In 72 hours, I’ll be in Washington, D.C. I don’t know anyone there, and have no business there. I’m only going to Washington, D.C. to catch a plane to Washington, the state. Because that state is home to Seattle, Seattle is home to PAX Prime, and this year’s PAX Prime is home to the largest gathering of elite SpyParty players ever assembled.
This wasn’t explicitly planned; each year, developer Chris Hecker hands out exhibitor badges to a handful of dedicated fans who volunteer to work the game’s booth. In years past, the number of volunteers seems to have roughly matched the number of badges available, and contained a mix of experience levels. But the last couple of years, demand has outstripped supply. There is an unofficial calculus by which people are chosen, and this year it chose nearly all of the world’s top players, with the most notable exception (an incidental exception, I should note) raising money to go, anyway. The end result is that the top four players, and seven of the top ten (including myself), are all going to be in the same place at once.
This’ll be my first video game convention of any kind, and my first time meeting the people I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing against. People I’ve shot and been shot by, coughed and clanked at, talked to and tutored.
Rather than merely take in this experience and enjoy it to its fullest, I’ll be sullying it by taking lots of pictures and writing about what I see and hear, all for you to read and enjoy. And you probably won’t even appreciate it. Honestly, I don’t even know why I bother.
But bother I will. Whether or not it’ll be daily updates or one big retroactively-dated series will depend on just how much time is available inbetween managing the lines, answering questions, and getting up to whatever kind of quasi-trouble a bunch of game nerds can get up to in a place like Seattle (my money’s on something super cool like staying up really late). But for now, it’s all preparation: stuffing suitcases, printing itineraries, and, well, writing this.
More soon, so watch this space, and/or follow us on Twitter for updates.