It's hard to wrap up everything that happens at a convention; there's just too much to do, too much to see, and too much to experience. Some people wait on the massive line to see the show floor, while others casually arrive later, content to mill about much more calmly. Is there a right way to go to conventions? A wrong way? Do the enforcers, the army of red-shirted organizers of the event, get a more fulfilling experience than us simple ticket-holders?
At the Downloadable Content podcast, I was fortunate enough to jump in alongside Brian, the creator of the podcast, and three other good friends to tackle this idea. All of the people are very different: some of us have been playing games our entire lives, while others don't get the chance to really play except while at PAX East, their once-a-year binge of flashing lights and game controllers. One of the podcast participants, Reid, had the chance to be an enforcer for the event this year, and so while he spent a lot of time at the convention busy, he also got to see the convention in a way I haven't had the chance to.
We don't come to a conclusion, by the way. How can you? The Penny Arcade circuit of conventions has gotten so big, so enormous, and so damn expansive in all it covers, that it's impossible to say there's a right or wrong way to enjoy yourself at one of these things. For me, it's the chance to see the things that are new, to talk to the developers of games face to face, to connect with as many people as possible. For Brian, it's the chance to find a fancy new card game, and to sit down with friends at an open table and laugh while trying to win. For Shanna, it's the concerts, the music, the crowds of excitement. For Zoë, it's the chance to see a panel on game creation, and yet another chance to get strange Cards Against Humanity cards.
Have fun: I guess that's the secret. Do what's fun for you, and don't look back. In the end, you can always get on Skype with your friends, and talk for hours about all the other cool things that were there. Take a listen to the podcast, if you like. It's our take on how to enjoy a convention, and hints about all the cool new things we can expect coming to us in the next few months in terms of games. If anything, I hope you can hear how many, many different types of people can enjoy an convention such as this. I hope it will be inspirational, giving listeners another reason to get up and find a chance to experience a convention such as this for themselves.