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Dana: A Casual Start

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Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Blog: A Casual Start

Blog Entry #1 by Dana Massey

So far, PAX has lived up to the West Coast stereotype. It is definitely a more laid back affair. Wedged in between GenCon, Leipzig and AGC, the show sometimes gets lost in the shuffle as far as developers and media are concerned. Nonetheless, this year, we decided to travel out to Seattle and take in this consumer oriented show.

On Friday, the show really doesn’t get under way at all. There are some panels and competitions in the mid-to-late afternoon, but until then, we had some time to kill. Carolyn and I met Victor Watcher, Meghan Rodberg and Ariel Jaffee-Marks for breakfast. The three community gurus – who between them cover Dungeons and Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online – joined us in downtown Bellevue, the suburb of Seattle where PAX is held.

We’d planned an actual interview and demonstration on the show floor, so the atmosphere was quite informal. A perfect and symbolic start to the festivities. Later today, we’ll be meeting Nick Parkinson, a community guy from Sigil’s Vanguard for lunch to talk a bit more formally before finally heading over to the show.

PAX is for gamers, make no mistake. With the downsizing of E3, we and many others decided to give it a bit more attention, but this year it is dominated by demonstrations, community specialists and the fans. Hardly a complaint, but it is not yet a developer conference. As such, most of what you read from us in the next few days will concentrate on the games themselves.

Carolyn and I are going to be playing Warhammer Online, Fury, Lord of the Rings Online and many others. We’ll intersperse this coverage with interviews and plans, but unlike most shows, the focus is on the present over the future.

Also, over the next few days, check back for photographs and blog entries like this one. As there are only a few games here to cover, we’re also going to try and give you some idea of what the show itself is like.

Now, off to meet Nick! I’ll be back later with more updates.

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Dana Massey