These guys are what PAX is all about. And in turn, PAX is a microcosm for the best of gamers. It's inclusive, warm, exciting and there isn't a hint of cynicism. I've seem this same spirit in countless discussions about games, in person and in the better parts of the Interwebs. Perhaps by coincidence, Steve wrote an excellent post about the heart of games yesterday. I think he's describing the same condition all those PAX attendees demonstrated over the weekend.
It was fantastic to see so many people excited about games (that many of them seemed excited about DeathSpank didn't hurt either). Ben made the astute observation that while GDC is emphasizes thinking about games, PAX is all about feeling good about them. And he's exactly right. While I love thinking about how to make games better, being reminded quite personally about why that actually matters is truly inspirational.
I met some amazing folks, not only developers and other game writers, but random people that dropped by the Hothead booth. The panel that only Corvus could make possible went great and the conversations that fell out of that were quite enlivening.
As an industry, we're still figuring a lot of things out. As a community, we fall short sometimes. But PAX reminds me that we do this because we love it. From the attendees and their boundless enthusiasm, to the Enforcers that work tirelessly to make the show possible, to all the developers who give the same talks and answer the same questions without ever seeming sick of it; that shared passion never fails to astound me.
Even though everything below and including my knees hurts like hell, it was a fantastic weekend and a very pleasant reminder as to why these crazy video games are so worthwhile. It really is all about you. Thanks for letting me take part.