Sunday, September 5, 2010

Breaking News from PAX 2010

PAX 2010 is taking place this weekend in Seattle, WA. Gamers from all corners of the world have been gathering in increasingly larger numbers each year since 2004, to game together, cheer each other on, celebrate gaming culture and get the low down on all the newest additions to the video gaming universe. Organized and run by gaming gurus Tycho and Gabe from Penny Arcade, PAX has grown so phenomenally in the last few years, that this year they held PAX East, a secondary convention in Boston, and it drew over 60,000 attendants. Advance-only tickets are sold, and the tickets for PAX 2010 in Seattle sold out an entire month before the event.

What Makes PAX Great? (Thanx and a hat tip to J.J. Games for the description)

It's open to the public.
It's created by gamers for gamers (not just for industry insiders).
The Omegathon video game tournament!
Cool keynote speakers.

One of the cooler things about this convention is Omegathon, three-day elimination game tournament. Twenty "Omeganauts" are chosen from those who pre-order PAX passes and compete in games from every category throughout the convention. During the PAX closing ceremonies a live championship match between the top 2 Omeganauts is held to crown a champion. In year’s past, championship matches included Pong, Combat, Tetris, Halo 3, Excitebike and Skeeball. Last year’s winner received an all expenses paid trip to Tokyo for the Tokyo Game Show and $5000 spending money!

About a month ago, Master Chris was notified he was to be one of the 20 Omeganauts to participate in the competition. Naturally he was elated, but since everyone that attends is usually an accomplished gamer, he was not really sure what his competition would be like. (If the Gentle Reader googles the name "Theoselk"- his gaming identity, they are likely to find the first page of results listing his ranking in games.) The Omeganauts are treated like VIPs at PAX and, as such, they are allowed to skip past the lines and enter the convention center an hour ahead of everyone else. When the reports started coming in that he had passed the first round, everyone at the Hall was happy, but still cautiously optimistic. Then came the news that he had passed the second, the third and finally, late Saturday evening, the fourth.
There remains only two more rounds, the final of which is the climax of the convention and usually televised on G4 cable television. The last message from him reported, "Playing Rockband in a fully packed concert hall 2500 strong. Final 4 at PAX- could go all the way!" So get out your rabbit's feet and keep your lucky game tokens close at hand- the whole Hall is rooting for Chris this weekend! Stay tuned! (Special thanx to A Midgett Blog for the pictures of PAX 2007)

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