PAX West Responds to Security Concerns Following Jacksonville Mass Shooting

PAX West Responds to Security Concerns Following Jacksonville Mass Shooting

PAX issues a statement regarding security at PAX West.

Disclosure: USgamer is part of the Gamer Network which is owned by ReedPop, the organizers of the PAX events including PAX West.

In the wake of a deadly mass shooting at a Madden NFL esports tournament in Jacksonville, Florida many people are admittedly worried about security at upcoming game events, notably PAX West which is later this week. PAX issued a statement about security at PAX West calling safety of attendees, exhibitors, and staff "paramount."

Following the mass shooting in Florida yesterday where two Madden esports players were killed by a shooter, users on Twitter—including employees at video game companies like Square Enix and Microsoft—expressed concern about security at PAX West. Mainly about whether or not there will be added security at PAX West like metal detectors, something users on Twitter noted are not typically present at PAX West.

We reached out to PAX with questions regarding safety measures at PAX West and have received the following statement from the PAX Team. We've included the statement in-full below:

"First and foremost, our hearts go out to all of those impacted by the horrific, senseless act of violence in Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday. The entire gaming community is affected by this tragedy.

"The safety of our attendees, exhibitors, and staff is paramount to ReedPOP and Penny Arcade. As PAX has grown in popularity, we have responded with the addition of increased private security, law enforcement, and other personnel, each of whom are on-site at all times during our events.

"As a rule, we do not publicly announce or discuss the details of our security program in order to maintain its effectiveness, however, we work closely with the Washington State Convention Center, private security, the Seattle Police Department and federal law enforcement authorities to identify risks, assess them and develop our comprehensive security protocols for PAX West. We have in place extensive proactive measures; some that are visible during PAX events and many that are not. We are always working to improve our security plans and, if need be, adjust them, to ensure that we are doing all that we can to make PAX West, and all PAX events, a safe and secure environment for the community.

"Across the fifteen years of PAX events we have provided a safe and welcoming environment for more than a million attendees to come together for their love of gaming and we are ensuring that we adhere to that tradition at PAX West 2018."

While the PAX team didn't explicitly announce additional safety measures at PAX West, the statement notes that security plans are adjusted if needed. However, there is no word as to whether or not measures like metal detectors, which were present at PAX East following the Boston Marathon bombing, will be implemented at PAX West.

Video game events do respond to community safety concerns. Following widespread safety concerns at E3 in 2017 where the event was open to the public for the first time, the E3 event organizers updated security at E3 2018 to include metal detectors, stricter security, and stricter rules regarding re-entry into the event. It remains to be seen what adjustments could be made to PAX West.

PAX West will take place on August 31 to September 3 in Seattle, Washington.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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