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Poll: Which do you like more?
Poll Results Which do you like more?
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September 01, 2011, 04:08:15 PM - ORIGINAL POST -

I'm very curious to see how this community responds to this question. I have no doubt that the majority of us enjoy both forms of entertainment, but if you absolutely had to chose just ONE, what would it be?
Read September 06, 2011, 01:30:37 PM #26

Claiming PAX lacks available gaming options is a bit ridiculous. The largest LAN in Washington State takes place at PAX every year. They have a ginormous console freeplay room with everything from a Neo Geo home system to Sega CD and even Turbo Graphix 16. And I have no idea what you're trying to get at with the Smash Brothers Tournament comparisons.

I have done console freeplay each year I've gone to PAX and it's not difficult at all. You ask for a game, trade them your badge for the game, then go play on the assigned console. I have always been able to find a console to hop onto every time I've visited. Also, I must remind you that your perception of this event was from nearly half a decade ago and when it was in a different venue.

It just sounds like it's an issue of "I've been going for years, so I continue to go" and the feedback loop you mentioned. I don't think there's nothing wrong with that.

Btw, where did you get the information that PAX is for-profit? I'm looking and can't find information on whether it is or isn't anywhere.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 01:48:35 PM by Suko »
Read September 06, 2011, 02:07:45 PM #27

On a random note, the most interesting thing I found about PAX's attendance of over 70k this year was that around 3k of people were assumed to be using fake custom-made badges, just to get in without having to buy from marked up re-sellers xP

The enforcers that I talked to said there was a wide range of both really professional fake badges & others that just looked like crap. Hm.
SakuraCon on the other hand still has an abundance of tickets available on the days that the con takes place. This is a plus for me, on the anime end, since I'd rather the lines not be any longer than they presently are.
Read September 06, 2011, 02:31:22 PM #28

Sorry I don't have a more recent account of PAX, but I can't have an account of it if I just don't feel like going.  I went for the whole weekend in '05, and was unsure about going in '06 which is the first time when I realized that "gamers" weren't all one and the same; ultimately I compromised and just went on Saturday.  In '07 on one of the days PAX was taking place, I was at GameWorks (when they had just greatly expanded their music game lineup), and being practically across from the convention center there were PAX attendees there and I was basically just disgusted at not only their odor but their attitude, and thought "man, I'm glad I decided not to attend".  It's from that point I decided never to attend PAX again, or even be in the vicinity of it.

To me, very ironically, people are a part of the convention experience, and most of the people that go to PAX make me want to throw up in more ways than one.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 02:40:09 PM by tadAAA »
Read September 06, 2011, 03:43:10 PM #29

PAX being for-profit was mentioned tangentially when Sakuracon execs explained why they couldn't handle badging the same way PAX does; I can't point you to a reference, since this was a tangential comment at a staff meeting.  Since I can't provide a definite source for that, it might be inaccurate, but they don't seem to have any sort of stated goal as an organization, which would be a requirement to pursue tax exempt status (admittedly, you can be a non-profit without pursuing tax exemption, but that would mean they are voluntarily giving away about ~$15 from each 3-day pass because they didn't feel like applying to be tax exempt).  Anyway, between badges costing more on average (PAX gives no pre-reg discount and matches Sakuracon's highest badge fees) and a heavy industry presence (they pay a nice fee for that booth space), PAX has more than enough money to contract registration out while still appeasing the convention center, rather than handle it with volunteers, so they do.  PAX will definitely always win when it comes to registration, especially now that badges sell out so quickly that they don't even need to bother having day-of registration.

My perception of PAX is built on feedback that I consistently hear every year, rather than a few limited experiences - I'll admit that firsthand accounts trump hearsay, but I'm heard so few good things about PAX that it would take a lot of positive feedback to make me consider taking the risk and going for once.  Some of the feedback I've heard is definitely getting mashed together - apparently, the gaming rooms may not be clogged as they were in whatever year(s) I heard they were, and I stand corrected on that (I haven't really heard anything specific about the console rooms in a couple years, so it's probably safer to assume they've improved the situation rather than assume that I'm talking to one of the few people who doesn't get trapped in a horrible line).  On the other hand, a lot of that feedback does seem to hold true; sfxazure went this year, and when he asked (beforehand) why I wasn't going, I told him that all I ever hear is how crowded everything gets.  He called me midday Saturday to say that it was just as crowded as I'd heard and he was leaving - maybe specific things weren't that crowded, but in general, it was enough that he just left.

