Despite my earlier lamenting on not having the time to play all the awesome games (digital or otherwise) on show at the Penny-Arcade Expo, I cannot help but walk away super enthused and energized.

The level of energy and enthusiasm among the 50k+ participants was palpable - and a joy to see vs. the often frenetic pace of more industry/business oriented events.

Also, gotta say, gamers are just the nicest people (never mind all the hoopla about the effects of violent media). People were polite, helpful, gracious, friendly, etc, etc. And, smiling and giddy despite standing in ten thousand person queues to get in!

While there, I did three different sessions: one panel on violence/politics, another panel on piracy (these were both moderated by GamePolitic’s Dennis McCauley, so expect some notes posted there) and a final lecture which was a rehash of my “reason’s why the industry doesn’t suck” article.

While I can’t say I got a ton of “business” done, it was a worthwhile event and just massively enjoyable.

Anyway, here are some snaps:


Arrive at me hotel, look out the window and there are goats grazing the grass patch on the side of the highway. The sign read “ruminants for rent”. Odd.

 


Super packed expo area, with reasonable built up booths (ie, no old E3 style roller coasters).

 


Stopped by to see if Mark was around to chat about credit stuff

 


Lots of indie oriented stuff like Xbox’s Community Games, the PAX10, IndieCade, etc

 

 


Castle Crashers action figures were a hot item!


Rock Band figured prominently throughout the show.

 


Folks playing board games on the expo floor. Guessing this was Star Craft.

 


Cool miniatures and dioramas were on display everywhere.

 


PAX buddy Wil Wheaton had long lines of adoring fans.

 


One of many gaming/tournament areas.

 


A handheld “freeplay” lounge - at about midnight!

 


The D&D/RPG room. Still humming past midnight.

 


The tabletop/miniatures play room.

 


One corner of the “loan a board game” library.

 


The Penny Arcade duo, Jerry and Mike, address their adoring fans.

 


The Bethesda team demo Fallout 3. Wow!

 


Clint Hocking running Far Cry 2 demos at the Ubisoft booth. The level editor was probably the single most impressive thing at the entire show!

 


Ben Mattes demos Prince of Persia in the main theater. Ben and team will be showing off at IGDA-Montreal as well.

 


Design guru Michael John (EA) and the indefatigable Scott Foe (Nokia) hanging with other developers at the lobby bar, soaking in the positive energy.