Pax was AWESOME. Really, really, really awesome. Super awesome. Like, you don't understand how awesome.
I have to say, while Rym and Scott got it mostly right, there's some more to be said.
First, PAX isn't a webcomics con. It's not even a con about Penny-Arcade the comic. It's a con about gaming. Pure and simple. PA fans are certainly in the majority, but most simply and importantly, PAX is a Gaming con. It's every possible gaming con: It's Video games, it's Tabletop, it's console and pc and handheld and german and role-playing and every other gaming style you can think of. Tycho drove this home really well in the enforcer afterparty, where he said in his plans for PAX '07, (roughly, cause I can't remember the original words), "Sure, Gabe and I will have panels, but most importantly we want games. We want a room full of all-night BYOC. A room full of all-night tabletop. Consoles scattered everywhere. Every game imaginable."
Secondly, to say it's the new E3 is a fallacy. Sure, the exhibitors are a major part of the show. Robert Khoo, the business guy at PA and the Con Chair, was pretty psyched about the exhibition hall for next year, but he was very devoted to the idea of not letting it take over the show.
Third: East coast has geeks? Heh. RIT is great (and I'm glad to finally be back), but Seattle really is Geek central. The Seattle Times has PAX on the front page during the con. The King County library system is the second largest in the country and is CRAZY-HUGE and CRAZY-geeky. Manga is popular all over, but you don't often see a library with a complete set of ALL OF CLAMP, including some really early stuff I didn't know existed. At pax, discussions just kind of shifted from one geek subject to another seamlessly. The topic of the con was gaming, but often you'd see the conversation drift to anime, star wars, star trek, sci-fi books, anything geeky.
Fourth: The DS was CRAZY-POPULAR. CRAZY. CRAZY. There were penises flying around pictochat everywhere. Even during the concerts, the Minibosses drummer whipped out his DS to draw penises to the crowd between sets. Tycho and Gabe both draw awesome penii. There's not that much more to say bout that.
Fifth: PAX East coast has some preliminary planning done, but there's no chance of it in '07. Khoo is aiming for '08, depending on how well the move to the Seattle Convention center goes. The Enforcer structure is already making plans to be able to support an '08 east coast PAX, but it'll probably be much easier if some East-coast people come out for PAX '07 to prove yourselves and learn the Enforcer ropes. It all depends on people.
I had fun. Come up next year. We have the Seattle Convention center, with 3? 4? times the space. We have music. We have games. We have crazy crazy awesome guests. It's going to be great.