The Brawl comparison was just an interesting point, but my phrasing came off a bit on the conceited side - I find a short Smash event humorous because of how much the Sakuracon one is just a giant mess that they've come to accept, so the bulk of console tournament planning year after year goes into supporting that mess without making the main console room tournament-only for a full day.  The PAX Brawl tournament is clearly smaller (even if they had many times more tournament stations than Sakuracon, there are diminishing returns on extra consoles), but it's hard to say if PAX attendees are less interested in tournaments or if there is less interest in Brawl among PAX attendees.  I will say that PAX tournaments are, as a whole, short (as scheduled) - this could be due to lesser interest in tournaments among PAX attendees or wishful scheduling by the organizers, but it sticks out as a difference.  Other than tournaments, it sounds the console rooms at Sakuracon and PAX are pretty much identical in how they are run.

The giant LAN is a good point; Sakuracon abandoned the idea of a LAN room after '05 because it became too impractical to run given that attendees just weren't that interested.  I can't find up to date information about how PAX stocks the LAN room (I found information from '08 saying that you bring your own computer and pay them $25 to take care of it for the weekend), but the issue Sakuracon ran into was finding enough people willing to loan (for free) hardware for the weekend - they ran into a situation where many people who would have been interested were ignoring the LAN room because it was too small, but they couldn't actually make it any larger without buying their own systems.  Given PC gaming's emphasis on cutting edge hardware, even if they wanted to start running a LAN again, Sakuracon couldn't buy and store their own equipment like they do with consoles, since the hardware will be horridly out of date within a few years.  I'm assuming PAX is still having players provide their own hardware to deal with this hurdle, so correct me if I'm wrong.

After that, comparing the gaming setup of the two conventions is kind of pointless without specific, useful numbers, since the console rooms at both are going to be pretty big.  I do know that the Sakuracon console room has somewhere around 80 stations, then another two dozen in the retro room (and whatever Microsoft brings for their room, but I'm not counting their systems, since, as far as I know, they aren't being used for completely open play), but I obviously have no idea about PAX's numbers.  I would hope (and do assume) that PAX manages to outdo Sakuracon in terms of the raw number of stations, since Sakuracon's focus is split moreso than the focus of PAX, but the ratio of console gamers to console stations is the truly relevant figure, and that's going to be really hard to even begin to estimate, given that neither event is just about console gaming.  Overall, I will say that the console room is always busy, but there's always a station or two open.  Obviously, there's also the Sakuracon arcade, but arcade games are a niche interest at both events, so it's not really something to tout as a major gain over PAX.  Plus, PAX rented arcade games until IZ died - they just don't know that Bill exists, otherwise they might well still have arcade games.
Read September 06, 2011, 04:05:23 PM #30

The fact that Ben wanted to go to PAX, and now hearing that he left mid-day Saturday makes me even less willing to go.

A corollary of "not many of us go to PAX" and "many of us have the money and time to go" is that "many of us we have good reasons we don't want to go to PAX", whether they be crowding, body odor, general atmosphere of the convention, or recursively the fact that few of us go in the first place.  I personally have experienced most of this first-hand.

In the end though, it just comes down to me having (generally) enjoyed SC in the past and hearing good things about it from other people, and on the other end, not enjoying PAX and hearing bad things about it from other people.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 04:25:34 PM by tadAAA »
Read September 06, 2011, 05:48:18 PM #31

I'm curious if your opinions will change as you get older. I loved anime cons until I got into my late 20's. Then I started to notice the ginormous age gap between me and the thousands of tweens that make up the majority of the con goers. Conversely, PAX seems to have people from 10 to 60 attending in decent numbers. I definitely feel less creepy at PAX than I did at Sakuracon.

