PAX and Buttoneering

I am going to PAX everyone! PAX Prime 2012 in the emerald city of Seattle Washington. I am so excited to go, I just can’t wait!

PAX stands for the Penny Arcade Expo. It’s a gaming festival that gives attention to console gamers, computer games, and tabletop gamers. Really, anything to do with gaming is at PAX. And this year I am going! This is so exciting!

To celebrate my attending of PAX and the launching my very own gaming website, I have decided to create buttons that I can give out to fellow PAX goers. On the PAX website they have a whole thread on their forms dedicated to this. Its called Buttoneering and anyone can participate. Here is what they say:

What is Buttoneering?

Buttoneering is a meta-game that takes place every year at PAX Prime (and to a lesser extent PAX East and other events). You play by printing up a large number of buttons with a picture that represents you, and then find other people at your event to trade with you. It is remarkably easy to do, and it’s a great way to meet people. Additionally, you come away with a huge number of buttons that are a unique souvenir of your time.

What are the rules?

Well, there are only a couple. First, 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 did Buttoneering start?

It started out as a problem at PAX 2008 for members of the Pax Forum Community. They wanted a way to be able to pick each other out of the crowd of more than 55,000 gamers. The initial idea was for t-shirts with everyone’s avatars printed on them. Once someone pointed out the added benefit of being able to smell fellow forum members coming, other ideas were proposed.

Finally, everyone settled on making buttons with their avatars on them. After some initial research, it was discovered that one could get bulk amounts of these created for relatively cheaply, and the idea of PAX Button Exchange was born!

Where can I get buttons?

How do I participate?
We recommended PureButtons because of their excellent customer service, good prices, and being all-around cool folks. No, we don’t get paid to say that. If you’re not in the U.S., feel free to ask in the thread to find info on providers closer to home, or if you’re the trusting type, ask if you can ship the buttons to someone who is, to save yourself some shipping costs.

There are four steps for participating in Buttoneering:

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.

Order your buttons. 100 buttons is a good base amount, but feel free to go with more. Be sure to use our discount code Buttoneers2012 if you’re using PureButtons!

Upload your artwork to BUTTONEERING!, our official Buttoneering site. This is totally optional, but it provides a great way to keep track of your collection. Yes, it asks for an email, but I promise I will only use them for site communication (which has never happened, yet).

At PAX, trade with other Buttoneers. It’s MUCH easier than you would think.

My PAX Button Design

Following the directions, I found on the forum, I just went to, downloaded their template and designed my buttons. After that, I submitted my graphic and the number of buttons I wanted. That was pretty much it. A few weeks later I had my buttons and they look FANTASTIC!

For the background of my buttons, I used a paint splatter background like I use all over my website. I am also a real big Transformers fan, that is why I used Arcee on the button. My favorite Transformers of all time is the Decepticon, Starscream. He is amazing, but for the button I wanted something to represent my femininity so I chose the Autobot, Arcee.

I hope you can find me at PAX. If you do lets trade buttons!

Are you going to PAX this year? If so, drop me an e-mail and let me see your buttons and I can keep an eye out for you at the expo.

Dungeon Mistress