul & Storm, Jonathan Coulton, MC Frontalot


Concerts outside of PAX

Saturday, 8 PM

Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave.


Sunday, 8 PM

Paradise Rock Club, 967 Commonwealth Ave.


Monday, 8 PM

Middle East Downstairs, 472 Massachusetts Ave.

MC Frontalot and Protomen


Parties – Thursday and Friday

What When Where Additional Details

Harmonix – Rock Band Night

9:00 PM (Thursday)

The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge

All ages, $7 entry

Square-Enix: Hitman Party


Faneuil Hall Marketplace

21+, no set time

Gamers Gone Wild!

8:00-2:00 AM

Felt, 533 Washington St.

21+, $5 with PAX badge


6:00-9:00 PM

Boucoup, 355 Congress

All ages

Namco/Destructoid Party

7:00-9:30 PM

Commonwealth Ballroom at the Westin

All ages, RSVP

World of Tanks Anniversary Party

9:00-2:00 AM

Rumor/Venu, 100 Warrenton St.

21+, Open Bar


Parties – Saturday




Additional Details

Extra Credits Ft. James


4:30-6:30 PM

Atlantic Beer Garden, 146 Northern Ave.

All ages, $5 cover

Sanshee: The Boston Tee Party

8:00-2:00 AM

Vintage Lounge, 72 Broad St.

21+, bring PAX badge

Curse PAX East Party

8:00-2:00 AM

Seaport Hotel Ballroom

18+, 21+ access to Open Bar, RSVP


Cigar Smoker: Cult of the Leaf

If you’re a fan of tobacco, cigars, and pipes, you may want to check out the Cult of the Leaf event. The event takes places immediately after the Friday night concerts (around 2 AM) at the Media Tower across the street from the BCEC. Feel free to bring whatever tobacco you like – the event is 18+ and heavily discourages illegal products, like Cuban cigars or those… other types of cigarettes.

All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately, PAX East is no exception. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you make your way out of the hotel.


Remember that backpack I told you to bring at the start? If you heeded my advice earlier, you should now be able to pack most if not all of your new merchandise in your backpack, while packing bigger items, like new clothing, in your suitcase.

If you’re having trouble fitting everything in your bags, you may want to look into shipping things home. There’s a FedEx Office located inside the BCEC, with packaging supplies and various shipping options. It’s going to cost you some cash, but definitely not as much as an extra piece of luggage would cost at the airport.


You’re going to feel like death after PAX. The weekend definitely takes a toll on your system, all that damage is going to hit you like a bag of bricks. This crash, and the results of a massive number of people in one place coughing, sneezing, and touching everything in sight, is known as PAX Flu. It may be a cold, it may be the flu, or it may just be a worn-down body, but it couldn’t hurt to take preventive measures and get yourself a flu shot… today.

Saying Goodbye

Make sure you stay in touch with all those cool people you met over the weekend. Exchange Twitter handles, Gamertags, PSN IDs, or forum usernames at PAX, and then add them all immediately so you don’t forget. This whole weekend is about making friends through common interests, so don’t waste this opportunity to connect with others.


We hope this guide helps you make the most out of PAX East. It’s an incredible and unforgettable event. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer each comment individually. You can also follow me on Twitter (@TheDanMcKenney), as I’ll be tweeting constantly throughout the show. Hope to see you this weekend!

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Author: Dan McKenney View all posts by

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