Anyways, I'm not here to promote PAX, I was just wondering why so many people chose Sakuracon over PAX. If someone could promise me that I could get into the event without having to wait more than 40 minutes in line on Saturday, then I would probably try going to Sakuracon again. My experience in '09 was fun, but waiting 3.5 hours in line just to get in REALLY pissed me off and scared the experience for me.
Read September 06, 2011, 06:19:27 PM #32

From what I heard at one of the closing ceremonies a few years ago, the biggest demographic at SC is the 18-29 age group--objective data.  I can understand why; it's much less of a hassle and more fun to go a con once you're legally an adult; you don't need a parental guardian and you can stay past curfew.

Maybe it's another generational gap thing/feature of our community, but we really seem to ignore age limits, so your argument is probably largely irrelevant; many of us on here play Pokemon, go to Sky High, watch MLP, watch '90s nicktoons, and a few of us still build forts out of furniture, all of which have intended demographics even younger than most anime.

As for me personally, I could probably still pass for a high school student if need be.

My experience in '09 was fun, but waiting 3.5 hours in line just to get in REALLY pissed me off and scared the experience for me.

I went the whole weekend.  My wait for my badge on Friday was about 1.5 hours IIRC.  You can bring a portable gaming device or hell, be social.  And as Tony said, you can pick up your badge on Thursday night which I plan to do next year.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 06:46:24 PM by tadAAA »
Read September 06, 2011, 08:04:45 PM #33

and a few of us still build forts out of furniture

I know I'm being called out here, so I just wanted to pop in to say that if you're not still building forts out of furniture, you should be. Cheesy
Read September 06, 2011, 10:17:49 PM #34

I think theres more of a sense of community at PAX, even though its more industry based.  At Sakura Con, I always feel that a lot of the staff feels too entitled and don't do their job properly for how big of a convention it is.

If you just go to PAX for the expo hall too, you'll be disappointed.  I like a lot of the small events that happen that you only really hear about on the forums.  If theres something you want to do at PAX, you can generally get a forum thread going and enough people can get things organized to let you do it, such as the PAX Pokemon League or the Jamspace venue.

I know at Sakura Con, outside of the arcade or if I'm vendor in artist alley, nothing about the con interests me.  If I were a regular con goer paying $50 to get in, I don't think I'd enjoy it.  I feel I get my moneys worth at PAX though.

I actually prefer Kumoricon over Sakura Con though.  You don't feel rushed there and everything seems be welcoming and having a good time.  Again, I don't get this sense of community at Sakura Con.

PAX is also jam packed with way too much stuff to do, so you really have to manage your schedule before you go.  Also make multiple plans in case a line is too long or a panel is full.  Theres generally always something to do, just don't waste time in lines and you'll enjoy PAX more.  I'd like it if PAX were to bring back arcade cabinets on freeplay, but I don't think theres really a point when Gameworks is across the street.

I'm hoping more Japanese publishers show up at PAX in the future.  SquareEnix, Ignition, and Atlus attended this years PAX, which was cool.  So I'm hoping it pushes more niche publishers to come such as Xseed, NIS, etc...

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 10:23:45 PM by Gosha »
Read September 06, 2011, 11:08:35 PM #35

I'm very confused; you like not feeling rushed and both having to make a schedule with backup plans (which sounds suspiciously like being rushed) at the same time?

Sort of reiterating what I said before, I think SC has a friendlier atmosphere, meanwhile PAX has more elitist "gamers" in the worst type of way.  See my example below of threads on the SC forums after the con to find people you met there, meanwhile similar threads on the PAX message board being flamed and locked.

It's pretty much given that a convention will oftentimes have multiple things you want to attend at once; much better that there's too much you want to do at once versus nothing you want to do.

