The Incredible Shrinking PAX Medals

A few weeks ago I attended my eighth consecutive PAX Prime. While there are many things to love about PAX, one of my personal favorites has become the PAX medals. All weekend long there are various tournaments and contests you can participate in to win a medal.

I have won a PAX medal at each of the last three PAX Prime events that I have had the pleasure of attending. In 2011 I got one for placing second in a Pac-Man Championship Edition DX tournament. In 2012 I won one for having the second-best pitch at the Pitch Your Game Idea panel. This year I won a high score contest for the Super Nintendo game Tin Star, using the SuperScope.

PAX Medals: 2011, 2012, 2013

As I was enjoying my PAX medals, I noticed something odd. Each year, the PAX medals are getting slightly smaller.

Time to break out some measuring tools.

PAX Medals: Ribbon Length

First up, length of the ribbons:

Ribbon Length Comparison of PAX Medals: 2011, 2012, 2013

That’s 4cm of ribbon loss in just two years. At this rate, PAX medals will be a 15cm choker by 2020.

PAX Medals: Medal Height

Let’s check the height.

Height Comparison of PAX Medals: 2011, 2012, 2013

The shrinkage of the medals is even more dramatic than the ribbon shrinkage. If it keeps up at the same rate they’ll disappear completely by 2020.

PAX Medals: Mass

Finally, let’s weigh these suckers on my kitchen scale.

Mass Comparison of PAX Medals: 2011, 2012, 2013

The loss of mass is the most extreme, with an average loss of 3.5g per year putting the medals on a path to vanish entirely by 2018. Also, apparently PAX medals are not very nutritious.

PAX Medals: Shrinkage Summary

Here’s a summary of my findings:

Year Length Height Mass
2011 33.0cm 0.76″ 25g
2012 30.5cm 0.66″ 20g
2013 29.0cm 0.58″ 18g

There is one category in which PAX medals are getting measurably better: back-side engraving. The 2011 medal just had a generic number. The 2012 medal still had the number, but they added a bit about what the medal was for. In 2013 the number was dropped entirely and the font got a sweet upgrade.

Back of PAX Medals: 2011, 2012, 2013

Anyway, this is all apparently interesting enough for me to write a 333-word blog post, but despite the shrinkage, I still enjoy my PAX medals.

Horse Head: Three-Time PAX Medal Winner!