Penny Arcade Expo 2006

Here’s a link to a story from PJ Hruschak of KGET TV channel 17 in Bakersfield, California. Why a UHF TV channel in Bakersfield should have this great web coverage of PAX is a good question. I’m betting it’s cause PJ fits his own description of PAX:

Tabletop games. Video games. PC games. Nerdcore music.

If you haven’t clicked to read the article yet, you really gotta. Not least to check out the smiling heads on the banner bar at KGET, and the surreal contrast they make with “Tabletop games. Video games. PC games. Nerdcore music.” 😀

Here’s a highlight from the article:

“We’re not a trade show,” Penny Arcade’s event coordinator, Mike Fehlauer e-mailed. “We’re not an ‘industry’ event. We’re a … call it a festival, that is the only place in the world where game makers and players can directly interact, share the love of games, participate in hot-topic panels, and rock out to nerdcore concerts.”

Here’s the data that amazed me:

Although only 3,300 people attended the first PAX in 2004, more than 9,000 attended last year and nearly that many have already pre-registered for PAX 2006. Fehlauer expects 13,000 to 18,000 attendees this year and has already booked a larger venue for next year.

I look forward to hearing how the numbers actually came out. Next year’s larger venue? The Washington State Convention Center in Seattle – three times as big as Bellevue’s convention center. I think the only question is whether they fill it in 2007 or 2008. 😀
So here’s an on-the-ground experience of this time. Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue is a fairly big convention center. I haven’t found people capacity anywhere, but its size is 48,000 square feet on four floors. This year’s convention also spilled over to three convention hotels in Bellevue. Despite that, yesterday afternoon the fire department declared the convention center over capacity, and was making people wait outside, only letting people in to match the people leaving. LOL, never heard of that at a convention before! Anyone else?

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