PAX West 2021 will require attendees to prove they’re vaccinated or COVID-free


PAX West won’t be letting folks through the doors unless they’re vaccinated or have successfully passed a recent COVID-19 test. The convention will require proof of one of the other and ID verification to go along with it. “[W]e 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,” ReedPop’s Kyle Marsden-Kish said today.

Penny Arcade reps previously announced the in-person format for the fall back in June. It’s slated to run September 3rd through the 6th. The move comes as COVID cases are on the rise again across the USA and the vaccination rate has slowed.

Here’s the whole statement.

Throughout the year, the PAX team has been actively working to support a safe environment for our PAX West visitors. We are pleased to announce that, in line with the recommendations of state and local public health authorities, we will be implementing a vaccination or negative COVID-19 test requirement for everyone at PAX West. We appreciate your patience as we worked with our venue and the authorities to create our comprehensive plan.

Prior to entry we will now require proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test, each to be verified with a valid, government issued ID. If you have purchased badges and have questions or concerns about this requirement, please reach out to PAX Questions at

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. 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.

The PAX team is steadfast in our commitment to health and safety, including reduced capacity and mandatory face coverings to be worn at all times by attendees, exhibitors, staff, and Enforcers. We will continue to evaluate our policies, listen to feedback from the community, follow the guidance of public health officials, and do everything in our power to make PAX West as safe as possible. We will always do what we can to support the global gaming community and the cities PAX calls home.

Source: PAX

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Daryl Tremblay

Do not attend any event with these rules because they are pointless arbitrary snapshots in time. You could test negative and be infected the next day, or positive and be over it for weeks you also could be vaccinated and infected (vaccines lessen severity not the infection). Organizers need to learn some science, apply some logic and quit being scared.

Bruno Brito

I’m still not confident in mass-congregations of people. The problem isn’t that people are vaxxed there. It’s that they can still carry the virus to non-vaxxed. Congregating helps with that.

Please, can we hold out a bit more? 75% is a lot but we’re getting there. Don’t slip up now.

Edit: Also, new variants exist. The more people congregate, the more out of control new variants can surge before we develop herd immunity. Brazil already has some of them.


Yep. Preliminary data suggests that the Delta variant can be spread around by both unvaccinated and vaccinated people, and it also spreads far faster than the original strain; while for the vaccinated being infected shouldn’t be any worse than the “convention flu” that people often catch from going to such events, for the unvaccinated it could be lethal, and the Delta variant is far more lethal than the original strain among the younger people that is likely to attend PAX to boot.

What’s more, the tests aren’t perfect. There are false negatives (AFAIK around 5% of those that should be detected are instead reported as clean), and there’s also a window lasting a few days (and up to a week for the quick, antibody test) before someone infected can even be detected. In a convention the size of PAX it’s about guaranteed that someone infected will be let through.

So, frankly, it would be better to either require proof of vaccination from everyone or else scrape the convention altogether. Otherwise you have a serious risk of killing unvaccinated attendees. And while the cynic in me thinks a horror story of an outbreak at PAX would be a great way to push more people to seek the vaccines, I would rather avoid the potential loss of life.

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PAX was always infamous for catching something and I recall the year it was Norovirus. I’m not quite ready to go back. COVID is a wee bit scarier than Norovirus.


Good! I am so tired of this pandemic, and getting ahead of it is the only way we’re ever getting back to normal.

The honor system and common sense aren’t working; it’s time for some boundaries.


If it’s anything like the airports or cruise lines, no one will be able to fake the vaccine card because authorities can cross reference and verify the records right on the spot with systems like V-Safe. Fraudulent CDC vaccination record cards are considered a public safety risk at the federal level. Goodluck Anti-Vaxxers!


the hype here is more about getting to the doctor and having him throw away the shot instead of giving it to the person, all behind closed doors.

there’s always a loophole…

Hikari Kenzaki

Yep. I’m fine with this. I still wear a mask during personal interactions, especially with persons providing a service on behalf of an employer (cashiers, mechanics, etc).
Conventions have always been a huge vector for illness (aka Con crud) so this makes sense.
No, the WSCC is not a public place, it is a Public Facilities District for tax purposes and the ability to limit access to private events on-premise has long since been decided by law.