Contrary to popular belief, it is not “Game Over” for PAX fans in San Antonio.
For months, rumors have swirled that the event would be outright canceled due to the pandemic. Even before that, the were rumblings that the convention would be moved to Dallas or Houston. Geek News Now was able to exclusively learn that the large gaming event, typically held in January along the famed River Walk, will be moved to February 19-21, but still at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
There are still quite a few things up in the air, due to the impact the COVID pandemic has had on events of this scale. I spoke to a source at the Convention Center main office, who answered my questions. These answers were confirmed by another source at Visit San Antonio and additional information provided by a source in the Mayor’s Office in San Antonio.
Capacity of vendors and attendees allowed inside the center might be capped as high as 75%, according to the state’s COVID protocols, depending on if there is a spike in cases after the holiday season. That decision would rest with the Governor’s office and an announcement could come any time prior to the convention. Also, the event would need to employ some type of social distancing rule and masks would still be required.
The state of Texas has already provided guidelines specifically for video game conventions:
- Assign at least one employee or contractor full time to disinfect the video games and other interactive amusements.
- Disinfect all gaming equipment before and after customer use, if possible.
- Ensure only one player can play a game at a time.
- Provide for at least six feet of separation between games.
- Provide hand sanitizer throughout the video game or interactive amusement area.
In addition, PAX has reserved a backup date “sometime in May or June” just in case they cannot hold the event in February.
The Mayor’s Office released this comment exclusively to Geek News Now:
“Gaming is the fastest growing entertainment sector in the world and San Antonio has been fortunate to host six successful PAX South conventions downtown. We appreciate the organizers’ willingness to adjust their schedule to meet any potential issues that could arise from this pandemic. If we’re able to limit community spread of COVID-19 and beat back this virus, we know the 7th PAX South will be the best one yet.”
Would you feel comfortable going to PAX South with these guidelines in place? Are you anxious to get back to cons again? Drop a comment below or on our Facebook page!