After PAX: Back to normal life

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Tags games pax rbn swineflu

I'm back from Penny Arcade Expo. And as usual, it was one of the best weekends of my life.

The event itself

I talked about Rock Band probably too much while I was at the event. This was mostly because of how excited I am about Rock Band Network. I signed up for early access to the peer review team, and since that included 4 months of XNA membership I hope I can use the access to learn to track some songs and get them into the marketplace. If things work out I'll be looking for a local band with some multitrack master recordings for me to experiment with getting into the Rock Band store. I'll be doing this at Gangplank because if tracking songs for Rock Band takes off as something I can do for profit, I'd like to have the local community behind me.

Other things I was interested in: I signed up for early access to the Star Trek MMO. I usually stay away from MMOs as I generally think they require too much invested time, but I love Trek enough to want to try this out. GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony shirts were very popular, I got one in Pink. And the big sequels like Bioshock 2 and Left 4 Dead 2, and No More Heros 2 looked awesome. There were so many awesome games it would take too long to list, and there are plenty of sites out there with better reviews than I can write.

The People, or PAX the reason why PAX is so much more than a gaming expo

PAX is more about the people than the con for many people who attend, and I never get to be around all of them at the same time anywhere else.

Friday after walking around the convention to get to know where everything is and attending the keynote and first Q&A, I broke off from my friends to have a day of faggotry. After attending the panel "How to make it in the back door: a rainbow colored perspective of the gaming industry" I went to Cafe Metropolitan for Gay Gamer's second annual meet-up. I had a great time. I wish I had schmoozed a little more, but I made some connections with great people just like last year. These events are a huge ego boost for me, because bar nights never work for me anywhere but Seattle. I also caught the end of Noobtoob's annual play-through of Kickle's Cubicle on the NES in classic console freeplay.

Saturday and Sunday were a mix of hanging with my friends, the event, and community events. My alarm didn't go off and I missed breakfast Sunday, so I didn't get to see some people I wanted to this year. The post PAX dinner downstairs at The Taphouse was a HUGE success. The catered food was good (not as good as if you order an entree in the restaurant though), we had our own bartender down there, and I can't say what one of the most awesome parts was, but let's just say I got by with a little help from my friends.

Every year I get home and find it jarring to settle back into my routine. An event that can make an introvert feel depressed from a sudden lack of stimulation and social interaction is quite something. Reading the twitter stream for the event, many people feel the same way. Even the ones who didn't get sick after.

People coming down with a cold after pushing themselves too hard to pack in as much as they can into their weekend is common, but it became more serious this year. There were confirmed cases of H1N1.

In an event of 60,000 people it's easy to still feel disconnected from the few reported cases, but I wasn't. I was (jokingly) kissed by a guy that has come down with H1N1, and he stayed in the same hotel room as some of my other friends.

I feel fine, but some of my friends currently do have the flu. I wish them a speedy recovery, especially Ben, who needs to get better and land the job he's trying for at Disney. I don't think anyone's in serious danger, but I hope the spread gets contained.

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