SC has pretty much always has something I want to do going on, and even if there isn't, as mentioned before, many people from here go to SC so you can just hang out with them.  The two times I was at PAX I was almost always either on the arcade games or freeplay consoles, or playing wireless DS games; all stuff I could do on any old day.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 11:11:35 PM by tadAAA »
Read September 06, 2011, 11:46:25 PM #36

I guess I have a different viewpoint on Sakura Con too due to how I look at being in artist alley/expo hall.  I think artist alley was horribly ran last year.  They basically make you pay to go to the convention without getting to do anything at it because you have to be stuck in your booth from 10am-10pm with no support or preferential treatment (ie staff bringing vendors/exhibitors water).  This is a whole other rant though not really dealing with this.

I don't really find Sakura Con friendlier unless you already know plenty of people going there.  I found staff at PAX to be a lot more knowledgeable about what, when, where things were happening or what to do then at Sakura Con.  I've had numerous experiences where I've been treated badly at Sakura Con, but eh.

As a gamer and someone who only enjoys maybe 1-2 animes every other year, most of the panels and events at Sakura Con don't interest me.

As for planning at PAX, you don't really need to do it, I just find more of the events being held more interesting.  You just need to plan some things with how they are separated between the convention center, the Sheraton, annex, and the adjacent theater.  I usually plan out going to Emerald City as well, since theres a lot of interesting panels.

With PAX, if you don't like the people hosting the panel, but you enjoy the subject, they generally still have Q/A session during where you can bring up points that were not brought up during the rest of the panel.

With Sakura Con gaming, I think its only really enjoyable if you are into arcade games, fighting games (mainly Smash Bros), or Nintendo games.  The most I tend to enjoy out of it is just being able to play Pop'n Music with people that play the game, but again, I can just go hang out at Gameworks during PAX if I want to do that since you tend to get a big mix of gamers going in and out of the place during the time.

This thread shouldn't just be a Sakura Con vs PAX war though, heh.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 11:53:09 PM by Gosha »
Read September 07, 2011, 12:10:07 AM #37

Except there's really no need to talk to staff a lot of the time to find out what's going on; the event schedule booklet, or even the boards outside the various rooms tell you what's happening when, and the latter is even updated to change schedules if need be.

Another difference may be that SC is hosted by an NPO, so all the staff are strictly volunteer; it's possible to volunteer to be staff during the convention (semantically ambiguous, but what I mean is that you decided to volunteer after the convention started); it would be absurd to expect newly-recruited people to know everything that's going on.

But yeah, this thread has drifted way off its original topic by now, assuming it wasn't an elaborate scheme to just pose the question of why so many of us prefer SC when we overwhelmingly like the very broad category of "games".

« Last Edit: September 07, 2011, 12:21:02 AM by tadAAA »
Read September 07, 2011, 08:44:46 AM #38

PAX Enforcers are volunteer staff, too (unless things have changed in the last couple years, that is), though I don't know if they accept new people on the spot like Sakuracon does.  I don't know enough about PAX to say what staff below executive levels, if any, are paid, but the lowest level guys are in it for a free shirt and a cheap/free badge, just like SC staff.  The only difference between a non-profit and for-profit convention is that they not subject to a lot of outside scrutiny about the convention budget (since they act as a private company), so the execs can (theoretically) make some decent money or funnel money into unnecessary (but really nice) things, like contracting registration to professionals.

That said, impressions of SC staff will be mixed.  I've been Gaming staff 4 separate years now, and after some issues in '06 and '07 that led to a half dozen Gaming staff being blacklisted, Gaming really tightened things down as an organization.  Admittedly, Gaming runs a pretty intense setup on Thursday, but then the console room is heavily a hands-off desk job and the arcade staff actually do play games to pass the time (other than the tournaments, which are run by the relevant managers, so the general staffing duties are still pretty light during the convention), but Registration did the same following the '09-'10 lines - I remember hearing that they had a worst case of 2 hours, but using will-call (which required filling out the paperwork online beforehand, but "beforehand" explicitly included using a smartphone when you got the convention center) cut it down to almost nothing, both because will-call is faster (no waiting for people to fill out paperwork) and because most people didn't realize it existed.

Actually, Gaming after '07 and Registration after '10... Apparently any group that Bressler touches gets a whole hell of a lot better instantly.  That's not a realization I was expecting to make.

