Children at PAX

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PAX is open to all ages, and many parents choose to bring their children and infants, but before you haul little Timmy and Amanda down to the showfloor, a few things to consider:

  • PAX is LOUD. Little ears tend to be sensitive, so take this into consideration if your child doesn't like noisy environments.
  • PAX is CROWDED. People don't tend to look down; be prepared to keep the little ones from being stepped on if they're on the shorter side. This is true of any crowd situation, not just PAX. You will need to be aware of all people at all times. Also, per the preregistration site (Interactive Ticketing), "Strollers are not permitted on the show floor at any time". Perhaps try a front pack?
  • PAX breeds GERMS. Again, true of all crowded/convention situations. PAX Prime '09 saw a fairly large outbreak of H1N1 and other flu strains; keep this in mind before exposing any little ones that might be in concern catagories for illness.
  • PAX is full of SWEARING. The typical demographic of PAX, while fairly diverse, does contain a large number of younger people with a tendency swear. Profusely. About everything. If language is a concern for you, be aware that epithets are a time-honoured PAX tradition, and will be overheard everywhere.
  • PAX is FREE for kids 6 and Under. Conversely, PAX is FULL PRICE for kids 7 and older. So, budget accordingly.

Now, taking everything into consideration, it's up to you! A little planning ahead and your kids can have just as much fun at PAX as everyone else! Just be aware what hurdles there may be, and prepare appropriately!

I'm under 18. Will I be able to get into a panel for/play the demo of <insert M-Rated game here>?
It is convention wide policy to follow the ESRB ratings, even if your parents are present. Be aware that some exhibitors may ask you for your ID.

My child is under 18, but I don't mind if they play M-Rated games - are they allowed to play them in the Freeplay areas?
As stated above, it is convention wide policy to follow the ESRB ratings. However, Freeplay works a bit differently than the Expo hall does. If you do not mind your child checking out an M-Rated game, you can go to the Freeplay area and check the game out with them, letting the Enforcer handling the checkout know that the child has your approval for the requested game. As checking out games in Freeplay requires an ID, they will hold your ID until the game is checked back in.