For the last six years, the west coast has been privileged to have the precense of something that the east coast would only dream of until now. I am speaking of the Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX as the creators have baptised it. The creators being Jerry and Mike (aka Tycho and Gabe of Penny Arcade Comics ) have brought us PAX to the wonderful city of Boston for the first time since it’s inception in 2004. It was held at the Hynes Convention Center March 26th through the 28th.
I wouldn’t call this a computer. Nope, this is more of a “Rabid Wolverine.”
– Tycho Brahe
“PAX East” ,as it has been dubbed, brought in well over 50,000 fans of console, computer and tabletop games from all around the country for three days of “I’ve died and gone to Nerd Heaven”. Growing up in the late eighties and early nineties, it was not until I saw the original NES systems hooked up to HD Televisions that I began to truely understand the gravity of this event. I had purchased a three-day pass for the steal that was $50, though due to work, I decided it was best to skip on the first day – and therefore will not cover it in this post. I showed up just after the doors opened on Saturday morning to find that I had no line to wait on, but as I learned, this was the exception and not the rule. I would assume that the popularity of this east coast event was not expected causing most panels that were not in the large main theater to fill up quick. If you were not willing to sit in line for the popular panels, then there was a good chance you were gonna miss it.
Though, do not let this paint a negative picture of the event. There was a large exposition area where one could get more than their recommended daily value of game studios, hardware manufacturers, contests and costumes. If that was not enough to wet your four-eyed appetite there was an entire floor for table-top, console and computer games. There was a large area dedicated to BYOC that made me regret my decision not to sign up for it. There was three or four (I lost count) stages where one could show off their Rockband skills, including an area that was decorated so that it looked like a venue where bona fide musical acts would perform. Really, it was overwhelming and it feels pretty ineffective to list them all here knowing that I will forget an importent geek-filled bit of information.
Missing various panels (and sneaking into a couple), most of Saturday was spent just soaking it all and wandering around aimlessly from booth to booth or from one “free play” area to the next. Saturday ended with the fantastic VGO – actually, a subset of the entire orchestra, but amazing none-the-less. Not to be outdone, Sunday evening marked the climax of the entire event with the highly entertaining (more than I thought, I must admit) competition that the wicked creators refer to as the “Omegathon“. Equiped with my camera, I was able to snag some photos to share of the events on Saturday and Sunday to share. Maybe the pictures will serve as better explanation.