A Peek Inside PAX: The Game Conference in Photos

PAX, the game expo in Seattle that attracted an estimated 70,000 people this weekend, is officially over.

For three days, thousands of diehard game fans walked the halls of the Washington State Convention Center, playing games, attending panels, listening to live music and, of course, people-watching.

The event, hosted by the folks at Penny Arcade, encourages people to dress up as their favorite characters, from Nintendo’s Zelda to all kinds of wizards and warriors.

While some people may believe that the sum total of the game industry spans Angry Birds to CityVille, PAX is a big reminder that the industry is much larger than that, and that it can often rival other forms of entertainment, even blockbuster films.

Some of this weekend’s highlights included the annual Q&A with Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, creators of the Penny Arcade comic strip, along with massive tournaments that drew hundreds of people to watch and cheer for the rival teams onstage.

Next year, PAX will be four days long, running from Friday to Monday in order to accomodate increasing demand. Penny Arcade also said it is adding a new event in Australia, joining its existing PAX East conference in Boston.

If you were wandering the streets of downtown Seattle this weekend, you would have seen the conference’s presence everywhere.

Here’s a glimpse of PAX from the inside:

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus