Have You Ever Gotten Sick From A Convention?

Have You Ever Gotten Sick From A Convention?

Video game conventions are great… mostly. But every convention has its thorns, which often take the form of snotty, achy, barfy sicknesses. Now that both GDC and PAX East have come to pass, are you a flu-ridden ball of misery? If so, what are your symptoms? Have you caught anything in the past or at other cons?

Me, I managed to escape GDC largely unscathed, though I came down with something on the last day. It left me with a sore throat and so much snot in my sinuses that it seemed to overflow into my limbs, what with how heavy and clumsy they felt. I think I might have caught it from Stephen, who was also sick last week/weekend, but I can’t say for sure. However, in the name of hard-hitting journalism and VR porn, I soldiered on. Now I have a snot waterfall for a face, but I prefer to think of it as a cool battle scar. When people see me and immediately recoil, shouting things like “gross” and “ugh, you do know what kleenexes are, right?” I prefer to think they agree with me.

How about you? Did GDC or PAX East (or, god forbid, both) send you on your way with an unexpected, body-ravaging surprise? Are you still bedridden, or are you starting to feel the delightful tickle of life in your veins again? Has this kind of thing happened to you in years past, from PAX or GDC or Comic-Con or MAGFest or whatever else? Oh, bonus question: if you went to multiple conventions back-to-back, do you think you were Patient Zero? Did you bring a flu from GDC to PAX (or something like that), in the process contaminating everyone? Sound off below!

Picture: Anna Gutermuth


  • I rarely get sick even outside conventions. In the last 3 years I had to miss work once due to illness. Maybe my body makes up for it with my terrible affliction to hayfever.

  • I haven’t had the dreaded pax pox, but I usually have some sort of mild malaise by the end of it. Though that may just be a sore throat from karaoke, it’s often hard to tell.

  • Would like to see more of these outdoors, actually.

    it could be done, actually. Like the Show.

  • Flu shot and constant swimming in a pool has help me stay free of stuff like the flu, though in 2008 i somehow managed to re catch chicken pox when i went up to gold coast for a 1 week holiday. there were no coventions but the queensland school holidays were on, so the doc put it down to that. It was also how i learnt that im one of the small percent of people that can recatch chicken pox

    • You’ll probably wanna stay on the lookout for shingles in your later life then… best of luck!

    • dont you feel special??? 😀

      if anyone asks, just tell them that it basically means that you will be immune to the zombie virus…

  • Does the Brisbane Ekka count? One of the reasons I stopped going was I always got sick after attending.

  • I got sick of queuing for two hours to get inside and then being shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone else when I finally did. Does that count?

  • I got gastro while at PAX last year but that was down to me deciding to eat all the things in Melbourne. I couldn’t begin to guess what it was during my gorging odyssey that sent me over the edge.

  • Alcohol based hand sanitizer is your friend. Use it every time you go to the bathroom, every time you touch someone, every time you use a door, and so on. It really helps.

  • At events like and Armageddon, never had an issue.
    Both PAX Aus events, walked away with a cold.
    It goes to show, anime/pop culture nerds are clean, gamers are dirty germ machines lol

  • So many people in one place, where a majority refuse to wash their hands, of course many will get sick.

  • Let me add my story of how I rarely ever get sick and haven’t been sick in the last 25 years and have never been to a convention.

  • every time a convention finishes i always get sick after its ended, its probably due to the relief of stress, but for some reason im currently sick before the convention. this is gonna be a fun con, not.

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