The Penny Arcade Expo has been compared to the virtually-defunct E3, having grown to an immense size within 5 years. The proof of this growth is how much attention PAX 08 received form large media outlets like G4 TV. Xplay’s Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb were out on the show floor taking interviews with all the big names, and were constantly surrounded by their own entourage.
If you watch Xplay’s coverage of the Penny Arcade Expo, they make you believe like they were at the event for its entirety, saying to tune in for “tomorrow’s coverage”. In actuality the gaming celebrities were only there for a portion of one day. They had a very efficient tour, jumping from one booth to another.
It’s interesting to watch Adam when he is off camera. If you’ve ever watched the show, then you know Adam’s almost-robotic journalistic style and furrowed facial expressions. He asks questions that are straight to the point and nods in a jumpy mechanical way.
When the camera lights turn off, the G4 microphone is immediately grabbed by one of the anonymous entourage, Adam’s face softens to a normal expression, and his body language looks just like anyone else. I saw him going over papers with some of the G4 crew, apparently working out where they were going next and what he was going to say.
I have been a fan of Xplay for years, following it when it was “Extended Play” on ZDTV (then sold to TechTV, and then sold to G4). Watching the early low-budget version of the show really gives you an idea of how good a gaming journalist Adam really is. Back then he didn’t have an army of staff directing him.
No one but the G4 staff can comment on how much on Adam’s material is his own. No one person can know everything about the gaming industry, much less research every aspect and write about it. This is not saying that Adam an Morgan don’t work hard… they are probably working harder than ever now and there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything.
I tried to get close to Adam to speak with him between interviews, but really couldn’t get close because of the bodyguards (although they weren’t particularly beefy). I spoke with them for a bit and learned that they were not G4 staff, but hired by G4 for this event. They wouldn’t let me close, even with my awesome OCModShop celebrity, but recommended that I try to reach him when he’s walking around. I gave my business card to the lanky security guard to forward to Mr. Sessler, but I’m sure it made its way to the nearest recycle bin.
So, if you’re reading, Adam… OCModShop wants to interview you. We’ll treat you right, cuz we’re superfans and think you’re awesome.