PAX East – Review 2019

Image may contain: 14 people, including Stephen Machuga, Christopher Case, Rhonda Case, Dylan Connolly, Arturo Guillen, Samantha Seegraves, Dave Crouse, Brian Snyder, Daniel Patterson and 2 others, people smiling, people standing and shoesReviewer: Daniel “Nightmare-ACTUAL” Patterson
Case # 000-013 Codename: Cahlaflour

These words are from someone who when it comes to conventions, has only experienced a Comic-Con in Puerto Rico, doing media coverage. That specific convention I was not impressed with a lot of things and in my review, I chose to focus on the good aspects the convention has to offer, rather than nitpick at all the bad things and believe you me, there were a lot of bad things.

At PAX East I spent a solid four days hitting the floor of the convention, I have to say it was absolutely amazing. It’s all about one’s passion; whether it be Creating Content, Developer, Fan, Vlog, Blog… you are there to share the love of your passion. I had the most generous opportunity to be flown out by this organization as a thank you for my hard work and dedication to the mission, through a couple of different platforms; as a streamer, journalist, video editor, a member of their Stack Up Overwatch Program (StOP) and a Stack Leader for the island of Puerto Rico.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and outdoorThe organization did not have a booth this year at the convention. Most of my time spent was walking around talking to anyone I could about the organization. This felt more like “hanging out” than ‘working’ as I got a chance to hang around with the ‘Air Assaults’ the veterans that Stack Up sponsored this year for PAXEAST and gave them a VIP experience. I got to experience first hand the therapeutic nature of the program. Initially, we all met at an Airbnb in Dorchester, MA. I was in a small struggle because I didn’t have phone service I needed WI-FI to be able to communicate. It took me a while to actually get someone to grant me access so I can enter the apartment, freezing my ass off. Walked around for about an hour or so looking for someone to lend me a phone, it did not go well. Last ditch effort was to use my last couple dollars to buy a prepaid phone card that had a huge possibility of getting the phone blocked up until the teller at the T-Mobile store said to me “Hey you can make a call out of those phones, over there” I thought I had found gold it was such a relief, called Dan directly and while talking he tells me “Hey good thing you appeared, Cuddles is out on a search and rescue mission trying to find you at the Airport” to which I responded “Oh, shit, Call that dude and tell him I am found”

I was somewhat nervous initially before entering the apartment as I had no idea what to expect. I enter the apartment got to meet Dave, Brian, Mat, Chris, the other Chris, Sam, and Dan it was hugs all around, which was very heartwarming. I’ve worked with these amazing individuals for the past 2 years and 3 months, through Discord. Later that night I had the opportunity to formally meet the Air Assaults and Stephen on his ‘fancy schmancy’ west cost time (Love you, boo) My first interaction with the CEO for Stack Up was this; verbatim. I wanted to give him a firm fucking handshake, he looks at it, I look at it, he looks back at me, I look back at him and he then proceeds to slap my hand out of the way and bring me in for Airborne Ranger hug, which was awesome. That first night was a real joyous occasion just hanging out with like-minded people and being a recipient of a lot of love and appreciation.

It really embodied the Stack Up mission bridging that gap between civilian, military culture and life.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and outdoor

No matter how tired I was after those 4 days of convention, I felt amazing. I am not an outward emotional person, you may see me serious but in reality, I am not. However, when the convention ended, I started to cry, with no control over it. That’s how impactful this experience has been. I wasn’t sad that the convention had ended I was overwhelmingly happy at what I had just gone through, the best fucking time in life. When we got to Airbnb I just couldn’t handle it and I was not the only one who was emotionally charged, maybe not on the same side of the spectrum but it was a cathartic emotional experience, nonetheless.

I am eternally grateful for the people behind the event, the developers, the gamers, the streamers or content creators everyone who I got to cross paths with at this event. Above all, pretty sure they are tired of hearing me say this but regardless; THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING, It was absolutely amazing.

Image may contain: 5 people, including Dylan Connolly, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor

My time in Boston with Stack Up, The Air Assaults and The Red Shirts was and is by far some of the best moments in my life thus far. I know this was just a one-time thing it’s highly possible I may never get this opportunity again but I loved it, I’ve found my purpose, found my focus after a really dark time in my life and Stack Up has been a huge center for me, doing all this volunteering keeps me, sane. Keeps me in check, helps me;

“Get after it” -John Gretton ‘Jocko’ Willink