Aaliyah

BOSTON! PAX! IT'S HERE!

There are many opportunities to grab some great SWAG at PAX.

Post here what you find and what booth you found it at. Make sure to include details you find, like if a booth has no XL shirts, or where to start a scavenger hunt.

By Friday night we should have a robust list of where all the best SWAG is.

If anyone is wondering about Nintendo- they have a lapel pin for playing each game, and if you get in the Switch line and play 3 games they give you a Nintendo Switch pin, this is a red pin with actual pin backing!

The pins are just ok- if you're looking for swag, you'll have to try to get on stage to play one of the games in front of the audience. They gave out various things including a Breath of the Wild shirt. I'm pretty sure that's the only way to get anything but the pins, and you just have to get lucky to be pulled on stage. (Or be in cosplay)

Some more highlights:

  • Paxxp is giving a keychain if you complete it. If you are only goi g to pax for one day I recommend skipping it because it can take up a good chunk of your day.
  • There is a special paxxp badge scanner you can check once a day to see if you win something.
  • Rime booth giving out fox plushy for playing the game and a special shirt if you show them proof of preorder.
  • Discord booth is giving out a special pin if you take a picture with wumpus and tweet it with the wumpus hashtag. He's closer to the swag bag area of the expo hall.
  • Dreadnaught booth on opposite side is giving away shirts for playing.
  • Dauntless booth is handing out patches.
Aaliyah

I get alot of reaction and comments when I tell people I still play sometime. Everyone "thinks" that neopets is a children's game (in which it is a family game people), but really it is a HUGE metagame with statistics, calculation, etc.

Thankfully I'm surrounded by people that do not care that I play Neopets (the ones that know).

I try to keep it as secret as humanly possible, because honestly I think those are the only two people in my life who wouldn't tease me for it. (Not that I think they'd be mean about it, or that they'd think less of me! I just don't feel like dealing with it.)

Sooooo reactions. The nosy little sister was very sweet about it, especially when I told her not to tell anyone else. She acted like there was nothing out of the ordinary, like I had just confessed that I played Minecraft or LoL. She herself played it when she was like eight, but grew out of it by the time she was eleven.

I went out of my way to tell the boyfriend about it, because he wondered where I would disappear to for an hour or two after coming home. I prefaced it by saying it'd be really embarrassing if anyone ever found out, and please don't laugh at me, blah blah blah.... He was really cute about it, told me, "Ohhh this just means you trust me!" and put on this goofy grin. He'll randomly bring it up to tease me in the middle of private conversations, but it's all in good fun.

Hell, it's much better than smoking weed or drinking as a pastime. I'm a young adult by the way, if that helps with context.

Most people don't say anything really negative. Maybe an eyeroll when they hear I've spent money on neopoints, but then I point out they paid for WOW, so.... haha.

I don't advertise it everywhere, but those that I am closest with know and they don't really care one way or the other.

Aaliyah

People always say there's no swag at PAX.. but truth is you have to be willing to actually "hunt" for it(or in many cases, be patient and wait long times)

Some do and others don't, usually the bigger booths have plenty unless it's something really unique and coveted. I feel like most swag requires actual effort to acquire and a lot of people can't be bothered to chase it or ask.

Swag is really a treasure hunt for tenacious people who follow the tracker and go out of their way to seek it out.

Sometimes Sunday is the day where a booth will just realize there's no chance of getting rid of it all so they pull it all out and try to get rid of it. I'm sure you'll be able to find at least a few things if you are willing to seek it out.

I will be attending the whole con this year, some of the time I will be alone, but other times friends will be joining me. Mostly on SUn. though so I hope to still hook them up with some swag. Booths historically have given things away on Sunday nearing the end of the show.

So even if you can only attend the tailend you can still get something. Most booths bring things with the plans to sell everything, so they'll need to clean inventory.

Don't expect anything too crazy, but you'll probably come across a few things if you're lucky.

Aaliyah

My boyfriend and I are known for doing our annual Halloween party. We've been throwing a Halloween party for six years in a row now. Here are some of the things we do at the party.

So we were thinking about a cosplay themed halloween party this year. We wanted halloween invitations that were open so we didn't go with the common cosplay themes. We left it pretty much up to the participants. And just made sure to tell people that it was a cosplay themed party.

Though movie monsters were alright too, but you find them at most Halloween parties.

What is the difference you ask?

Not much. A costume at a convention is a cosplay costume, at a Halloween party it is a Halloween costume, and then it is a cosplay again if you tell people that it is. See what I mean?

It doesn't matter.

For hosting, I really dont start drinking until about an hour after people start to show up. This is because I am usually still finishing up some food items, but my kitchen and living room are open to eachother so I am still able to talk and mingle with my friends. My personality to make other people happy, therefore be a great hostess, also helps in the sense that I am constantly either engaging in a long conversation or making sure other people are satisfied drink-wise before I help myself.

