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PAX gaming event in Seattle will now require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test for entry

Geekwire logo Geekwire 7/27/2021 Thomas Wilde
a group of people in a room: Penny Arcade’s Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, among others, play a session of Acquisitions Incorporated live on stage during PAX. (PAX Photo) © Provided by Geekwire Penny Arcade’s Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, among others, play a session of Acquisitions Incorporated live on stage during PAX. (PAX Photo)

The organizers of the upcoming Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, also known as PAX West, have announced that the event will now require either vaccination or a negative COVID test on entry.

Attendees of the upcoming gaming convention, scheduled to be held as an in-person event on Sept. 3-6 at the Washington State Convention Center, will be asked to show “proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test,” as well as a valid, government-issued ID.

This comes in addition to the previously announced safety guidelines, which include a reduced capacity for the show and mandatory face masks inside the building for all attendees. (Cosplayers have been informed that their costumes for the show must also include an actual face mask; an outfit that includes a non-mask face covering does not count.)

“When PAX West 2021 badges were announced, the PAX Team made the decision to communicate what we could commit to at that time, rather than what we were working toward,” said Kyle Marsden-Kish, global gaming event director for PAX organizer ReedPop, in a statement.

“While we let the community know the health and safety guidelines could evolve, we wanted to get it right and we feel confident that verification of fully vaccination or negative test, along with continued face covering requirements for everyone, will create an environment that promotes the wellbeing of our PAX community.”

Earlier this month, Penny Arcade Director of Events Ryan Hartman said in an interview with GeekWire that the vaccination requirement was not initially part of PAX West’s safety guidelines due to “a lot of logistical hurdles.” Those have apparently been surmounted.

Further details about this year’s PAX West, such as its events schedule, have yet to be publicly announced.

The Penny Arcade Expo, intended as a celebration of all things gaming, has been running in Washington state since 2004, when it held its inaugural show as a 24-hour event in Bellevue, Wash. Since then, it has expanded to six annual conventions held throughout the U.S. and Australia.

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