Last week, the guys interviewed attendees at PAX Prime 2012 on a variety of topics, and this week continue the discussion for your reading enjoyment.

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Chris: You know, we have pretty awesome fans. Yeah, consider that a wienie of an opening, a naked grab at commenters’ heartstrings, but I’m learning it’s more and more true the longer we stick around here on the site. With last week’s first fan omnibus, we got a chance to learn a few things about what we do. Would you like to know the results?

Well, overwhelmingly, we learned that it is very difficult to make a snap decision about anything that commenters usually give us an answer to so instantaneously. Figuring out the best of geek culture sounds simple enough with anonymity, but stuff a camera in someone’s face and suddenly they realize that they’ve gotta be accountable, and as such, they’ll choose their words carefully.

I’ve also been reminded that there’s one part of our show we need to improve: International appeal. To be fair, we’ve never suggested we were experts by any stretch of the imagination, but still, I know it’s got to be frustrating when we pick a topic, such a the Best Childhood TV Show, and not include something that you actually recognize from your childhood. The exact way to solve this escapes me as neither Kyle or myself are really capable of watching everything from all over the planet, though I believe Dan still has implants that allow him to download information straight from his Mac (all he uses it for is pirating Spice Girls albums though, even if he won’t admit it).

This would be a plea for suggestions then. Debates that include videogames tend to avoid this pretty regularly since they’re fairly global, but with TV shows and movies, please, suggest a good option for how to handle such debates, or even important places to start watching. Is it fair to break things into Best Sitcom and Best UK Sitcom, or does that bother viewers? Don’t think I don’t care!

For now, all I can say is that we’ve got a ton more debates planned. I’m looking into the question of whether I can once again debate about videogames, even if they’re older ones, but even without them, we’ve got tons more episodes planned (and a hefty handful already recorded).

But wait! This week is the Escapist Expo, right? Yup, and I’ll be there! As a fun note, this will be the furthest I’ve ever flown and my first time traveling across the country and into the East Coast time zone. Gah! Spooky! If only I weren’t prone to motion sickness! See you at the Expo anyway! You might even get a chance to see me pull the other segment contributors aside and argue senselessly until we fall into a heap, giggling and crying as old friends. That’s what old friends do, right?

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Kyle: I think the most fun I had with this episode was asking for justification. Upon receiving an answer for these asinine questions, I delighted in following up with “Why?”

I find that this is the difference between most of the comments, complaints, and death threats that we receive. Because of the beauty of the Internet, you can take someone else’s opinion and re-post it with “^^THIS^^” as your shining contribution, or maybe rip us a new one for forgetting … that one anime, that is clearly the best everything … yeah, that one. With a camera in your grill and some goofy red-faced jackass with a microphone hounding you, you can easily state your opinion but it gets really difficult to verbalize why Knightfall sucks harder than Death of Superman.

Mostly, I want to touch on how patient and good-spirited these folks were. The majority of them were tired (it was frakking 10:00 pm on Day 1 of PAX), and they were waiting in line to see some classy Bob Chipman or Yahtzee Croshaw material. They probably weren’t expecting three nut jobs asking them questions like these.

I did want to mention how informed some of our guest debaters were. Look! A real anime fan! Someone who knew stuff about Thomas Jefferson! And the snappiest answer to an Avengers/Justice League question ever … looking back on some of our debates from fresh eyes, I can see that sometimes one side had no chance. In what world would the ending to Grand Theft Auto be worse than Borderlands? I completely forgot about that.

In general, this was a humbling experience. I take away from it this thought: No Right Answer is our ongoing debate. There are many, many, many more like it, but this one is ours.

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Dan: I would take this rare opportunity to wax poetic about how much PAX blew my mind, but I already did that on Media Sandwich. I believe that episode will air this week, so look forward to that one because I guarantee it will make you spit milk out your nose even if you weren’t previously drinking the beverage. Without repeating myself too much, my first PAX couldn’t have gone any better. We got to meet our fans, make new ones, and I stood ten feet from Will Wheaton. Wasn’t on my bucket list, but hey, it happened.

What I will do this week, is write a sort of P.S.A. for PAX, or really any expo that is close enough to where you live for a reasonable attendance. Hopefully there is a group of you that could go to an expo if you wanted to, but feel on the fence about it for one reason or another. This week’s article is for you, to help make your decision. After all, that’s what we do for a living; make decisions.

Attending PAX for the first time the way I did was a bit of a cheat, I admit. Not everyone gets to have lengthy conversations with Loading Ready Run, have Ash from HAWP do a personal message on their phone, and go to dinner with most of the Extra Credits crew. It was a charmed experience, I know, but I’d like to think that I’ve earned that experience after editing a video once a week for over a year now. I do want to stress one thing though; those aren’t the things that made PAX great.

PAX was great, and will continue to be great because of validation. Not validation of work done, or achievements gotten, but of interests. If anyone ever told you that the videogames should’ve been shut off so you can play “Real Games” outside, you need validation. If you ever heard a politician make the highly flawed argument that violent games cause violence, you need validation. If you’ve ever seen any TV show where the players of a board game were looked down upon as less than normal, validation is due. Without validation, it’s possible that one might feel that time spent on videogames, board games and the like might be wasted time. PAX is here to tell you it was not wasted.

When I was thirteen, I bought the Nintendo 64 with my own money. This was a big thing back then, because Nintendo didn’t make as many systems as people were demanding, so getting one should have been an accomplishment. My parents didn’t see it that way. I was very vocally told that the $200 that I just spent was gone, wasted, and in my life I would regret that expense when something more important came along that I now would go without. Flash forward later to PAX, and owning that glorious machine made me one of the gang. I played Goldeneye 64, so I was family. I had first-hand experience with the tri-fanged controller, and I was in the army. I didn’t think that videogames were a waste of time and money, and so people asked for my autograph.

The third one might have been due to the show, but you get my drift. PAX is a very, very, very large group of people who have been making gaming into an industry that will very soon make Hollywood pee its pantsuit. I’m proud to be part of that family, and PAX is our family reunion.

If you’ve been on the fence about going or if you think it really isn’t that important to attend even one…do it. Your family misses you, they asked about you, and we can’t wait to see you when you come. We’ll even give you free swag when you come.

I’m Dan, and that’s the…wait, that’s Bob’s line.

Daniel Epstein
Father, filmmaker, and writer. Once he won an Emmy, but it wasn't for being a father or writing.

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