Justin Wong at PAX 2012

It really is amazing what the people behind Penny Arcade have been able to do with Penny Arcade Expo. Unlike other video game events like the Tokyo Game Show and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), PAX was never really meant to be a “trade show” in the conventional sense; it was meant to be an event by the fans for the fans. But it has grown to be so much bigger than that, even expanding with PAX East and PAX Australia.

This will actually be my fourth time at PAX Prime in Seattle. When I first attended in 2010, I was a solo team of one and I only had a few short hours to explore the exhibition halls. This year, we’re going as a team of four and we will be there for the full four-day weekend. That should give us more time to check out the booths, watch a few panels and hopefully play a few games. Who knows? I might finally get that Street Fighter rematch with EG Justin Wong.

When I tell people that I go to these different trade shows, conventions and events, they tell me how lucky I am and that they wish they could go. While I would agree that I am lucky to have these opportunities, I must also remind them that covering these events is not a vacation; it’s actually a lot of work. In addition to our appointments with the vendors and our attendance at panels, we still have to write articles and put together some video coverage.

Every year is a little different, but you can watch the PAX 2012 video we did for MEGATechNews to get a sense of what you can expect from this year’s expo. I hear that Dr. Tyler Black will be back for another panel and I fully intend on attending the special fighting games community panel too.

Psylocke + Buzz Lightyear = ?

And no, I don’t plan on dressing up, but I’m sure there will be plenty of cosplayers in attendance. To infinity and beyond!

If you’re going to be in Seattle this weekend for PAX Prime and you happen to see me roaming the exhibition halls or attending one of the many panels, be sure to say hello. I was thinking of bringing my Nintendo 3DS along too, so we can totally exchange Miis with the StreetPass or, time permitting, get in a quick race in Mario Kart 7. Sorry, I don’t have Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Yet.