Daily Illuminator

February 27, 2010: March Conventions

The office has been a-buzz this week, putting art and words together, brainstorming crazy ideas, and asking silly questions. What's sparked this burst of activity? The conventions of March.

Next month we'll be hitting two big conventions. One of them -- the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas -- has been around for decades. As the name implies, it's a trade show, where the exhibitors are publishers and distributors of the hobby games industry, and the attendees are retailers from around the country. We always look forward to this event because of the high concentration of professionals -- it's always a good place to get feedback on our latest (or next!) release, from the guys and gals who are actually selling the games.

The other major show is PAX East (March 26-29). This is the first year the Penny Arcade Expo has taken their event to the East Coast, but it promises to be as big -- or bigger! -- as their Seattle-based shows. This event is nearly the polar opposite of the Vegas show: the attendees are gamers of all genres (console, handheld, PC, tabletop), the exhibitors are electronic publishers, and the focus of the show is playing games. Yes, there are panels and concerts, but the rows of computers and stacks of boxed games take up the majority of the floorspace. In general, it's just a geek-fest with tens of thousands of friends you haven't met yet. (As of this writing, all the three-day passes have been sold, but a few hundred of the Saturday and Sunday passes are still available. --pkc)

The worst part of these two very important shows is the timing. We'll be flying to Vegas for GTS, then directly to Boston for PAX East. Randy may not mind being on the road that much, but having shows back to back wears on my voice. Guess I'll just have to let the dice do the talking!

-- Paul Chapman

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