Over the years I have come up with some different games. One that has become a mainstay is Monster Money.

What I do is print off a bunch of "monster money" which is just Halloween themed cash. I used a photo and just made them all $1s. I also make them small so i can save paper. When each guest arrives, they get 5 monster bucks, and they can use them for paying someone to refill your drink, or pay them to dance around the bonfire, or you can earn money by selling them a cigarette, or a beer, or you can bribe them to vote for you for best costume. I also scatter money around random places throughout the night.

Whoever has the most Monster Money at the end of the night wins a prize.

The prize doesn't have to cost much.

I go all out on decor as well. But really, you'd be surprised how many decorations and props you can build up after a couple of years of throwing parties, you don't have to spend a ton the first year.

The secret to making drunk people happy, though, is food.

Have an awesome spread and they will enjoy themselves. I typically have multiple things going on to satisfy everybodys tastes not everybody likes the games.

Some like sitting outback with a beer and talking, some like videogames, some like our dogs, but if you have good food, good music, and alcohol, people will find a way to have fun.

Oh, and another monster related game is Monster Mash. Two teams tie balloons around their ankles, then when the music starts, they try to smash the other teams balloons. Whoever wins gets Monster Money.

I think it would be really fun to go to a totally retro Halloween party with vintage-style decorations, homemade costumes with papier-mâché masks, and classic party activities like bobbing for apples and fortune telling games (once a huge staple of Halloween parties). Creepy foods like 'finger' sandwiches and spider cookies, with dry ice ice bubbling in the punch bowl. None of the gory stuff, no 'sexy' costumes. Halloween in the classic style.

Maybe next year.

Aaliyah

It comes and goes through time. In the 1800s the meaning was stolen goods. And before that in Scottish it was how you walked and was adopted to English. So swag is a shortened version of swagger in this case. But note I said that it comes and goes...

swag (v.) "to move heavily or unsteadily," 1520s, probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse sveggja "to swing, sway," from the same source as Old English swingan "to swing" (see swing (v.)). Related: Swagged; swagging. swag (n.) 1650s, "a lurching or swaying," from swag (v.). Meaning "ornamental festoon" (1794) is said to be probably a separate development from the verb (but cf. swage). Swag lamp attested from 1966. Colloquial sense of "promotional material" (from recording companies, etc.) was in use by 2001; swag was English criminal's slang for "quantity of stolen property, loot" from c.1839. This might be related to earlier senses of "round bag" (c.1300) and "big, blustering fellow" (1580s), which may represent separate borrowings from the Scandinavian source. "The primary meaning was 'a bulging bag'" [Klein].

I have heard people say you can't use words like these if you are white....?

The ridiculous thing about this is that linguistic appropriation isn't a negative thing, some languages and cultures find ways of expressing concepts that we find superior, hence we go with it.

Like how we go the word 'tariff' from India. They had tariffs for years so we used it to express a similar concept.

When it becomes common place it is sort of "Shit We All Get".

Aaliyah

There really isn't anything out there like neopets.

I've recommended it before, but Goatlings.com is a site that reminds me of an early neopets. There's restocking, auctions, dress-up avatars, forums, etc.

And adorable pastel goats.

I also love the fact that the creator takes on a lot of user-based content, so if you design something, there's a chance it could make it onto the site. If you wanna take a look, here's is the link.

Sadly I'm not sure any other site would give me what I got out of neopets and loved so much, which is the sheer variety of it - if I wanted to play NeoQuest for a week I could do that, or I could try kadding or RSing or auction sniping, or KeyQuest, or flash games, or questing for the perfect pet customization items, or trying to collect a bunch of the same pet species or color, orrrr curating a gallery, or collecting obscure avatars, or Plushie Tycoon or or or! The sheer diversity of ways to play is what grabbed me back in the day and kept me coming back.

People always mention Subeta.

The thing about it is that while it is super easy to make SP on there, due to that, many items are super expensive. Even really common items are pretty pricey. And if one of those items just so happens to unlock and achievement it jumps in price ten fold. The games on the site are okay, you can buy cash shop money with in-game money (But its pricey, of course), you can also do commissions and get in-game/cash shop money/items that way.

The site is a huge popularity contest.

The primary focus of the site is on dressing up your avatar. With its focus being shifted far away from pets and only on human avatars, it just feels like a chat room for teenagers. It was far more like an early-era Neopets when it first came out.

Pets are secondary to that by a long shot as they constantly pump out wearable items more so than anything for pets. The pet art is really nice, however, and it is easy to get a coloured pet (Through zapping), but other than that you tend to forget to do anything on the site as there really isnt much todo unless you are a social butterfly then you can just hang out on the forums.

SO no, not a big fan of Subeta. It feels like it's not well maintain and chaotic. The freedom of naming is awesome but a line needs to be drawn. Apologies to those who like Subeta.