In his PAX 2007 keynote address, noted actor, writer and geek icon Wil Wheaton challenged stereotypical notions of the antisocial nature of gaming, recounting stories of enjoying arcade games as a child with his brother, and sharing the gaming experience with his children. The theme of gaming as social interaction echoed throughout the three-day show, in panel discussions like "The Social Component in Gaming Today" as well as in free-play rooms filled with gamers competing against each other face-to-face, and in the popularity of "party" games like Rock Band and SingStar in the exhibition hall.
"PAX has always been about community," said Robert Khoo of Penny Arcade, "and I think that was really reflected in the overall vibe of the show. PAX celebrates what it means to be a gamer, and walking onto the show floor gives you this sense of kinship ... it just feels right."
This year's PAX was the first held at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, a move prompted by the dramatic increase in attendance.
Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) is a three-day celebration of games and gamer culture. The festival includes an exhibition floor filled with playable builds of upcoming tabletop, console, and computer games; a conference program of game-industry speakers on gaming topics; music concerts; freeplay areas; industry parties; game tournaments and more. Since its inception in 2004 the show has doubled in size each year, with 4,500 attendees in 2004, 9,500 in 2005, 19,300 in 2006, and 37,000 in 2007.
For more information visit www.pennyarcadeexpo.com.