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Who needs a PAX ticket when dancing zombies are free?

Winda Benedetti

If you don't have a badge for PAX, don't worry. There's plenty of gaming goodness to see just outside the doors.

The video gaming extravaganza known as the Penny Arcade Expo may be completely sold out, but who says you need a golden ticket to get in on the gaming fun?

PAX (as it's known) is a festival dedicated to those who love video games, PC games and table-top games, and the three-day event has taken over the sprawling Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle plus several surrounding hotels and conference spaces. The expo, which got its start back in 2004, has grown enormously over the years. Last year more than 67,000 people attended and this year it sold out three months in advance.


So what's an avid gamer without a ticket to do? Head down to the convention center any way and behold the spectacle for free!

Sure, you can't get into the enormous expo halls where gaming developers and publishers are showing off their latest projects. But the convention center has plenty of indoor and outdoor spaces open to the public and they've been filled with throngs of gamers showing off their costumes, playing board games and handheld games together and just generally taking in the top-notch people watching.

In fact, one of the coolest things I came upon Saturday at PAX took place on the sidewalk outside of the convention center for all the world to see. Behold! The dancing zombies from "Plants vs. Zombies" busting some killer real-live moves:

Meanwhile, you certainly didn't need a badge to PAX to see The Lando Calrissian Society preach their "Star Wars"-themed message of "peace, love and Lando" to the (somewhat befuddled) gaming throngs outside the convention center. (More on that here.)

Winda Benedetti

Seattle resident Katherine LaVanway was one of many gamers surprised to find she couldn't get a badge to this year's PAX. But that didn't stop her from attending in her own way.

Seattle resident Katherine LaVanway was one of the many gamers surprised to find she couldn't get a ticket to the festival.

"They sold out too fast!" she told me.

But that didn't matter. She threw on her mustache and her Mario costume and headed to PAX any way.

For those of you still hoping to get at least a taste of PAX's gamer culture celebration, be warned: You have one more day. The festival runs through Sunday evening.

For more game news from the Penny Arcade Expo, check out:

Winda Benedetti writes about games for msnbc.com. You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+. And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.