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Buttoneers2011 15 pin-preview.png
Buttoneering Logo
Established 2008
Attendance 100+

Buttoneering is a PAX meta game where participants create pin-back buttons and trade them with one another.


Buttoneering is a meta-game that takes place every year at PAX Prime and, as of 2013, PAX East. The participants create pin-back buttons that represent themselves, a community, or just something they like, and then trade them with everyone else. Unlike other community events, this is an ongoing game that lasts all of PAX, as the trading takes place whenever two Buttoneers run across each other at the show. At the end of PAX, one has a tangible "passport" of the people they met at PAX that year as a keepsake.


The Founding Buttoneers
Buttoneering started in 2008, and was born out of a way for the PAX forum members to be able to identify themselves. The initial idea revolved around custom t-shirts. It was quickly brought up that the graphic on the shirt would become irrelevant due to the fact that in three days, the smell would be enough of an identifier. An alternate idea was proposed of each person creating a pin-back button with their avatar on it. After some exploration, it was discovered that it was possible to get bulk amounts of these made for fairly cheap, and the pin swapping idea was born.


  • If you get a button you should give a button, and vice versa. This applies to the "avatar" button, which is the one that represents you personally.
  • If you have made other buttons representing a group, game, or are just something special, you can set your own rules for what people need to do to get them.
  • As usual, follow Wheaton's Law for maximum fun.

How to Participate

  1. Choose your button size and shape, and make your artwork. 1.5 inch round buttons are by far the most popular, and are a good compromise between price and size.
  2. Upload your artwork to our official Buttoneering site.
  3. Put your button's rim text on your button somewhere: While logged in to Buttoneering, click on the magnifying glass for your button and scroll to the bottom of the page that comes up. Place the part in bold somewhere on your button, preferably along the rim where it is out of the way, but still findable.
  4. Order your buttons. 100-150 buttons is a good base amount, but feel free to go with more...there are usually more than 200 buttons available for trade! If you order from PureButtons, be sure to use the current discount code and put your rim text in the notes!
  5. Go to PAX, trade with other Buttoneers, take pictures, have fun, and go home with a giant collection