What Is PAX Without Penny Arcade?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I've attended PAX Prime every year since 2007. It's grown quite a bit since then, having now spawned two other conventions (in Boston and Melbourne). In a post on the Penny Arcade site, Mike Krahulik has announced that Penny Arcade will separate itself from PAX over the next few years. Many are quick to say it will be different without Mike and Jerry there, but this day has been in the works for a while.
Mike and Jerry have talked about withdrawing from PAX for years. Long time followers of the con or Penny Arcade shouldn't be shocked by the decision too much. It's been a topic of conversation as recently as  PAX Prime 2013's Q&A.

2013 was a controversial year for Penny Arcade and Mike specifically. Several comments made on twitter, the Penny Arcade site, and at PAX brought a lot of criticism. Mike has apologized numerous times for these incidents, but they seem to have really struck a chord with him. In his post yesterday, Mike said "We are all products of our childhood and what came out of mine was an unrepentant asshole." 

Mike went on to say that he's done a great deal of "soul searching" and has decided that the time has come for him to stop being the person he learned to be all those years ago. In the mean time, he's also decided that in the interest of the greater gaming community and keeping PAX a safe place for every possible attendee, he should withdraw from the convention.

We can all be sad and wax philosophic about what this means for the attitude of PAX. I firmly believe that it will always be a place for the entirety of the gaming community. Those fearing that the convention won't be the same without Mike and Jerry are dead wrong. They were instigators, organizers. PAX has become more than the convention space and thousands of attendees. It's a home;  a refuge where everyone can be united under a single banner. No matter where we came from, we are all there because we love games. Nothing is going to take that away.