The guys at Penny Arcade hold two gaming and general geekery conventions a year, PAX Prime and PAX East, with a main purpose of being open to the public. They have now announced a new convention, PAX Dev, specifically tailored to the developers. A little counter to the mission statement of PAX Prime and East, PAX Dev will be an “industry-only event,” though in an attempt to be a little less establishment-focused than it sounds, “business types,” such as retailers, will not be invited. From the PAX Dev site:
A few years ago, a group of developers asked us to host an offsite gathering while they were in town for PAX. That idea took hold, and from those conversations we decided to dedicate the two days before PAX Prime to the developer community. We’re shooting for a small (750-ish), intimate setting where digital and pen/paper game developers alike can focus on their craft. No business. No press. Just sharing, learning and debate.
Though it sounds a little better based on the above description, a reason why PAX became so popular–aside from having a place for fans to gather, meet and have fun–is because it allowed gamers into that developer atmosphere, which, due to PAX Dev, now has a separate convention where regular gamers are not allowed. This obviously shouldn’t hurt PAX at all, but does seem a little odd when one considers one of the main points of PAX.