Now that I’ve actually had an extra day’s rest (thank you Labor Day!) as well as my wrist being less sprained (long story for another time), I can get to writing this write-up for my first ever Penny Arcade Expo.
Let me just say right now that the Penny Arcade Expo has certainly given me a kick start into the whole convention scene. Just the sheer amount of people that were there, the camaraderie between them and the collective crowd of dual-screen handhelds (with about four or five PSPs among them), the friendships that are established, the crazy-fun that is to be had… This is definitely the kind of thing that makes me that much more proud to be a gamer in this day and age.
…but I digress.
I certainly had a lot of fun being around other people who shared the same passion for video gaming like I do. It was also so awesome being able to check out the games that were about ready to come out soon. I mean, there was just so much happening at PAX itself, I really don’t think that I could seriously break it down into full-blown details. Just the experience itself as a whole was that amazing.
Some of my personal highlights include:
- Getting to meet the ScrewAttack.com crew
I actually got to meet them before PAX even started. I was walking into the main hall when I first spotted Daily Destin, and of course I freaked out. “OH MY GOD IT’S DESTIN!!” Pretty much said the same when I saw Stuttering Craig and Maxifent Corey. I “introduced” myself (as in nervously said who I was and spoke faster than usual) and cracked the Battletoads joke when I introduced myself to Corey. Saw them again on Saturday interviewing cosplayers and such and was able to get a picture with them, including one where Corey got her revenge.
- Finally get the chance to meet StarSlay3r, aka Judy Nails
Many know her as StarSlay3r, or perhaps as Judy Nails, but to actually get to know her and hang out with her as Ciji was such an awesome time. She is definitely an awesome gal and is definitely fun to hang out with. Being the “hometown kid”, I also made sure to do my best to make her feel as welcome to Seattle as I could, and I feel like I did a good job in doing so. Also, she totally kicked my ass in the Judy Nails competition at the Activision booth. XD
- Getting to meet most of the crew from Rooster Teeth, as well as attend their Q&A panel
Not everybody was able to attend this year, some for obvious reasons (get well soon Kathleen!!), and others I’m not even sure why they were able to attend, but I’m sure they have good reasons. BUT, the crew that did make it were so much fun to hang out with and awesome to talk to! Got to chat with some of my favorite characters (and still need to throw down a couple beers with Joel Heyman, a.k.a. Caboose), bought some new shirts from them, and even bought their comic book and had the writer (Griffon Ramsey) and illustrator (Luke McKay) sign the book, even having Luke draw Cortana in the back cover of the book. They’ve definitely reinforced my love for their work and it’s always great to know that there are some awesome guys behind a product that I absolutely love.
- Getting to meet some of the guys from Pwned.com
Though I’ve only got to chill with them for a short amount of time, the time that I had spent talking to pwned(mod) and G-Nitro along with Xeno being there to add to the awesomeness that was PAX. They really were awesome guys to talk to and it was always good to see the representation of an up and coming gaming community. That and I’m very happy to have been able to put on a show for them as well as anyone who was passing by at the Guitar Hero World Tour main stage. (Hot for Teacher ftw!)
- Spotting Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb from G4’s X-Play at the Fallout 3 booth
Granted, I didn’t get that much of a chance to talk to them as much as they were about to film live for their X-Play PAX coverage, but I was able to tell Adam how much I loved his Soapbox clip talking about the responsibility that parents should be taking moreso rather than pit the blame solely on video games. I asked one of the crew members about whether or not I’d be able to take pictures with them and he said it’d be highly unlikely that I’d be able to. I could understand that, though. It was still awesome just to be able to see them there.
- Getting to meet Jen Taylor, voice of Cortana from the Halo series
That was definitely a big highlight for me, getting to shake hands with Jen and talk to her for a brief period of time. I also got a picture with her and a couple of autographs. In fact, I asked her if she could sign the drawing of Cortana that Rooster Teeth’s Luke McKay had drawn on the back cover of the Rooster Teeth comic book. She looked like she was excited and stoked to see the drawing of the character she voiced, so much so that she wrote, “I love Luke” underneath her autograph. Awesomeness.
- Playing Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour with the sprained wrist
Okay, so the long and short of the sprained wrist was due to me trying to run and jump to touch store signs along the way to the convention center and I ended up running a little too fast, missing one of the signs completely and taking a “ninja roll” forward, spraining my right wrist in the process.
That out of the way, I still powered through a couple of songs on Expert Drums for both Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour. I hadn’t had a chance to try Rock Band 2 because the line for the game was so long. My friends and I made it a note to play the game today and get in line early so we could play. We had agreed to play Down with the Sickness by Disturbed, but during the wait in line, we heard someone play Battery by Metallica. I really would have loved to power through that drum part, but was still satisfied with powering through Down with the Sickness (despite the fallout toward the beginning). I totally rocked the hell out of that song… XD
After the Rock Band 2 performance, my friends and I made it back to the Guitar Hero World Tour booth (and in the process shocking StarSlay3r with my friend covered in Rock Band stickers), where we had a pair of performances with Livin’ on a Prayer (one with StarSlay3r) and a performance where I was asked to perform the vocals to the track Hot for Teacher. That certainly was a hell of a lot of fun, especially with the Hot for Teacher performance. I’ve been told after the song that there was a huge crowd gathering, filming the performance, taking pictures, and the like. The things that I do for the crowd, injuries and all…
- Documenting the weekend with pictures and video
I’ve always loved to take pictures and the like. I even bought an extra pair of 2 GB SD cards for my camera for the event so I could take high quality photos and high quality videos. At the end of the event, I had taken about 150+ pictures and have 11 videos online now. So many memories from the weekend and to have it documented is such a great feeling…
All in all, I had an awesome time. I got to meet people I’ve seen online for some time, get to know some people that I’ve talked to online for a good amount of time, I’ve made so many new friends, had awesome fun with my old friends along with my new ones, introduced people to each other and establish new connections… I honestly can say that this is one of the greatest moments in my life. I’d definitely love to save some money and travel around the States and even around the world and check out some more conventions. If any of you have the chance to attend any kind of convention in your area or if you have a chance to travel to one, definitely take advantage of the opportunity and have a great time.
Videos I took during the weekend