Penny Arcade Expo 2007: Day 3 – Sundays are Lazy

August 26, 2007

I remember from PAX05 that, for the most part, Sunday is pretty lazy and my expectations have been fulfilled. The most exciting thing going on is trying to arrange getting my gear from the Sheraton to the Days Inn while participating in an all-day Starcraft board game tournament.

This means I may miss the final of the Omegathon – the very climax of PAX it could be said – which is a touch disappointing, but I’m sure videos of it will hit YouTube soon enough.

There are a lot of children around today which seems slightly incongruous to me, don’t their parents know where they are? They seem to have a strong draw to console free play which makes some sense: PAX is basically a giant 3 day arcade for locals. The only non-local I’ve discovered were the SE++ crowd from the Penny Arcade Forums who I managed to party with until 3:00 AM. Forum posts indicate that they went until 6. I don’t party like that unless I don’t need to move the next day.

PAX underscores, for me, a lot of the problems I have with gamer culture. There is a terrifyingly bearded man stalking Handheld Lounge B in order to secure buttons for the distributed handheld tournement and he exemplifies the antisocial undercurrent on which “gammingdom” hangs its hat. I don’t pass judgment on such people, but a conference for an inherently antisocial subculture is kind of amusing to watch, the social exchanges are all clumsy and brash. It is the mathematics of the John Gabriel Internet Fuckwad Theory subtracting the anonymity, and I was disappointed with how most of my line conversations worked out.

And in terms of gender dynamics, 99% of the few girls that are here are wearing anime-style short skirts and impenetrable frowns. I don’t even know why they came – aside from the ones being visibly dragged by their boyfriends.

I only lurked at the concert last night for the Jonathan Coulton set, and seeing Skullcrusher Mountain performed live allays any misgivings I could possibly have about the entire adventure. While he was pelted almost disrespectfully by the audience with requests between every song, he handled it with ease and made enough nerd-friendly jokes to earn the favour of the audience despite not responding to the requests. M.C. Frontalot was up next and I can’t understand a word of what he does in a live performance.

There are some more intimate thoughts I have regarding PAX07 but I’ll save those for a summary post when I have more time.