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PAX 2010 - The Scoop

Another year, another great PAX. If you've never been to the Penny Arcade Expo, it's debatably the best gathering to celebrate videogames and videogame culture on earth. E3 might win out in terms of sheer size, number of parties, and the incredible quantity of games on display, but PAX has never attempted to be direct competition. Instead, this convention focuses more on the gamers themselves, and in doing so, has become the preeminent place to be a gamer.

Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2010

E3 2010

For me, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is a giant, growling contradiction in terms.

Every year I attend the behemoth celebration of digital entertainment and culture, and I just can't process the massive, public scale of this thing. The towering screens and throngs of people tell me that this is a business like any other—one that's loved by millions of people, and one that makes millions of dollars. Games are more popular and more prevalent than ever—without question. If that's the case, and it is, then it's ironic that it's always felt like such a solo endeavor for me over the years.

Yes, gaming is social and I've spent countless hours playing and discussing it with my friends and colleagues, but at the end of the day, games remain a lovely pastime that's processed by yours truly as the quest of a man alone. It's time spent by myself. If you rearrange the letters of "Quality Time" (and delete a few) you get "Quiet"... So, the loud, flashy marketing blitz that is the Electronics Entertainment Expo stands in the face of my lifetime of experience.

So, with these overwhelming feelings running through my head as a counterpoint to the throbbing crowds and masses of fans eager for their electrons, I submerge into the depths of E3 to bring you my news and impressions; the halting, limited coverage of a solo gamer set adrift on the convention center floor.

Enjoy.

E3 2010: Day Three Impressions

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Screenshot

That elusive, Sasquatch-like gargantuan has slipped into the woods once more. Yes, despite its immense size and broad scope, all three days of E3 managed to disappear without warning. Somehow, somehow, the darn beast got away from me with some of its treasures locked away; with some of its stones left unturned... Ah well, now that it's over, I've something to look forward to—next year's show.

E3 2010: Day Two Impressions

Sports Champions - Fight: Lights Out Screenshot

No one wants to be outdone in life, so it would seem that keeping up with the Joneses will never go out of style.  A perfect example? The PlayStation Move. Since its announcement, the Move has never seemed more than a "me too" device to compete with Nintendo's massive Wii marketshare.  The official word, of course, has always been "Just you wait, Joe Gamer."  Well, now's its time to shine­—it’s time to put it all out on the line.

E3 2010: Day One Impressions

Vanquish Screenshot

Every year I attend the behemoth celebration of digital entertainment and culture, and I just can't process the massive, public scale of this thing. The towering screens and throngs of people tell me that this is a business like any other—one that's loved by millions of people, and one that makes millions of dollars. Games are more popular and more prevalent than ever—without question. If that's the case, and it is, then it's ironic that it's always felt like such a solo endeavor for me over the years.

Sony's PlayStation 3 Move Event (Seattle)

Sony PlayStation 3 Move (Seattle, Washington) Event

On April 8, Sony hosted an event in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood in honor of the new PlayStation 3 Move controller and its games. I was fortunate enough to attend the event with a number of other local press folks and snapped a few pictures in between scarfing hors d'oeuvres.

The Games of PAX - Day Two

The Games of PAX - Day Two

Since this was my first year going to a conference as a family unit (mommy-daddy-baby) I decided to skip most of the presentations and after-hours events. My little boy was great on the exhibition floor, but I didn't want to push my luck… or his endurance. Since I don't have much to say on the other events that occurred (and boy, there were an absolute ton of them) here's my final rundown of the games I saw and played.

The Games of PAX - Day One

The Games of PAX - Day One - Dark Void Screenshot

Today was the first day of PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) 2009. I have to admit that I hadn't really been paying attention to many of the press materials prior to the show, and I was a little taken aback when the family unit and I arrived on-site to find that the place was an even larger, more spread-out roil of gamers than it was last year. I think the expo may be reaching its critical mass at the Washington State Trade & Convention Center, honestly. I certainly don't want it to leave, but I have a hard time imagining more people being able to cram into that space.

Touring Home beta

So, I just finished my first tour of Sony's new Home app, and... there's not really much to say.

I got an e-mail out of the blue this afternoon inviting me to download the Home Beta and "join in a celebration" between 6pm-8pm, Pacific. After being less than impressed with the New Xbox Experience, I was ready to get an up-close look at what Sony has to counter with, so I did just that.

My first experience as a playtester

Playtest Lab

Back when I was a little kid in the late 1980s, I had this idealized vision of how awesome it must be to play video games for a living. I knew that there were people out there who played games for the purpose of quality testing and so on, and for whatever reason, my little kid brain thought it must be the greatest job in the world. I probably saw it as at least on par to working at a candy factory. It all comes down to that fact that I had no understanding of the law of diminishing returns and therefore believed that being able to do a thing that I like all day every day must be nothing short of bliss.

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