Penny Arcade Expo

Posted on September 4, 2009

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In the beginning, there was Penny Arcade, and it was good. In fact, it was so popular, it became a marketing opportunity for video games. Game distributors started asking Gabe and Tycho to do webcomics based on digital games as a way of showing Penny Arcade readers (e.g. potential players) how much fun they could have with the game.

Then the guys decided that the greater Seattle metroplex needed a digital game celebration, and Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) was born. PAX would have noodled along for years in some second- or third-tier hotel ballroom, but Fate smiled on it. There are three big electronics shows in North America – Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), ComDex (now Interop), and Consumer Electronics Show (CES). E3 focused on digital games, but a few years ago it closed to the public. Only industry professionals and the media could get in. Suddenly computer game companies needed a public venue to reach consumers, preferably people who were tech-savvy early adopters/evangelists. Because their marketers were already talking to Penny Arcade, PAX just made sense.

Now PAX takes up the entire Washington State Convention & Trade Center, plus some adjoining spaces. It’s huge. It includes not only digital games, but tabletop games as well. There’s space for you to bring your own game console (BYOC) and hook into the network. There’s a large LAN space. There’s the show floor, with all the exhibitor booths. There are seminars, discussions, Q&A sessions, and more.

If you’ve checked out my bio, or read much of my blog, you’ll know there’s no way I could pass up an opportunity to see so much technology and so many games under one roof, and practically in my backyard. So I’m headed there later today. Yes, I will be trying to do some networking while I’m there. You can follow the action on Twitter, and I’ll try to post photos to Phlog from my phone – or you can hook up with me there! Next week I’ll try to blog about interviewing/networking at conventions.

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Posted in: Gaming, Marketing