It was some time ago the last PAX Unplugged, but today there is great news. Are you looking forward to it? PAX Unplugged, the table and board game-focused convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pax Unplugged is returning for the first time in two years, following a successful PAX West in Seattle Washington last month.
Full information from the release states that Pax Unplugged will be returning to the Philadelphia Convention Center 10.-12. December 2021. Hundreds of game publishers, vendors and independent developers will be performing at the convention, from role-playing games to miniatures to card games. Exhibitors include Cephalofair, CGE and R. Talsorian Games, the creators of the cyberpunk RPG universe and The Witcher Pen & Paper RPG. Pax Unplugged will include the traditional additions of panels, fan favorite personalities, and content creators celebrating the love and friendship of the built-in table top games.
The press release follows feedback from Pax West in Seattle, Washington, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Robust health and safety guidelines resulted in a safe event with universal mask compulsory and 93% of attendees with evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19. After that, PAX Unplugged has identical safety protocols, including proof of vaccination and adhering to strict masking requirements. For the full rules on this, Click here.
“One of the things board games is about is being together,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder of Penny Arcade. “With our security protocols for PAX Unplugged, it’s time to dust off the legacy games that we were halfway through in 2019.”
Three-day badges for PAX Unplugged 2021 will soon be available for $ 75, while individual Friday, Saturday, and Sunday badges will be available for $ 35 each.
This announcement brings a sense of relief and limited excitement, but perhaps a cautionary story for the near future. The excitement of PAX Unplugged is undoubtedly great for those who have not played table top games with their friends since the beginning of the pandemic, or have done so under certain conditions such as vaccination or wearing masks. This adjustment to the circumstances means that ReedPop is aware and working very closely with officials to bring life closer to the normality seen before the pandemic. Even if the future is uncertain, sooner rather than later more normal conventions may be held again.
However, it also means that we may be stepping into a new reality, learning to live with COVID-19, no matter how long the virulent threat lasts. At the time of this writing, over 700,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. according to Institute of Health Metrics. Worldwide over 5 Millions have now died from the virus, and even New Zealand is the country that campaigned last year to stop the spread through strict lockdowns now fighting the seemingly unstoppable Delta Variant. The rise of Breakthrough infections are also a very real risk to large gatherings and as someone working in a non-clinical area at the local hospital, breakthrough infections are very real and could happen to someone like me who is fully vaccinated. Infection can occur even with the highest security standards, and given the nature of table and board games, it could be argued that the risk of transmission could be higher.
Ultimately, the decision to attend rests with the participant and the impact of such an event remains to be seen, but as smaller events in a pandemic world show signs of success and with the success of Pax West it may be possible to return to one in a pandemic world return to some degree of normalcy and enjoy the once-for-all moments, albeit with a better focus on cleanliness.
PAX Unplugged will take place December 10-12, 2021 at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.