It’s been almost two weeks since I attended the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle. I’m still distilling my own thoughts and emotions on the weekend – the pleasure of meeting new friends, schmoozing with famous people, the incredible stress of my volunteer workload, the joy of showing my work to so many people, and the praise I received for it. It’ll take some time to write it all up, edit the videos, and sort through the hundreds of digital photos. Instead of waiting until I get it all down, I’ll post as it comes.
First, some background:
I’ve been a casual reader of Penny Arcade for a long time. At first I was attracted to Tycho’s writing, but I came to be impressed by Gabe’s obvious work ethic and sense of humor, too. I’d visit their site from time to time, but it wasn’t until they proposed a Penny Arcade Alliance on World of Warcraft that I became a real fan.
Despite starting my character about 30 levels behind, I managed to catch up and play with Dudefella, Gabe’s character, on the Dark Iron server. It was he that invited me into the Fancy Lads guild, it was he that invited me on horde-hunts nightly through the Western Plaguelands, and it was he that recruited me into Dudefella’s Arathi Basin Crew. I even ran Molten Core with his wife a time or two.
Sadly, Dudefella and Kimbela have stopped playing, but it was in his AB Crew that I met a friend of his, Elli. I’ve been running battlegrounds with Elli for, oh, probably more than a year now. We’ve chatted over Ventrilo and despite never using our real names, managed to get to know each other fairly well. Since the Burning Crusade expansion pack came out in January, Elli’s real-life friends and my own have formed a tight-knit little raiding party.
Earlier this year, I made a commitment to go to PAX, the Penny Arcade Expo, in Seattle. Oksana readily agreed to go with me, if only so she could do some shopping shop while I toured the video game related booths, panels, and concerts. When I mentioned to Elli that I’d be coming down for the convention, suggesting that we might be able to meet up, he went a step further and recruited me into his volunteer team of Omegatechs. His offer would be the catalyst for an amazing weekend.
At the last minute, our friends Mike and Amelia decided to join us. We booked hotels and flights, paid for our conference passes, and arrived just before the last weekend in August…
(To be continued…)