PAX – A good time in Seattle

(Full Disclosure:  I did a write up on the gamerDNA company blog so I’m going to keep this fairly short and sweet.  The purpose of this is to give my personal take and record some of the more fun, notable events)

It has now been a week since the last day of PAX and I’m still getting back into the swing of things.  Last week I had the pleasure of attending PAX with three others from gamerDNA from Thursday through Monday which was the entirety of PAX.  We went there on a mission:  Go to the biggest gaming expo in North America and talk to people about gamerDNA.  All in all, I’d say it was a success.

If you haven’t gone to PAX before, you should.  This was my first time going to PAX and it was the biggest gaming event that I’ve ever been to.  Last year I went to SOE Fan Faire and Gen Con and those don’t even compare to the size of this event or the amount of fun had at PAX.  The PAX officials have reported that about 58,500 people invaded Seattle and attended PAX, well over the 37,000 that they had last year.  I wonder what they will have next year…and how they will fit everyone in the Seattle Convention Center.

Most of the weekend was spent spending some time walking around the Expo floor and then meeting up with the guys from work for a press interview or some other event that we wanted to attend.  Friday was very busy for us in particular because that was the opening day for PAX along with the day of our gamerDNA PAX Party that we had later that night.  During the couple hours that we had to poke around on the floor we decided to hand out gamerDNA t-shirts to random PAX goers and check out the various booths on the floor.

The expo floor was huge, with booths from all the major and some of the minor game studios out there.  Strangely absent, though, was a booth from Activision(Besides Guitar Hero World Tour and the Blizzard Booth).  While taking a quick survey of the floor I noticed the dominance of the Xbox 360 which was being used to demo practically every game on the floor.  One of the games that I did see demoed on a Playstation 3 was Mirror’s Edge (they showed the E3 level), which ironically froze up while I was watching and they had to reboot the PS3.

After only a couple hours on the show floor we had to make it back to our hotel to get ready for the gamerDNA Party.  The plan for the gamerDNA party was simple:  Have some food, some free drinks and Rock Band.  We didn’t want it to be too sales-pitchy, we wanted it to be a fun atmosphere for people to come in, talk to people and have fun playing games.

The party was a definite success with over 150 people stopping by over the course of the night.  We had a lot of friends from Microsoft show up, the GamerCast Network stopped by as well as many others throughout the night.  My personal highlight was when Alex Albrecht and Jeff Cannata from the Totally Rad Show and DiggNation showed up for a little while.  The guys played some Rock Band (which by the way, they were really good at) and hung out for a bit.  I had a chance to introduce myself and talk to Alex a bit, but it was really just cool to have guys like them show up to a party that was put on by my company.  We also had Donna Park from Electric Playground (you know, that show that used to be on G4TV..and now it’s coming back on) who interviewed our CEO Jon Radoff and ended up sticking around at the party for most of the night.  Not only was she a gamer, but she was a very cool person to talk to and seemed very genuine.  Two thumbs up!

After that Friday (the first day of PAX), we spent the rest of the weekend walking around the show floor, hitting up some panels, and doing interviews with press.  I had a great time meeting various developers of different games, as well as friends that I’ve made but never actually met before, which was really cool.  I also had the chance to play some games, but not very many…I did a lot more looking than actual playing of video games that weekend..ironically 😛

PAX was a great experience and I’d highly suggest everyone go!  I’m definitely going to go next year with gamerDNA and I can’t wait for PAX to come to Boston in 2010 :)