I made it! I survived several days in Boston without serious incident. I even went for a ride on the MTA, and did I ever return? Yes, I absolutely did.
Enough of that. How was PAX? you ask.
The main difference was that the crowds were there to play games and see Gabe and Tycho and wave their Nintendo DSis around instead of to watch Obama be inaugurated. Let me put it this way: the room for the Storytelling in Interactive Fiction panel filled up and was closed some fifteen minutes before the panel started. We packed a room with people to hear about interactive fiction.
I did go to a few other panels and wandered the expo floor, but most of the time I hung out in the IF Suite that Andrew Plotkin conjured up. I saw a lot of old friends and met new people who were entirely wonderful. Seriously, if I started listing all of them I’d be here all day, and who wants that when my lonely XBox 360 is begging me to play with it.
My main takeaway is that I need in-person IF events on a more regular basis. I’ve come back with a head stuffed full of ideas and new directions. I got a chance to be loud and passionate about IF in a way that I haven’t done in years. (Sorry, Nick, Aaron and others who got to hear me declaim loudly until Jason dragged me away. It was late and I was tired!)
Also I played Dragon’s Lair. For free! That’s nearly $1 at 2010 prices I saved!