In 2007 I boarded a plane with my wife and several of my friends and flew to Seattle to attend the Penny Arcade Expo. What followed over the next couple of days was one of the most entertaining weekends I've ever experienced. If my wife didn't read this blog I might go and compare it to my wedding day but for the sake of my marriage I am going to go and say that my wedding day was more special than any gaming/geek convention could ever be. Seriously. I really, really mean it. Oh, and Happy Anniversary by the way!*
* Let's all thank Outlook and it's automatic reminder popups!
The next year in 2008 we reserved a hotel and prepared to return once again to join my brethren in what I wanted to become our yearly pilgrimage to the geek mecca of Seattle. Alas, it was not to be as most of our trip-mates backed out and I didn't feel right attending without them. I sat and read the reports and the forums as the event unfolded, tears of pain running down my face during that day late in August, knowing I was missing it. I vowed that in 2009 I would be there, regardless of who was with me. If I had to hitchhike across the country, giving oral pleasure to truckers and eating out of garbage cans, I was going to be at PAX 2009.
So with great jubilation and much anticipation, I woke up at 3:30 AM Friday morning to get ready to head to the airport. Well, actually, I think I said "Fuck PAX" in tired frustration and tried to go back to sleep before I was forced awake by my travel-mates. Regardless, we embarked on our trip and by noon on Friday we were leaving the Seattle-Tacoma airport and heading to what I like to call "The-Ridiculous-City-That-Some-Retard-Decided-To-Put-On-The-Side-Of-A-Really-Steep-Hill" (also known as Seattle).
The first thing we did after checking into the luxurious Crown Plaza was to run over to the convention to try and catch the first question and answer session with Gabe and Tycho. Unfortunately we had missed the keynote speech with Ron Gilbert but we were able to make the afformentioned Q&A. What did I learn during this session? That when a girl gives a teabag, the common term used is not "Teabagging" but "Flower Petalling" or another term that even I am not comfortable with writing here (it's pretty gross though). After we were done, we jumped up and ran off to the exhibition hall to get a load of all the new games and most importantly, the EVE-O booth!
Exhibition Hall - EVE
We quickly made our way to the side of the hall where the Eve booth was set up. It was quite easy to spot as it's very slick looking and stylized display stood out, even among the extremely flashy and boisterous mishmash of other companies and games:
The booth wasn't very big but it was really slick looking and I made sure to wander around it for a few minutes, basking in that wonderful Eve feeling. Eventally I went around to the front area where they had a desk and noticed a large stack of E-ON magazines sitting just behind.
"Are those free?" I asked a young man with an EVE shirt who was standing behind the counter. He gave me an unconvincing grunt and handed me an issue. Nice! I addressed him again by asking "Is this the newest one?" It wasn't intended to be a demand or an accusation but I was quickly handed another E-ON with a different colored cover that was apparently newer. Without even intending it I was now in possession of E-ON issues #14 and #15 which were labeled as $14.95 each, for free. I grabbed a couple of free Eve pins and then ran off into the sunset, before anyone could notice that I had stolen all their swag.
When I had some downtime later in the day, I opened both issues and read them cover to cover and discovered something that I sort of already knew but had forgotten about. I was in these! EVE Newb and PC Ransom Board were both nominated under the "MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER" category. Neither even came close to winning but it was still awesome to see myself mentioned in the publication even if it was without any associated information or a link to either page (can't win them all I suppose):
Later in the evening after grabbing some grub, we waited patiently in line and sat in on the Scott Kurtz Q&A. For anyone not familiar with Scott, he draws and writes PvP, an online comic that has close ties with Penny-Arcade. I don't really have much to elaborate on here except that it was an entertaining panel and it's amazing how well a bunch of internet comic nerds are able to do when it comes to publicly speaking in front of a large number of people (I would probably pee myself multiple times).
After a busy day of travel and expositioning, we headed back to the hotel to wind down by playing some Mario Kart DS and drinking whiskey. We ran out of cups and Brandon was forced to use the pot:
Hint: IT'S NOT COFFEE
To Be Continued - Penny Arcade Expo 2009 - DAY 2!