Hidden away under the WSCC escalators is one of the best parts of PAX, and one of the easiest to miss. Steve Jackson Games hosts a space where you the official Steve Jackson demo monkeys will teach you how to play almost any of the games that they publish. The husband and I played a hilarious round of Zombie Dice. We also enjoyed Revolution, a town-themed resource management game which was a bit less complex than Catan or Agricola with an interesting bidding system.
At one point during PAX, I took a little nap on a bean bag. When I woke up, some folks next to me were just opening their brand new game of Munchkin, and reading the rules. I sent them to Steve Jackson land; where I'm sure they got straightened out, and received oodles of free cards and tokens.
PAX was not all video games & germ distribution. Tabletop gaming is a revered pastime, and it suffered no shortage of representation at PAX.
We had no trouble getting invited to a game of Settlers of Catan, simply by wandering around in the well-stocked board-game check-out room. Everyone else had a settlement on an ore point except me. At one point, after three ore-producing rolls in a row, I broke out the Monopoly card and took all the ore. Everyone acted so miffed! On the next turn, the player next to me also produced a Monopoly card and demanded ore. Good thing I had already built my city.
We also checked out a new game to try - Munchkin. We then had the good fortune to wander into the official Steve Jackson gaming area, where we played our first game under the excellent snarky tutelage of the demo staff. Munchkin is similar to Ninja Burger (which I've subjected friends and family to in the past) but much simpler. It is also hilarious! For playing the official Steve Jackson area, we each received a "Promotional Bookmark of Power" which play a practical joke on their owners. One bookmark allows a one-time special swag boost, but requires it's own destruction. But the other bookmark cancels the first bookmarks effects! I sure wouldn't mind owning a copy of this Munchkin game.