“This is the new E3.”
– an attendee coming out of the exhibition hall
“Have you had breakfast? You look hungry!”
– the barker at the “Win Your Weight in Ramen” merchant booth
– Jonathan Coulton, ad-libbing at a crucial narrative juncture during his performance of “Creepy Doll”
“See, now you’re just a johnny-come-lately.”
– Tycho & Gabe, denying the second request for photos on stage during a Q&A panel
“You can’t say Bioshock.”
– a questioner, making an amendment to “What’s your favorite game?”
Today was the last day of Penny Arcade Expo 2007, the first I’ve attended, and it was quite awesome. I’ll post a more detailed account later, but Wil Wheaton rocked the house with his “we are gamers” keynote speech; Jonathan Coulton soft-rocked the crowd while opening the Saturday night concert; and Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik (a.k.a. Tycho and Gabe, respectively) killed whenever they were on stage, whether it was answering questions, considering strange requests, or drawing a Penny Arcade strip live.
In many ways, the event combined the best of both worlds: the glitz and professionalism of an industry trade show with the scrappiness and flexibility of a fan-run convention. This is a show created by gamers for gamers, and I expect it to get bigger and better, without compromise, for many years to come.