Having finished my summer internship at a game company, I've returned to the Qatar in the Middle East for the (likely) last year of my teaching contract. However, in leaving Canada, I've moved away from almost all my fellow gamer folks - friends, colleagues, and family. This time in particular I notice I am going through a bit of "game geek withdrawal". That might explain why, for the second night in a row, I've stayed up past 1am to watch a live stream of Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) Prime from Seattle. And I've got to work tomorrow... I'll be there. Well, physically :)
I'm pretty sure I can watch it recorded tomorrow, so why bother? I suspect it's my desire to remain a part of the gamer (and larger geek culture) community. It makes me feel involved and connected, much like going to the Game Developer's Conference.
Plus, I can't make light of the fact that watching "Acquisitions Inc", a Dungeons & Dragons group comprised of Will Wheaton (of Star Trek fame), Jerry + Mike (Penny Arcade), and Scott Kurtz (PvP) are comedic gold :) Led by Dungeon Master Chris Perkins, their D&D episodes at PAX shows contain a balance of amusing narrative, crowd participation, and hilarious jokes/heckles, wrapped up in a nostalgic role-playing-game from many people's youth.
As ridiculous as they are, I really makes me wish I could play in a D&D group like this (I haven't played since my university years). I think my withdrawal and compensations would suggest are that I'm missing the sense of community you can have with people of similar interests: people who get your jokes and references, are interested in the same things you do, and crave that camaraderie as much as you do. This might be another sign that I should get into the game industry and be one with my fellow geeks :)