This Bird was lucky to take flight with a new flock over the weekend, attending the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX), an annual video game conference that was originally started by the minds behind the very popular Penny Arcade web comic. It is an independent event, organized by comic creators Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, and supported by gaming fans that grew from the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, to now sold-out crowds in downtown Seattle's convention center, with talk of creating a PAX East Coast event to help spread out the fandom. It's an amazing feat to behold, watching the Seattle Convention Center fill up with literally thousands of people, many traveling from far beyond the realm east of Lake Washington, to converge and celebrate a love of virtual worlds.

Feeling a bit like Jane Goodall, lurking amongst the the Wild Things of PAX, this Magpie wandered with camera in hand to take some photos, not sure of what the final result would be. The video game company booths were all exciting and a sight to behold in their theatrical one-upmanship to lure curious convention attendees. What was more interesting was the genuine enthusiasm behind the gamer lifestyle. People came dressed in homemade costumes -- some more successful than others, I admit -- and it seemed as though they walked a little taller, wearing their fictional armor against whatever slings and arrows of judgement came their way. Conversations flowed freely amongst crowds of strangers, but with a familiarity firmly rooted in the shared adventures that game playing provides. These weren't simply loners or geeks; they were, for the most part, benign dreamers looking for a connection. Something to bridge the imaginary world with a little bit of magic leftover from the rubble of what the rest would call reality. Maybe that's why the costumes are worn with such sincerity, and there is such a need to feel fully immersed in a fictional world of time travelers, space warriors, and mythic beasts.

Jaunty thanks to the team behind Runic Games, who was kind enough to provide the Magpie access to this nerdling wonderland.

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1 comment:

  1. Hey there, Magpie! Thanks so much for sharing this. <3 Beautiful Katamari! Such fun weirdness.


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