As you might be aware, there hasn’t been an in-person Penny Arcade Expo – or PAX – since PAX East 2020 last year, right before the whole COVID-19 epidemic broke out. But ReedPop felt like things were getting back to “normal” enough to bring back PAX West in Seattle, Washington, which is set to take place later this summer.
But the real question is if we’re ready for an in-person event yet.
Yes, we’re eager to see our friends again and go back to real panels again, compared to the digital stuff we’ve gotten over the past year and a half. But some interesting new restrictions have us raising questions about whether or not we’re really ready for such an event.
ReedPop recently addressed a plan for attendees going to the show later this year, and they are as follows:
“Throughout the year, the PAX team has been actively working to support a safe environment for our PAX West visitors. We are pleased to announce that, in line with the recommendations of state and local public health authorities, we will be implementing a vaccination or negative COVID-19 test requirement for everyone at PAX West. We appreciate your patience as we worked with our venue and the authorities to create our comprehensive plan. Prior to entry we will now require proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test, each to be verified with a valid, government issued ID. If you have purchased badges and have questions or concerns about this requirement, please reach out to PAX Questions at PAX_Questions@PAXsite.com.”
We totally understand the safety protocols, and, yes, they are needed. But they could raise some issues at the event themselves. What if someone doesn’t have their vaccination card on them? What if documents are faked? We’ve seen it before. ReedPop continued:
“The PAX team is steadfast in our commitment to health and safety, including reduced capacity and mandatory face coverings to be worn at all times by attendees, exhibitors, staff, and Enforcers.”
The real question is just how effective this enforcement will be. Some folks are wearing face masks, sure; but there are locations in which they’re mostly lifted, and some may object to the idea of having to put one on again after so many months of wearing them in the first place.
Again, it’s all about safety and it’s understood. But the real question here is if the show must go on. We get that many people miss it – heck, we do too – but at what point is safety overridden for simply having a good time? If the team at ReedPop is unsure just how it’ll pull off a safe, enjoyable show with all these protocols in place, maybe it should wait until COVID-19 is given the full all-clear.
For now, we remain a bit skeptical. Yeah, it’ll be fun to have an in-person event again. But at what cost?
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