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I don't understand why the solution, at least in PAX's case, is not to ban bots. That would open up purchasing to regular human users, and since PAX is a ridiculously popular event, tickets would still sell out.

How do you ban bots with out implementing an arcane, clunky, painful, expensive manual system?

PS: your answer isn't allowed to be captcha.

You don't. I'd much rather suffer through a captcha than have the tickets/reservations sell out in seconds.

Yeah, pretty much this. PAX is a huge, widely popular event. It has an entire community built around it. I suspect that the vast majority of people would not mind filling in a captcha if it means they will have a much better chance of hanging out with friends they made in previous years' PAXs.

Perhaps the reason your answer is not allowed to be "captcha" is that there are numerous services that provide manual captcha answers for bots.

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