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Penny Arcade Expo - what goes on there?

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I've been hearing about the Penny Arcade Expo. I looked at their webpage, but I'm still a little confused about what exactly goes on there? Just would like more information if anyone has been to one of these before.

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I lived for years literally a 3 minute walk (counting walking down stairs from my apartment, and crossing a street intersection) away from where they'd hold it annually, at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA. And well, your guess is as good as mine :lol: From what I've seen it's some kind of hybrid gamer community where there are video game exhibits and competitions of some sort spanning pc, console and even card games.

 

What this all has to do with the uninteresting Penny-arcade online comic, I have no idea... :ponder:

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It’s like E3 but for enthusiasts rather than press. You go see booths from the game vendors, etc.

It’s much more gamer-oriented than E3 however. There are vast rooms with home consoles to sit at and play games on. There are vast rooms with tabletop and CCG games. There is a vast hall with a nonstop LAN party going on. There are symposiums and roundtables on gaming issues and topics. For example, the keynote last year was delivered by the creator of Monkey Island and the SCUMM engine. There are also massive concerts. Many, many folks show up in costume so in this respect it’s just like SakuraCon or ComiCon. Oh- and there’s a luck-of-the-draw + winner stays on huge video game contest al-la that Nintendo movie with Fred Savage (last two individuals up on a stage in front of a bajilion people playing a game they have never seen before.)

 

The lines are beyond belief. Longer than anything else in Seattle. In fact, the venue is Seattle biggest but last year the city council (or some other government entity) bumped up the maximum occupancy limit of the trade center/convention center beyond what had ever been allowed, making PAX the biggest trade show I think that there has ever been in the state (not 100% sure on that point.) Did I mention the lines were beyond belief? AT&T’s 3G network collapsed under the weight of all the smart phones active. There was a calling black hole in the center of Seattle.

 

It runs for 3 days. I tend to like to attend the first or second day as a vendor (you might be able to guess which one) and the next day as an attendee.

 

Last year my omni-gamer friend took me to a big empty table in the main thoroughfare and introduced me to some nerdy guys and I agreed to play a new game. Turns out it was the debut of “Chaos in the Old World” – a new game by the creators of Warhammer. And I was the first at PAX to play it! I know nothing about tabletop gaming. Talk about a deer in the headlights!

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I am actually on the community advisory committee for PAX_EC and have been working to put the PA folks in touch with local gaming related folks like Gary at Funspot, Shota Nakama of the VGO and the folks in Oxytocin (Musical act made up of Harmonix employees). I am also working with the folks at SFX_-360 to put on a party at Lir (across the street from the Hynes Convention Center) where we will have contests and some specialist guest appearances by folks in the industry. You can check out more info on our event at my blog and about PAX_EC in general by checking out the PA forums. This is the first year for PAX on the east coast, but I anticipate it being pretty crowded and have something for every gaming enthusiast. Gary from FS is actually working with the PA folks to have a classic coin-op area at the Expo.

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