Penny Arcade today announced that the 5th annual Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) dates will be August 29th, 30th and 31st of 2008 with exhibitor packets available now and attendee registration opening in January. This past August 37,000 gamers filled the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Wash. for the 4th annual Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) game festival.
In his PAX 2007 keynote address, noted actor, writer and geek icon Wil Wheaton challenged stereotypical notions of the antisocial nature of gaming, recounting stories of enjoying arcade games as a child with his brother, and sharing the gaming experience with his children. The theme of gaming as social interaction echoed throughout the three-day show, in panel discussions like The Social Component in Gaming Today as well as in free-play rooms filled with gamers competing against each other face-to-face, and in the popularity of party games like Rock Band and SingStar in the exhibition hall.
PAX has always been about community, said Robert Khoo of Penny Arcade, and I think that was really reflected in the overall vibe of the show. PAX celebrates what it means to be a gamer, and walking onto the show floor gives you this sense of kinship … it just feels right.
Now the largest game festival in North America, PAX 2007 featured an enormous selection of panels, tournaments, concerts and other activities centered around game culture. This year’s PAX was the first held at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center, a move prompted by the dramatic increase in attendance. Thus far, the festival’s attendance has doubled each year: There were 4,500 attendees in 2004, 9,500 in 2005, 19,300 in 2006, and 37,000 for 2007. Attendance for the 2008 event is expected to reach forty-seven million bajillion people.