This past weekend Seattle hosted what is reportedly the biggest video games expo in the United States. That honor used to belong to E3 but they changed their format this year. Now that title belongs to Penny Arcade Expo (PAX). Unlike E3, PAX is aimed at consumers, not journalists. It reportedly had about 30,000 attendees throughout the weekend. I didn't make it on Friday but Wil Wheaton's keynote was hailed as amazing. I went on Saturday with some friends. It was a good time. We attended a few panels. One was on the subject of blogs and podcasts and the other was an attempt to make a game in an hour. The first was moderated by Major Nelson and had representatives from Joystiq, Slashdot, Ubisoft, and a gaming podcast I'm not familiar with. Here is a photo of the panel. There was some good discussion about the power of the blogs and their relationship with major media. The second was someone from Popcap games writing a combat-esque game in about an hour using the popcap games framework. Trying to write a game in C++ in an hour is no small feat and they fell short. Still, it was fun to watch them try. They did come pretty close.
The remainder of the day was spent perusing the expo floor and hanging out in the tabletop games area. The show floor contained demos of Mass Effect, Rock Band, SingStar, and numerous other video games. There were also a good number of board game companies present. Among them was Fantasy Flight. They were demoing the new StarCraft board game. Unfortunately, I couldn't get close enough to hear the description.
My favorite T-shirt of the event: "Real Gamers Shower."
Here are some pictures if you want to see what it was like.