The Penny Arcade Expo 2005 was not a con such as I was expecting. Sure, there was asstons of gaming, but the attendees were not all the typical gamers. We had The Frag Dolls, for one, and a bunch of women whom could have been Frag Dolls as well. We had handsome, athletic men. We had people from all walks of life. And it was good.
Thursday was simple enough. Wander in to Maydenbauer Center in Bellevue and puck up my staff badge and shirt. Shirt was black and longsleeved. WHY? It's the middle of freakin' summer, fer chrissakes. Do one last tour of the Center before heading home, as setup seems to have been taken care of by the time I arrived.
No workie! Slept like the dead, got out there about 3. Wandered about aimlessly, played a game of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and actually gave the running (14 straight games) a serious run... I'm better than I thought I was. Saw the first PA panel. Eventually wandered up to the Console Tourney room, which I would become intimately familiar with later, and finally find friendpersonpat. Hang out with his cadre of friends for a bit, then decide to get food... Only the Subway has run out of bread, and the wait is 45 minutes. Fizzuck that. Pat, his friend Greg and I determine that Vietnamese sounds good... Oh, hey! What the Pho! Stomach full, we return to PAX and I then leave. Damn busses.
At the joint at 8 in the morn, stand around for a half hour whilst waiting for them to unlock the doors. Get things ready for the Halo 2 tourney, only one problem... NO COPIES OF HALO 2. None. Nada. So, running around, I finally get down to Console Freeplay, where some of the Freeplay people had apparently taken the libirty of 'borrowing' all 24 copies of the game for the freeplay. There's 11 Xboxes downstairs. Freeplay has apparently fucked some other stuff up, too (including our networking of the PS2s), so there's much irritation from everyone directed at Freeplay. We test the network a bit (ie, play), then test to make sure that other games run smooth, too (Guilty Gear XX#Reload... I made my other Enforcers fear Millia). The tourney goes quickly, though, thanks to keeping spectators out until the semis. 2 rolls around, and I go bag. Exhibition Room, ho! Grab the new America's Army game, demos for FEAR and The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. Snag swag from PA in the form of stickers, from the NCsoft booth in the form of the CoH Bootleg Edition and bumperstickers. Finally find the FriendsPeople again, and promptly lose them. Checked out a panel on Gaming & Controversy (excellent), then catch up with the FriendsPeople again, now with 100% more faetan. As they head to go line up for the musical events, it becomes time for me to leave. GODDAMN BUSSES. I MISSED THE MINIBOSSES ROCKING THE CASBAH. Q_Q
Finale! Set up the Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory tourney. Help make up a fake Tourney schedule for Monday, featuring Kabuto Chojin, General Chaos, Outlaw Golf and Dead Man's Hand. And others. All bad games. Except Minesweeper... 3v3 Minesweeper. Fear. Anyway, as the tourney goes underway, one team finde themselves with a bye in the second round, when another Enforcer and I team up to become Team No Chance In Hell. Neither of us have ever played. The team with the Bye manages to win, obviously, but only via timeout. They would take the tourney by wiping out the other teams. We managed to be inept enough to confuse them greatly, and thus a legend and a Clan was born. Team NCiH shall endure and be forever the underdogs, but through pure dumb luck and ineptness, we shall triumph in not getting stomped in games where better players do. Yar! So, after the tourney, I try and procure more swag, garnering a Guild Wars tee and a PA "WTS [WANG] X1 PST" tee in a size I cannot wear, so off to a friend it goes. Seek out the FriendsPeople, lose them (the theme is unsurprising), then go sit in on the second PA panel, and I get to hear the sounds of 1000 people cracking their knuckles at once. For serious. Catch up with the FriendsPeople again, and hang out awhile while waiting to see the ending of the Omegathon, a massive all-around gaming tournament for a massive prize... The NES, Complete. Every game, every accessory, everything. Plus a new Alienware limited edition Star Wars system. The final was FUCKING AWESOME. It was the Atari 2600's Combat. 15 points, 2 of 3. It was a spectacle to behold... I've never seen people jumping to their feet as someone plays something like that. It warmed my heart, and nearly brought a tear to my eye. It was amazingly close, but the older gamer prevailed. Hung with the FriendsPeople (sans Pat, whom disappeared before I could say g'bye, the ass) while they awaited their ride, then bid them adieu as they left. Thus, PAX ended, and I would soon make my back scream in agony when I decided to purchase 2 24-pack boxes of BAWLS GuaraneXX for $20, and then carry them two+ blocks uphill to the bus stop.
Technically hasn't happened yet, but I'm going back to help with tear-down. Seems like a nice thing to do and all, and I might be able to score extra swag. Free shit is always nice.
P.S. - Pat. It was hella fun hanging out with you and your crew. We should attempt to get together again sometime.
Now back to your regularly scheduled friendslist.