SEATTLE, PAX 2013 – As I sit here on the 10th floor of Seattle’s public library, I’m trying to make some sense of the last four days of gaming conference, the Penny Arcade Expo.
It’s not like gaming is as important as, say, the current crisis in Syria, or attempts to fight poverty and homelessness, or even the inability of spaces like PAX to provide a safe place for women or people who are trangendered.
On the other hand, gaming is a massive cultural phenomenon. PAX’s founders, webcomic writers Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, wanted to create a convention that would focus on gamers, whether they play tabletop games, video games, or card games. That there is a massive interest in this convergence of different kinds of gamers, from D&D nerds to arcade geeks, is an understatement, as evidenced by quickly sold-out tickets months in advance of the conference as well as by the huge herds of human beings of all stripe who I saw traipsing from one booth to another this weekend in the Washington State Convention Center..