Fear and uncertainty of the state of the world aside, the past year has been a pretty good time to be a nerd. Barring some initial slowdowns in the content pipelines as everyone adjusted, there’s been plenty of shows to watch and games to play, all from the comfort of one’s home. However, there is one aspect many of us have been sorely missing: conventions. Conventions are the ultimate antithesis to COVID-19 safety, with people crammed into indoor spaces shoulder to shoulder, many with their mouths wide open and shouting. This is why pretty much all conventions over the past year have been scrapped. While the advent of vaccines have given us a potential light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, it’s still too early to be risking that kind of mass-exposure, a sentiment echoed by the PAX committee.
Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX, is a series of three yearly conventions held in three major points of the United States. These conventions often showcase the best of the world’s myriad fandoms, including gaming tournaments, cosplay competitions, announcements from content creators, and more. Sadly, due to the current state of the pandemic in the United States, it simply isn’t safe to hold that kind of large-scale convention right now.
“In light of ongoing public health concerns, ReedPop and Penny Arcade will not hold PAX East this year,” the organizers announced on the convention’s Twitter. “Given the US’ progress towards addressing COVID-19 in recent months, we’re cautiously optimistic West & Unplugged will proceed in-person festivities Sept 3-6 and Dec 10-12.”
Since we can’t wait until September to reconnect with the wonderful PAX community, PAX Online will return July 15-18.
Read the full statement at https://t.co/ptaZiGTazE
— PAX (@pax) March 29, 2021
Not all hope is lost, however. While an in-person event is out the window, PAX organizers are planning to bring back its online incarnation, PAX Online, this summer. This would be the second time the organizers have opted for an online convention, as they had to cancel last year’s PAX conventions as well. Much like last year, PAX Online will feature a variety of presentations and competitions, all available to view at home for free.