Anytime I fly out of the Seattle area, I do so with the song “Leaving on a Jet Plane” on my mind.  This trip was no different.

This year’s PAX was simply amazing.  We had about 30 people attend at the Rock Bottom Brewery on Thursday evening, and about the same number at KickleFest on Friday.  I don’t think I fell asleep earlier than 3am the whole weekend, and I awoke by 9 nearly every morning.  I’m getting too old for this, but I had a blast.

I’m not going to describe every detail about the weekend.  What I will say, however, is that the value of the show is in the friendships that I developed.

I recently posted that I didn’t enjoy Comic-Con as much as the other shows.  When I wrote that post, I thought the cause of my displeasure was the nature of the show.  That is, that it was a comic show instead of a game show.

I’m starting to realize that it wasn’t the lack of games, but the lack of camaraderie, that I disliked about Comic Con.  At Origins and Gen-Con, I enjoyed the company of the other artists at the show.  We talked during the show and went out together afterward.  At PAX I shared a similar experience with the NoobToob Army.  Through drink, contemplative mastication, and gaming, we shared an experience of mutual belonging.

It is the memories of these relationships that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

And that is why games matter.