Arriving at PAX East around 1PM I was shocked to see the hordes of people clambering to enter the hall and start grabbing seats for the various panels. As I lined up to get my Media Pass, I couldn’t help but notice Scott Kurtz of PVP Online arriving to get his VIP pass. I made small talk with him and was astounded that the person at the booth didn’t know him. This is PAX, there will be many cool people and events and we are all just geeks and that is very cool!
I started the day with the Wil Wheaton keynote, I had heard and read about his previous PAX keynote and was very excited to see him on stage. He is quite like the rest of us attendees — a gamer, a geek and a cool guy that has a lot to say.
Wil walked out to a thunderous crowd and looked very comfortable and happy to be among us. I liveblogged his keynote and his underlying message was that we should be comfortable in our skin; use our imagination; and play, enjoy, and share with all our fellow geeks and gamers. "You are home" was his mantra and it resonated with the crowd.
Wil Wheaton is a charismatic speaker and an everyman gamer, but once his keynote was done the real stars Gabe and Tycho (Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins) took the stage. To massive applause and with everyone stopping in their tracks, they started by announcing this event's Omeganauts. They then proceeded to run an amusing Q&A session.
At times during the Q&A there weren’t any questions, just comments about how much people admire and respect their work. This visibly humbled the two men, but they did also discuss a few things. They will be expanding their fourth panel broadcast to fill the gap left by their no longer doing podcasts. There will be another Acquisitions Incorporated campaign, this time in Dark Sun (Yay!) and it may have video. The only negative response was that there will not be an episode three of the Penny Arcade game. They couldn’t get what they wanted from it so they will complete the story in print rather then in a new game.
Leaving the entertaining Q&A we then proceeded to a very interesting Panel on the P.B. Winterbottom XBLA game. I liveblogged the panel and it was pretty amazing hearing how two students took a thesis project and made it into a top rated XBLA game. Anyone interested in game design should look into what these guys did with hard work, an idea, and a never quit attitude. Plus they love pies and that is very cool.
With the expo hall closed and no other panels really catching my eye, Day one of PAX East ended at the convention centre. I will be heading over to the Kotaku party where Alienware is demoing high end PCs and the drinks are free. It has been a good day and tomorrow looks even better. With a handful of interviews and a few great liveblogs still to come, PAX East will continue to bring geek culture to the masses.