As I sit at the desk in my hotel room, mere minutes after the completion of the 4th PAX East Omegathon (congratulations to both the Orange and White teams, enjoy Germany!), I can’t help but feel a pang of regret. The weekend is over, it is time to go back to the real world. That is not a say that I must now hide my geekiness, as any of my coworkers can tell you, that flag waves all year round. But, it is the regret that maybe I did not take full advantage of my time at PAX East 2013. Questions like, Did I really need to sleep? What could I have done to shake the jet lag sooner? What could I have seen instead of eating? Why did I never venture into the football field sized board game room?
Ultimately though, it is the regret that there will not be 65,000 people to immediately street pass with when I get home. I won’t be able to turn to the person next to me in the line at the grocery store, and start talking about the merits of Luigi’s Mansion (One of the best launch titles ever!). I won’t get to see all of the people I have met through the GameEnthus, or from when I was a PAX East enforcer (2010 represent!), or in random encounters. I lose the direct access to developers I had here. It is the loss of a weekend that went by far to quickly.
But when I think about it, regret is the best prompt in the world, because it reminds me of the amazing time I had, hanging out with the Enthus crew, seeing games, talking geek, obsessing over my 3DS, and just soaking in the community. These last 3.5 days have flown by in a sea of Cards Against Humanity, joysticks, keyboards, and laughter. But most importantly it reminds me, that no matter what sex, creed, race or religion, we are all united by the glow of a monitor, the roll of a dice, and the fictional worlds we occupy.
Through the year, there will be plenty of opportunities to get together, MAGfest, Comic Con (all of them), The PAXs (East, Prime, and Australia), Too Many Games, ArtScape Baltimore, Classic Gaming Expo, Midwest Gaming Classic, Video Games Live, PLAY! Orchestra, Extra Life Marathon, Child’s Play Charity Auction, and hundreds of others. If you are looking for something closer to home, I suggest checking out MEETUP.com or getting involved with a number of gaming communities (both the Penny Arcade and Gamers with Jobs forums are great places to start). All of these will allow us to keep creating new experiences and sharing this love that we have with droves of complete strangers, who one day we will call friends.
So if you are sitting on the train, the plane, in the car, in your hotel, or in your home, don’t wallow in the despair of regret, let it drive you to remember the awesome experiences, let it inspire you to put yourself out there in new communities, and let it remind you that there are at least 64,999 people (not including those who streamed the event) that you have something in common with, the memories of a great weekend that we wish never ended, and the drive to create our own opportunities to share this passion we call gaming