Gamers rejoice, it looks like it is that time of the year when Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime comes to Seattle and takes the city by storm! PAX is the massive, now semi-annual, gaming expo that was created in 2004 by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, of Penny Arcade webcomic fame. The event has grown from 3,300 attendees in 2004, to 67,600 attendees last year. PAX has become so popular that an east coast version called PAX East now takes place in Boston during the month of March, in addition to the west coast version in Seattle. PAX Prime is the crown jewel of Seattle geek events, and this year looks to be no different. This weekend, August 26th-28th, gamers, video game developers, and publishers will converge on the Washington State Convention Center from all around the world to show off their latest creations. If you think this event sounds like E3, you would be partially correct. The big difference is that E3 is an industry only event, whereas PAX is the largest gaming convention that is actually open to the public. Despite grumbles from the gaming community that PAX is quickly growing into E3, the focus of the event remains on fans. I am not sure how true the growing pains claim is, but I do know that it has become more difficult with each passing year to secure passes. I live in Seattle and have attended PAX Prime for many years. I love and support the event. This is my first year attending as part of the gaming press and I admit to experiencing some difficulty during the registration process. Video gaming has become the number one entertainment industry in the world, so I suppose it only makes sense that gaming expos have exploded in popularity. Be that as it may, PAX Prime continues to be a “must attend” weekend of epic fun!
Earlier in the week, on the 24th, PAX DEV 2011 kicked off. This is a small, video game developer only affair that leads up to the main event of PAX Prime. Even PAX Prime is only part of the overall embarrassment of events around town. Every night, from Thursday to Sunday, is filled with awesome parties and events after the operating hours of the convention. Don’t believe me? Check out this list of events and parties taking place outside of the convention! Yeah. I know for a fact that this isn’t even a complete list, but it does give you a good perspective on the magnitude of events happening around Seattle this weekend.
So what developers and sponsors will be showcasing their wares during PAX Prime? Just about everybody who is anybody in the video game industry. It would actually be easier to list the game industry people who won’t be attending. For complete information and schedules, I strongly urge you to visit the official PAX Prime website. The expo is made up of everything a gamer could hope for: hands on time with new and upcoming games, panel discussions, toys, swag, console, PC, and tabletop gaming tournaments, exhibitors, after-hours fun, and SO much more. Missing out on PAX this year? Follow the PAX site or social networking feeds if you hope to have a chance at scoring passes for next year (they go devilishly quick). I hope to bring you some good stories from PAX Prime, and maybe I’ll even see you there!
Traveling into Seattle for PAX Prime? Unfamiliar with our fair city? Be sure to check out my
for information on taxis, bus times, alternate lodging options, and fun Seattle places that may be of interest to my geeky brothers and sisters, and so much more. Enjoy your stay, and feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have at: RobbOrr@ComicBooked.com