PAX Australia Is A Pretty Awesome Time

Hey internet it’s been some time, rest assured I am still working on Readapt despite being busy with other things. One of those things was a spending 3 days at PAX Australia. Being a local with a passion for games (and working on my own) meant that PAX was a must go event.

I had attended Australia’s first PAX last year for a day and had a good time, this year’s PAX was bigger and better in every way. If you ask anyone about their PAX experience they will undoubtedly mention the people that run and attend it. There are few other times and places where you can walk up to anyone and talk about a hobby that you share. You don’t even have to know anything else about them, you can just talk and enjoy games together. This is a pretty rare thing to experience and it was really nice to be a part of, especially considering that the internet recently has not been a nice place for all gamers.

Me playing the versus mode of Puzzle Bobble (also known as Bust-a-Move) on the SNES with a friendly stranger. Note that the giant NES controller in the background is actually functional.

PAX is unlike any other event because it is literally run by gamers for gamers and it would not be possible without the 600 strong Enforcers who volunteer to make the show possible. There are interesting panels run by journalists, developers, pro-gamers and even academics. It was encouraging to see the Australian independent game scene in force in the expo hall and I had a ball playing them and chatting to the developers.

I tried playing some Tempest 3000 on a Nuon, I gave up after a few minutes (pretty much at this exact moment), it doesn’t really play well blown up on a giant screen. At least I can now say I have gamed on a DVD player.

There are even dedicated areas where you can play current games in the console freeplay area and old games in the retro section. PC gamers were not left wanting either with a huge PC free play area and a secure site where you could BYO PC rig to setup and play.

Console Freeplay Area
PC Freeplay Area

PAX also has a large zone dedicated to tabletop gaming from Magic the Gathering to traditional board games. There are tables upon tables of friendly people who are happy to sit down and teach you how to play a game that you have never played. It was also awesome to see so many people dress up as their favorite character from games, TV or even anime.

Me mulling over my turn in a ludicrously sized version of Cogz which is worth $2K, you could walk over the pieces which the creator says can support the weight of a car. The game was super fun (I sucked at it though) and it’s even MENSA approved to boot.
There was a lot of really detailed cosplay at PAX but this one takes the cake for me since I am a big Mass Effect fan. Wrex, Tali and Garrus look especially rad here.
Some good guesses for the final round of the Omegathon but no one was expecting the majesty of Combat on the Atari 2600. No one.

I hope that you can tell that whole event was extremely positive and everyone there was excited and wanted to be there. If you have even have a remote interest in games I would highly recommend going next year, it’s worth it alone just to soak up the atmosphere.

That’s it for me now, I’m going to be putting on the finishing touches on the next build of Readapt so keep an eye out for that.


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