[Thor and I were not the only ones who went to PAX East, of course. According to estimates, over 60,000 PAXers were in attendance. OTF guest contributor, Jay (3eeve), shares his thoughts on the inaugural East Coast gaming convention, both inside and outside the doors of the Hynes. –Ed.]
The Penny Arcade Expo. PAX. These words are synonymous with the gaming industry. The most important companies in electronic and tabletop gaming are all here, displaying their newest and most polished demos. Gaming rock stars like Chris Avellone happily imparted wisdom from one of many panels. Perhaps even more importantly, indie developers get a shot to strut their stuff. You can see real instruments, modified for use in Rock Band. You can find the most stunning Xbox Live Arcade titles. And more so than any other industry event, this one is for the fans. Basically, if there’s some sort of gaming medium you enjoy, there is a reason for you to attend. If E3 is the Mecca for our people, PAX is surely Medina.
This year marked the very first PAX East. Held in the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik brought their unique, wonderful, and influential event to the other side of the continent. They did not disappoint. The weekend kicked off with a stirring keynote speech by Wil Wheaton, followed by an immediate Q & A session for Gabe and Tycho. Then we were off to the races. Massive rooms of console and PC freeplay for all. Sign-ups for Dungeons & Dragons on two floors. Demos everywhere. Entire hallways devoted to tabletop games both famous and obscure. Any number of panels about all aspects of the industry.
I saw almost none of it.