I think it’s just a difference in who is attending, but there is a different energy around events like PAX compared to events like E3. PAX has a much larger gamer attendance than the heavy industry-centric E3 and with the lack of stability around the gaming industry lately, it has affected the mood of everyone going.
Everyone going still gets excited for the games that are announced and we are eagerly waiting to get our hands on the next potentially great game, but there used to be an extra energy from just being there. I’ve only been around PAX for a few hours already, but the difference in climate across attendees is much more noticeable than in years prior. Everyone isn’t just excited to playtest something that isn’t even out yet, or to just meet some of their favorite gaming personalities, but they are genuinely excited to be here in Seattle and attending PAX.
PAX set out to be a celebration of gaming, the gamers that support it, and the up-and-comers of the next generation. Panels designed to feed into the many avenues of creation for gaming. Writing, News, Music, Game Design, Character Creation. Spreading the knowledge out for hopefuls to get their foot in the door. Even if it’s only a leg-up to get started in a personal-passion project, the panels designed for the attendees are here to help them get started in a region in the gaming ecosystem.
I guess the contrast is simple then. PAX is designed to show off the people, to get others inspired to create using games. E3 is designed to show off the games, instead of the people.