Fans Freak Out at PDXLAN with Unexpected Giveaway

by Brian Caulfield

Some hollered. Others hooted. Other just bowed down before NVIDIA’s Tom Petersen as if he were some kind of digital deity.

“Oh my gawd,” one gamer shouted.

We didn’t know that giving away these USB drives — detailed, reduced-scale reproductions of our award-winning GeForce GTX Founder’s Edition graphics cards — would spark an epic round of meticulously crafted miniature memory madness at PDXLAN.

But maybe we should have suspected it.

Best part, none of the more than 500 hardcore PC enthusiasts gathered in Portland for the four-day gaming event saw this coming. That is, until we wheeled out a cart loaded with hundreds  of these collectibles.

“Here’s what we’re gonna do,” Petersen announced to the crowd as jaws dropped. “We’re going to give everyone one.”

Glorious GeForce Giveaways

After nearly two decades, the PDXLAN gathering can feel a bit like a family reunion. It’s reminder in PC gaming’s strong roots in informal gatherings of gamers who hooked their PCs together at house parties to play in local area networks.

It’s a sign of the gaming community’s growing influence: the event is usually sold out within minutes of tickets being made available, and participants typically raise more than $75,000 each year for charity. And it’s also a look at gaming’s future – with vendors eager to connect with one of the most influential communities in gaming.

Master Builders

We wanted to do something special for the community at PDXLAN. These are gamers who don’t just use our products, they build their gaming rigs around them — often proudly displaying the GeForce GTX in carefully-crafted see-through cutouts.

So what better group of people with USB drives to match their graphics cards? These 64 GB capacity USB drives feature a fast, fully-retractable USB connector and an integrated eyelet to connect to a keyring. They’re crafted from metal and painted plastic for a premium, weighted feel.

The giveaway caused an uproar online, and off. “Holy moly, that’s incredible,” one tweeted. “Some lucky people right there,” another wrote.

PC Gaming: Stronger Than Ever

We think they liked it. We’ve been part of PDXLAN since it’s inception in 2003. Today, PC games are a $33 billion industry. There are more than 1.2 billion gamers worldwide, with 1.4 billion expected by 2020. That makes it more rewarding than ever for us to connect face-to-face with the gamers who gave rise to all of this.

As part of that effort, Petersen briefed the PDXLAN community on the new generation of thin, light, powerful Max-Q design laptops, and updated them on the latest developments in desktop gaming powered by our GeForce GTX 1080Ti.

We also wanted to show our appreciation, with giveaways that included our full range of GTX 10 series GPUs and our SHIELD Android TV. But it was our smallest giveaway that got our biggest reaction — and gave us the biggest smiles.