PAX EAST 2013 IS UPON US
If you don't care about PAX why are you still listening to GeekNights or paying attention to us at all? Doesn't our constant PAX talk annoy the hell out of you? Now there are three PAXii per year, so it's going to be even worse than before. We're not going to stop. Prepare to be annoyed you PAX haters. PAX lovers, you already know the score. Let us talk in great detail about the PAX East 2013
that will be happening this weekend, March 22-24.
First off, Rym and I are both [E]nforcing. That means for 18 hours of the convention, you will not see us. Maybe you will see us, but we will be working. If we are wearing a red Enforcer shirt, that means work time. It won't be appropriate for us to do non-Enforcing activities at that time, so don't try to get us to play a game with you and such. Saying hi is no problem, though. If you want to see us you should come to our two back to back panels, which are as follows. Also, maybe you will be lucky and find us when we aren't Enforcing. We'll probably be playing tabletop games.
We made a PAX East survival guide
video a few years ago. Everything we said in that video should still apply as PAX hasn't changed that drastically. If this is your first PAX, you should give it a watch.
FRC Gaming Grand Prix
The gaming grand prix is still ongoing. We are going to find out who is the best gamer among the FRC and GeekNights community. After some discussion concerning round 2 - backgammon
, we have changed the rules. If you want to participate, make sure to read carefully. The one core principle of the competition that I have decided to change is that it will no longer end quickly. I was originally hoping for it to only take a month or two, but now I realize it may take several months to finish these multiple rounds. Still, this is a very fun experiment, and future competitions (if any) should go over much more smoothly thanks to what we have learned.
Ask Rym & Scott
Today we have a nice simple question from Theo. I like this kind of question, so if you have more like this one please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
What form of travel do you prefer when traveling on the east coast: rail, bus or air? Just curious for when I have the money to go ta a PAX or MAGfest.
Traveling on the East coast always depends on your specific starting and ending points and departure and arrival times. Also it depends on how much money you have. There are just so many options. You have to choose based on the specific details of your trip. What I'll do is I will break down all the transportation options, and in which cases you should use each one.
Walking. If something is in walking distance, you walk. Usually this is only possible in major cities where there is enough density that there are things to walk to. In suburbs there is usually nothing within walking distance.
Biking is great, but bike thievery is very high. I only bike to a place if there is somewhere secure to put the bike. If I have to leave it tied up outside where it is likely to be stolen, I will not bike there.
Most of the major cities have some sort of subway or light rail system. Boston has the T. DC has the Metro. They are useful for getting around within the city itself when you can't bike or walk due to distance, weather, etc.
Buses are usually the cheapest and easiest way to get between the major cities. Bolt Bus
usually costs less than $20 and can take you between Boston, New York, Philly, and D.C. I have used it to go to all of those places, and it has been great every time.
Most of the major cities have some sort of commuter rail system. New York has three: Metro North, Long Island Railroad, and New Jersey Transit. Philadelphia has SEPTA. In DC they have MARC. These trains are useful if they happen to go to the exact place you need to go at the exact right time. They are designed for commuting, so they may not be the most convenient schedule for other uses. That being said, I use Metro North quite often to go to my parent's house as they live pretty close to the station. I also used to use it for commuting almost every day.
Amtrak is the only train that goes between the major cities, but is vastly more expensive than the bus. Even if you take the super express Acela train, which isn't really that fast, it only saves you an hour or two compared to the bus. I will often use Amtrak only when it is the last resort, or a special case. For example, I am going to go from Boston to my parent's house after PAX. Amtrak is the only way. Amtrak also has things like the auto train that goes from Virginia to Florida. If you want to bring your family to Disney World without having to rent a car, drive, or fly, it might be a viable option.
Planes also exist. If you have money, or are in a hurry, do not discount the possibility of flying short distances. We have invented this miracle of flight, we may as well use it. There are ways to fly between the major airports that aren't all that much more expensive than the ridiculous Amtrak prices. It's also extremely fast. You may not want to go through bullshit airport security, but when you get from Boston to NYC in 45 minutes, you'll see you actually get what you paid for. There are also smaller airports in places you may not realize, such as White Plains, NY, that can be really convenient in the right situation.
Cars are the transportation method of last resort, but they are necessary in almost all cases. If you do not live directly in one of the major cities a car is absolutely necessary. If you want to go someplace that isn't very close to an airport or train station, you will need a car. That may mean getting a friend to pick you up, renting a car, or taking a taxi. For example when we go to MAGFest, the hotel is not close to the train station, and we need to pay for a taxi both ways. If I wanted to go to my parent's house in the suburbs, and they didn't pick me up from the train station, I would need a car. Sometimes there are shuttle buses that go between airports and hotels, but they are often not reliable.
And that is how you travel in the Northeast region of the United States of America.
Book Club - The Player of Games
The current book club selection is The Player of Games
by Ian M. Banks. It is the most GeekNights book that a book can possibly be. It may even be more GeekNights than the Prince of Nothing series. I'll probably finish reading it during PAX transport, so expect an episode on it sometime in April.
The official MLP:FiM comic from IDW is out! It is written by the amazing Katie Cook, and the art is done by the amazing Andy Price.
Every notice how pretty much since the Internet existed people have been posting LFG just about everywhere? Ever notice at a convention the question of where to find players, particularly for tabletop RPGs, keeps coming up? It's been answered a zillion times before, so why does it keep getting asked? In this episode we won't tell you how to find a game, we'll tell you why so many people are still looking.
Since we are running out of ideas for tech shows, we had to dredge the bottom of the barrel. I was inspired by posts on tech blogs showing what gadgets a particular semi-famous person carries in their bag every day. Rym and I talk about some of the gadgets and things in our standard arsenal that you may be interested in.
Mamoru Hosoda, director of great anime such as Summer Wars, has a new film called Wolf Children. I haven't seen it. Rym and Emily went to see it at the children's film festival. They did an episode on it while I took a day off from podcasting. I haven't listened to this. I bet it's interesting.
The only new videos we have done since the last newsletter are two new installments of GeekNights Presents: Utena. That's really our major video project right now, and we would like to finish it at some point. Expect more things after PAX, and probably from Anime Boston.
It's a drought! Conserve water! While most people are at PAX there will be scant few posts except by a few gila monsters and other desert creatures. Flash floods are predicted next week post-PAX, so you just have to make it a few more days if you want to survive.
Thing of the Newsletter