What better way to wrap up Melbourne International Games Week than with a hall packed with all things for gamers, developers and self-declared nerds?
PAX is a gaming culture event spanning three days from October 26th- 28th. It’s held across multiple US cities, but with culture capital Melbourne as the only international location, it’s kind of a big deal.
Here’s what to expect:
PAX is like a circus filled with coloured wigs, costumes and performances; just replace the acrobatics with a healthy knowledge of overclocking. It’s a welcoming, thriving tent that brings together all walks of life in the name of the game.
There’ll be exhibitors to check out ranging from AAA publishers behind the latest blockbuster games, to developers from innovative indie teams who are disrupting the industry. When your feet inevitably get tired you can mosey over to the Diverse Lounge to represent yourself or learn from others. Or grab a beanbag at the Handheld Lounge and hold hands with someone. Just kidding, use a console or it’s weird.
Read the schedule and be sure you’re there for your favourite panels; it’s first come, first served. PAX makes a considerable effort to have a diverse range of panel discussions, which look at gaming through a conscientious and socially aware lens, yet can also end in uproarious laughter – check out the live podcast by Filthy Casuals for this.
If you’re done with the reality of the crowds, dip off to the VR Freeplay and tap into the latest VR. It’s further developed than anything you might have at home, is indistinguishable from magic, and free from motion sickness (if rumours are true).
If you’re game (ha), you can participate in the Omegathon, a mega-tournament spanning the full three days. If you aren’t selected for it but still like to compete, you can attend the plethora of smaller tournaments and make friends (or arch nemeses). Tournaments can get competitive, which makes this a good place to include some must dos:
- Pack deodorant! Just, trust me.
- Take a backpack and poster tube for merch.
- You can buy food there, but if you take a backpack anyway, why not BYO?
- Download the app so you don’t miss a thing (you will anyway, there’s so much, but this way you’re organised),
- The Enforcers (sweet name for volunteers) are in red t-shirts and are there to help you out.
- Make an effort to make friends, and then see them again every year. Pin Trading is a fun spot to meet people.
Saturday is the biggest day, with tickets selling out the soonest (quick, check the website!) And although attendees cosplay on all three of the days, Saturday tends to be when the very best PAX cosplay comes out.
Both the Friday and the Saturday run until midnight, so you can stay wrapped in an epic tabletop game or catch a saucy 15+ discussion on sex and romance in games.
The three-day event wraps on Sunday with miniature painting classes, more music performances, gaming trivia and finally the battle royale of the Omegathon, which is known to be totally insane.
It doesn’t matter if you solely dabble in Mario-Kart when drunk, or are a hardcore gamer who needs an Airsack for comfort gaming, there’s something at PAX for everyone. With any luck, you’ll meet a gamer friend and need an Airsack + 1!