SEATTLE – On the heels of a fatal shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, FL., 100,000 people are expected to attend PAX West this week in Seattle. It's the ultimate place to be for video game fans. But some are wondering about safety.
Diego Santos, 14, can not wait to come to PAX on Friday. He also went last year.
"I had the time of my life. It was amazing to see everything," said Santos.
Fans will fly in from around the world to participate in the major gaming event at the Washington State Convention Center. It's a big festival for table tops, video games and PC players with much to see.
"There are also lots of VR games like the Boren and Deep Saber," Santos said.
But the weekend shooting in Florida has somebody worried about security at PAX West.
A gamer tweeted that the security of PAX West is too laxed. Critics argue that due to large crowds, PAX West organizers should consider metal detectors.
Other players, like Travis Worth, who participated in PAX six times, said the security is solid.
"I think they are doing a very good job. Security, enforcement, voluntary security, they do a good job of keeping everything in place. I think Florida was just an isolated event." It's unfortunate, says Worth.
Visit Seattle said PAX West would have improved security, including additional personnel at the event.
In a statement, the group said that the Washington State Convention Center, Seattle's leaders and PAX West have communicated, "… to ensure that they robust and unique safety and security plans have been reported; and improved measures have been taken to ensure the safety of both visitors and residents. "
Just across the street is Gameworks, a place hoping to see many players stop. It has benefited from PAX's massive crowds and strengthens their own security.
" In light of recent events, we consider our security and security protocols for precise reasons to have the safest environment possible, "said General Manager of Gameworks, Ryan Bear.
PAX West The organizers said they could not elaborate on their security plans.
Meanwhile, Seattle police said As every year they want uniform and clear officers who are watching the congress center.