The Atmosphere of PAX 2010 is Full of Win

Forget the insanity of Comic-Con as fans of popular television shows and movies stab each other in the eye, all over a seat for a panel featuring Seth Rogen and the cast for the upcoming science-fiction comedy, Paul.

Forget the oddities of E3 that show up under illegitimate company names and bypass the registration process with photoshopped business cards of the same illegitimate company, all so they can blitz the show floor and fight to be the first in line to play the next Zelda game.

It’s all smiles as Raychul interacts with fans

Instead, embrace the atmosphere of brotherhood at the Penny-Arcade Expo, that takes place twice per year, one show for each coast, as gamers of all demographics show up to talk nerdy to one another.

“Did you see Duke Nukem Forever dude?” said one excited fan.

In reply, his brother in arms stated, “Yeah, I waited three hours, took steroids in the line, and then got to control Duke taking a piss.”

Both fans, in their mid-20s, continued to gossip about their nostalgic memories of Duke before ascending to level six of the show floor to, possibly to compete against one another at the free console play area, where mini-tournaments of Street Fighter and many other titles are taking place.

It’s during times like this that I fully appreciate the gaming audience. Sure, they can be rather vile and mean when you score their favorite game lower than they had expected or diss on their gaming series of choice, but deep down, they are one and the same with the journalists of the industry. At times, I feel at home and welcomed among the masses that crowd the show floor, rather than the business nature of E3 where everyone is competing for coverage and exclusives, or Comic-Con where it’s a mad dash to see celebrities and ask them bizarrely fanatical questions.

Professional Street Fighter player, Justin Wong (right), takes on all challengers

While the hygiene could be better by hundredfold, it’s one facet that I have to accept while I stumble around the PAX floor with little more than two hours of sleep from non-stop working and, not to mention, a snoring colleague (sorry Brian, you sound like you are starting a lawnmower).

(Brian’s note: how else is a guy going to get a room all to himself?)

Oh, how I adore you PAX and your geekiness. Let’s do it all over again in 2011.