The smell of geekery is in the air. Penny Arcade Expo, the annual pilgrimage of gamers and misfits is this weekend, and I’m sitting in my Sheraton hotel room and couting down the 4 hours until the doors open. Yesterday we drove 14 hours across the Canadian Rockies from Edmonton, Alberta – spirits high, iPods filled with video game music. Was it fun? Well, I mean its 14 hours, thats a long time. Someday I hope to be uncheap enough to spring for a flight.
I’m here as a hanger-on to some of the team from BioWare presenting Mass Effect at the Microsoft booth, so while I am laden with choice tidbits of secret information I had to sign an NDA before stepping into the car. Damn. The guy I’m bunking with at the Sheraton is a programmer on their unannounced Xbox 360 project. Want to know about it? Sorry, they told me they’d have me killed.
As I’m unable to liveblog (roaming data for 1 cent a kilobyte? No thanks) and can’t produce much video my updates will be occasional at best, but I hope I can bring you a bit of the style of a super nerd video game convention from remote. This is the biggest independent gaming con in the history of foreverness, or so they tell me. And all for two guys who draw pictures and write funny words. I should have ignored my parents and followed my dream.
The line at 10AM was already considerable. People were playing card games and assembling jigsaw puzzles (?) while awaiting permission to enter gamer mecca. The street is decorated with banners, so I guess PAX has finally made it to something resembling mainstream. I ducked down the street for $11 donuts and coffee at Lola, having indulged in the best pizza in the entire world at sister restaurant Serious Pie last night. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood, you can drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org which I can pick up via mobile.
(if you hit Serious Pie the clam pizza was spectacular, as was the sausage and peppers shown here. The clam was better though.)