Monday, September 01, 2008

What I've been trying to say

I think I may have said that the whole Engineer/Spy Rock Band thing was the best thing I'd seen at PAX, and it's still way up there, but there is another thing which will hold that title for a long, long time.

Well at least a year, PAX '09 is going to be sweet.

The problem is that in order for you to understand it you would have to be the kind of person who would find Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog interesting. Then you would have to be the kind of person who would have seen it. These qualifications cut off a huge chunk of the populous, but it gets better, after that you'd have to be the kind of person who gets cosplay, or at least things it's okay.

What I saw was basically this being done to Tycho during the 3rd PA Q&A panel. Fun fact, the person they're doing it to in that video is Felicia Day, who's actually one of the main characters in Dr. Horrible. At the time I didn't know that they were going to do it to anyone else, and what I saw was an entire theater filled with some five to ten thousand people erupt into laughter and applause at what we all recognized as a genius prank.

And this is the real thing. That was several thousand, and it wasn't most of us. There were at least thirty thousand there, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that there were fifty thousand. We're not some crazy fringe group. We're a people, we're a movement, and there's a lot of us, but we're horribly spread out. We have our common connections and our meeting grounds but they're all so virtual. Tycho actually tells this story quite well.

"PAX has developed a culture independent of Penny Arcade, which really makes me wish I had called it something other than PAX, but Robert only gave me five seconds to come up with it. All we have done is provide the barest sort of excuse, and in moments a coherent nation forms. What this tells us is that it was always present. It simply needed a vessel, a thing we have done our best to provide."(Tycho, 9-1-2008)

This is why PAX is so powerful, it makes that nation real if only for a few days. There are things there that you just can't get. I could rant for an hour on what was done with Rock Band alone. Hearing an audience cheer as your flourish your guitar is amazing, singing along with nine other gamers to the point where your collective rendition of "When You Were Young" is louder then both the actual singer, and the giant speakers is amazing, playing giant tournaments is amazing, so damn much is amazing. I just don't have the words to encapsulate it. Luckily I've been provided with a new one.



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