@Gosha: Artists' Alley sounds like a pretty terrible deal.  I didn't know the details around it, other than it being a mini-dealers room, theoretically for selling your own creations (I swear some of the same prints are sold by multiple people), but not that you don't really get any discount of consideration for it.  Especially now that Artists' Alley isn't right next to registration / dealers' room and is in a low traffic corner of the 6th floor (it was packed pretty densely, too - I could barely get around), it doesn't seem like it would be worthwhile to sign up for that.  I would be glad to inform the coordinator that the experience was pretty bad, but, unfortunately, SC is a mess until immediately beforehand.  Case in point, it's pretty safe to assume Laura and I are the arcade coordinators for SC '12, but we have to be appointed by the Gaming Manager each year, and he has to be appointed by the Programming Manager (which is a two year position, so he's actually already chosen) each year, and there's kind of a 3-4 month recovery period after the convention where half of the (two year) elected positions are in the air, so ultimately, we won't actually be signed on as staff for another 3 months, I believe, and therefore we haven't even started any sort of planning.  Artists' Alley is probably in more or less the same boat and won't even have a coordinator or any staff for another couple months.

Anyway, I think we're all realizing how off-topic we've gotten.  Also, I personally think we'd generally exhausted the original topic, so unless anyone has something to add, it might be time to let the thread die.
Read September 07, 2011, 08:51:49 AM #39

Actually, Tony, it's already been confirmed that I'm running the arcade at Sakuracon again.  That means you're back too.  Cheesy

But yeah, this thread has gotten way off topic.  I'm completely unsurprised that the poll shows that games are winning over anime by a longshot, given that this is a forum about games.  While it's true that the fanbases have a decent amount of overlap, that seems to be more the case with Japanese rhythm games than, say, ITG, which is the main attraction for a lot of our members here.
Read September 07, 2011, 10:36:56 AM #40

The ITG community may not be quite as Japanophiliac as people who are strictly DDR, but I think a lot of the song choices for stepping speak for themselves; there are many anime theme songs, general J-pop, video game music, and songs from Bemani.

Plus, many of us that have been playing for a long time started on DDR, and the Japanophilia in us more than likely drew us toward it.

Many of have seem to have outgrown anime for the most part, and outgrown most kinds of video games.  However, we still do like to play rhythm games (obvious by the fact that we post on a rhythm game forum) and some of us like to play board games, both of which are in the broad "games" category, hence the overwhelming preference.

Something else to consider is just that, from my personal experience, truly hardcore gamers usually are at best only casual anime fans, or are fans of it but not to the degree that they are gamers; it says right in the label of "hardcore gamer".  I'd that ITG is a hardcore game in more ways than one; it's a niche series in a non-mainstream genre, and it requires ridiculous amounts of skill and dedication overall to play at the level we do.

« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 12:33:06 AM by tadAAA »
Read September 08, 2011, 03:06:55 PM #41

ehich do u like more: apples or oranges?
Read September 09, 2011, 12:42:01 AM #42

ehich do u like more: apples or oranges?

Err... I know you're trollin' and all, but this is a totally fair question to ask since it's based on subjective taste.  Just because two things are different doesn't mean you can't like one more than the other.  I like apples more than oranges; I like games more than anime. 
Read September 09, 2011, 03:16:59 AM #43

Anime isn't interactive, at least Apples and Oranges are food.
Read September 09, 2011, 01:24:06 PM #44

Some games aren't interactive either.  Ever played Xenosaga?

*cymbal crash*
Read September 11, 2011, 08:20:33 PM #45

Some games aren't interactive either.  Ever played Xenosaga?

*cymbal crash*
I'm going to reply so in the event you write a serious answer you know I read this post.
Read September 11, 2011, 08:38:18 PM #46

The ITG community may not be quite as Japanophiliac as people who are strictly DDR, but I think a lot of the song choices for stepping speak for themselves; there are many anime theme songs, general J-pop, video game music, and songs from Bemani.
didn't see this gem
Read September 26, 2011, 11:57:57 PM #47

Games. Anime ceased to be competitive a long time ago.
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