Saturday, 11 September 2010

PAX talk - part 1 - the Seattle story

So good morning from Seattle! Well Sea-Tac (Seattle Tacoma airport). So it’s time to fly home now and I have to say that this holiday (I NEARLY put vacation there – need to switch back to English mode) was absolutely epic and I doubt that it could be topped.

So Seattle is such a fantastic city, it’s quite similar to a medium sized European city such as Manchester, in the sense that it is quite compact with what it has within it while at the same time having quite a number of tall buildings within this compact space. The views from the Space Needle were truly epic as you even see as far as Canada in one direction and to Mount St Helens in the other (yeah I know I’m from a place with a similar name sake there). So people thought I was odd for walking from what was one end of Seattle (where the Space Needle and Sci-Fi/Music museums are located) to the other end (where Qwest field is) but then again walking doesn’t bother me.

From exploring the city to exploring PAX or Penny Arcade Expo, where geek culture comes to exchange tales, play games (and transfer bugs it seems as some people found out with the PAX-plague – not me I planned ahead with anti-bacterial gel hand wash). While at the convention I attended many talks including the key note given by Warren Spector (the guy who gave us Deus Ex, Thief, and soon to give us Epic Mickey). The key note speech provided the audience with questions about its future position within society as we move forward in the 21st century, this mainly was around how gamers would have to evolve and accept new forms of gaming such as social media gaming into the fold in order to be accepted into the main stream and taken seriously as an art form such as Movies.

As well as the key note I attended other panels such as the Penny Arcade Q+A (1st session only), Roosterteeth, Major Nelson, Xbox Enforcement, Totally Rad Show Live, and a talk by Wil Wheaton. Many of these are just a panel of people who address the audience around a topic (with some even being recorded) and then having a chance for a Q+A with the panellists. I have to say I never went to a bad panel and I even had the courage to stand up on the microphone and ask a question at the Major Nelson panel (I say courage as the entire show was recorded live, and on listening back to the audio (found at I do sound terribly British and all stiff upper lip – I don’t sound like that do I??). Some of the panellist will hang out after the show for a chance to meet the fans and take photos so I did just that and met all of the presenters from the Revision 3 show The Totally Rad show – all of which are totally rad guys!

Outside of the panels there is the expo hall, and within this there so many areas which cater for different things from table top gaming, to card games, to RPG’s, to video games. There is also a place where many of the fans (like me) can go to buy merchandise of certain things. In my case this was from the Roosterteeth guys who also work on their booth to sell the stuff, but it is also a chance for them to meet their fans and for them to meet the team – so yeah I met most of the team such as Joel, Gus, Brandon, Geoff, and Jack who were all awesome.

Beyond the merch booths there was a small area where many of the bands who were playing at the evening concerts (such as Paul and Storm) would be selling stuff as well as signing it, there was a table where signings could take place and on Saturday I got to meet one of the most awesome dudes in Geek history – Wil Wheaton (you know the dude who played Wesley Crusher in Star trek and is the villain in shows such as The Big Bang Theory and The Guild) and I even had a photo taken with him which was epic and I totally went blank and gibbered but I guess that is to be expected when you meet someone as well respected in the geek community as Wil frigging Wheaton!!!

So going to take a break here as they are calling the flight now – next stop NYC!

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