PAX 2009 Recap

Gotta love PAX. There truly isn’t any other gaming event that can bring EVERY type of gamer together. Whether you play Dungeons and Dragons, can’t get enough of Call of Duty 4, or fall asleep face-first into your Nintendo DS every night, there’s a place for you at the Penny Arcade Expo. This year, ASTRO Gaming came to PAX in style, bringing our kick-ass booth, amazing ASTRO crew in tow, and plenty of ways to rock out with the A40 Audio System.

First, I want to say thanks to our great friends at Bungie and Microsoft who were awesome enough to hook us up with the upcoming new Halo 3 Mythic Maps. For the first time, we had a chance to play the Midship remake (now known as Heretic) and the brand new Citadel. Go check out our last blog post for some shots of the setup and more details!

You’ve heard of the OMEGATHON, right? You know, the three-day elimination tournament where twenty randomly picked “Omeganauts” (picked from those who pre-order their PAX passes) duke it out on random PC, console, or tabletop games? This year, the Omeganauts ripped through rounds of Mario Kart Wii, Bookworm Adventures, Halo 3: ODST, The Beatles: Rock Band, Connect Four, and for the championship, an epic final match of Skee-Ball! Congratulations to Valwryn for winning first place and Fallout for taking second! Man, now we need to go practice our skee-ball

You wouldn’t think of PAX as the place for tons of concerts, but rest assured, there’s no shortage of impressive (and slightly nerd-core) music acts. In attendance were Freezepop, the high-energy electronic band which you may remember from Guitar Hero 2 and Rock Band. Other PAX favorites include MC Frontalot, the best in nerdcore/geek rap (and the 541st best rapper in the world), and the infamous Jonathan Coulton whose mystical folk music can sooth even the most angsty of nerds.

Don’t forget all the awesome PAX after parties. Gotta say, it’s pretty sweet when a company party includes free drinks (if you’re legal), food, and limited edition swag. We could tell you all about what went down at the Bungie party, the Microsoft party, or maybe the insane CCP/EVE Online party… but we’d have to kill you. Okay, one hint: midgets!

Lastly, despite all the fun and games, unfortunately some attendees came to PAX carrying the swine flu (otherwise known as its PAX variant: H1Nerd1). If you attended the event and are feeling any flu like symptoms, please see your doctor immediately. If you flew or took the train home, please check this list of flights/trains to see if you may be at risk. For more information on H1N1, please check the King County Department of Health website.

Did you miss PAX this year? Never fear, there’s also PAX East coming to Boston this March and we just might have to stop by. Otherwise, the regular ol’ PAX will always be there every year in Seattle and so will we.

Just remember to wash your hands. Kthxbye.

— the ASTRO Crew