Great news (for all 3 of you who read this blog,) PAX Australia has finally arrived! Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre is sold out, and set to explode this weekend with all kinds of Gaming goodness. I’m heading down there all ready for a great time. Hopefully this time I’ll do a better effort than I did for EB Expo and take plenty more photos and even some videos for my YouTube channel.
I thought to get warmed up it would be great to pick out a few highlights over the weekend that I plan to check out, of which there are many. The real challenge for the weekend will obviously be weighing up what one wants to see more – that provocative panel about politics in gaming, or that Tabletop comp for My Little Pony.
Hopefully we’ll see a good chunk of the panels crop up on YouTube at some point, as there are some cracking good sessions to check out. I’m also sure at the end of the day most people will have only seen a quarter of what they want to see (them queues, man.) So here’s at least an eighth of what I think will be interesting.
I should add – Although I’m not going on the Friday (I’d like to, but Baz is doing an exceptional bathroom reno on ‘The Living Room’,) I thought I’d include a few things I would have like to have seen, and maybe whoever reads this (and is also going) might like to check them out.
Owning Your Geek – Galah Theatre, 10.30am
Featuring guests including comedian Lawrence Leung and the awesome cosplayer/model Eve Beauregard, this panel looks at those who have taken the geek lifestyle and celebrated it, even making their hobby into a career.
Penny arcade Q and A – Main Theatre, 11.30
The guys from Penny Arcade, Gabe and Tycho, take random questions, most likely about if they’ve tried Tim Tams and Vegemite. Moderated by Tony Jones and complete with live twitter feeds. (Okay I made that up)
Halloween Horror Games Panel – Dropbear Theatre, 7.30pm
Getting into the spirit of things, members from Gamespot, Bethesda, IRL Shooter and Pixelpickle Games take a look at all things horror.
Tripod and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra “This Gaming Life” – Main Theatre, 8.30
Kinda cut I’m missing this one, Musical trio Tripod are one of the comedy gems of Melbourne, and are true geeks at heart. Hence why they got the MSO and not, say, INXS to accompany them. The great news is if you miss them on Friday they’re doing the show again in April next year.
The best [retro] video games you’ve [probably] never played – Kookaburra Theatre, 11am
The guys from Retrospekt, Retro domination and AusRetroGamer know as much about Obscure retro games as I do about obscure Seattle grunge bands, and bring to PAX not just a great panel on obscure titles,but a complete section in the expo dedicated to Retro Gaming. The guys from Weird and Retro are also giving us the opportunity on Sunday to bring in a rare gaming item for a bit of ‘Show and Tell’.
BATTLECRY: Welcome to the WarZone – Wombat Theatre, 2pm
Plenty of the big guys are down in Melbourne to show off their new wares, including Gearbox and BioWare. Bethesda are also on deck to show off Battlecry, a new team action combat game.
Geek as a Cultural Identity: Do Fake Geeks exist? – Fruitbat Theatre, 3.30pm
This will be an interesting panel to see, as I’m sure the debate will heat up on whether or not there is such a thing as a fake geek.
Super Video Game Trivia Challenge – Fruitbat Theatre, 8pm
Nothing beats a Video Game Trivia comp, especially if the participants come up with some entertaining answers. This is apparently a show from the Adelaide Fringe festival, so should be worth a look.
Inside Gearbox Software – Main Theatre, 10.30am
A behind the scenes look at the studios behind Borderlands and the upcoming Battleborn, I’m sure Gearbox will have some exclusives to reveal for the occasion.
The Changing Face of Games Journalism, featuring GameSpot – Dropbear Theatre, 1.30pm
A good look at how the gaming journalism biz is changing, featuring the good folk at Gamespot.
Of course there’s not just the panels. Plenty of the action is on the main floor, and also expands out onto the Promenade, with Indie devs, Console, Handheld and PC freeplay areas, League Of Legends is on show, and the various bars and cafes around MECC and the CBD getting into the PAX spirit.
I’m also planing on heading to the Beta Bar on the Sunday, who are keeping the party going with the PAX after party all weekend.
So I’ll see you after PAX, with a full review, complete with photos and, hopefully, some videos for my YouTube channel.