PAX Unplugged to offers a new convention of only tabletop gaming

The first event is planned for Philadelphia in November.


Penny Arcade's PAX events have become wildly popular for computer game aficionados, but gamers focused on the tabletop experience, while they get a bit at PAX, have usually been left a little wanting. That's about to change.

PAX will have a new event launching this year called PAX Unplugged. The convention will be held in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from November 17-19. "We've found that the Tabletop parts of PAX have grown and grown to the point where we said, 'You know what? Let's make a show that's just that,'" the official site proclaims.

“With the rise of popularity of board games, we wanted to provide a dedicated space where fans can come together,” Jerry Holkins, cofounder of Penny Arcade, said in a statement. “We will continue to have tabletop games at every PAX, but Unplugged will focus on stepping away from the TV, monitor, and phone to foster face-to-face multiplayer experiences.”

The convention will focus on board, tabletop and card games, and is expected to have panels and tournaments similar to other PAX events. More details will be coming over the next few months, but those interested can start booking hotels now. You can also sign up for a newsletter at the official site to keep you up to date on the latest announcements. Badges for the event should go on sale some time this Spring.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 30, 2017 8:12 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, PAX Unplugged to offers a new convention of only tabletop gaming

    • reply
      January 30, 2017 8:20 AM

      It's kinda crazy to see how much tabletop games have exploded. In part I blame video game makers for not making decent local multi-player games anymore and in part because the quality of board games in general have gone up massively in the past decade or so.

    • reply
      January 30, 2017 8:38 AM

      That's kind of exciting. I have enjoyed the table top gaming at Pax Prime and Pax East more than the video games. I wonder if they will be doing an indie showcase? I'd love to get my game Fall of the Last City into that :) having 60 or 70k people see it wouldn't hurt my chances when I get it to kickstarter :) (I have info up at if anyone cares ;) )

    • reply
      January 30, 2017 11:07 AM

      The tabletop areas at PAX South were huge and the audience seemed to be pretty distinct from the video game expo. That said, tabletop gaming will see the bubble burst soon - Ive got a pretty big game collection and hadn't heard of 90% of the stuff on the floor.

      • reply
        January 30, 2017 11:41 AM

        Oh yeah, there's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much stuff coming out now, it's going to collapse in on itself which is why I've respected Asmodee's acquisition strategy so much. They know consolidation is coming anyway's so you might as well grab the best you can now while you're flush with cash and then that talent will take you through with the quality stuff they put out once things start collapsing.

    • reply
      January 30, 2017 11:43 AM

      considering that BGGcon has a 900+ person waiting list for ticket resales, and that they're stuck at the current venue -- which is already full --until 2019, i'm not surprised to see PAX step up and try to take some of the overflow.

      • reply
        January 30, 2017 11:57 AM

        The board game companies at PAX South said they were going to look into splitting and going to both cons at the same time so they is definitely going to be good support at a minimum!

        I'm excited to be able to bypass the bggcon wait as well.

Hello, Meet Lola