Recently they announced that PAX AUS has been locked in to run for the next 5 years. It is no doubt going to become an institution for the Australian gaming scene. The venue switch to MCEC has made all the difference this year. More space, more Options and more people.

Kicking off with a talk from Bethesda, the event started Friday morning perfectly. It’s rare for us to get access to these kinds of industry figures and the talks are always illuminating. Mike and Jerry’s Q&A session followed immediately after and was as understated as it was overstated. Despite proporting to be introverted geeks, the two make for a very entertaining duo live. It is one of the main reasons why I go to PAX.

This was followed by political activism for geeks, a much smaller session but with a good panel including Adam Bant, the crowd was engaged and we discussed the power (or lack thereof) of technology facilitating social change. The conclusions was that tech is a tool to promulgate ideas, and that if there is no real grass roots support, it won’t matter how many tweets you make.

The most random musical combination you’re likely to come across, Tripod, a quartet from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra playing music arranged by Austin Wintory play end in the evening. Random really is the best way to describe it, but entertaining. Tripod exposed their true colours with a series of songs about Skyrim and other games, in what was essentially a preview of their upcoming show for next year (which will feature the entire MSO). I’ve never seen Tripod live, only on TV with things like the Melbourne comedy gala. They’re hilarious, free spirited guys that are now very well practised in performing together. Austin Wintory, composer for the games Journey and Flow is apparently (unsurprisingly?) is someone who’s music I listen to regularly. It was a great way to finish the first day.

Day 2 kicked off with Mike and Jerry’s Make-a-strip session which I was certain not to miss. It’s a powerful juxtaposition, answering serious questions about parenting and mental health while drawing a comic strip who’s punchline is about masturbation. These guys could do standup, there’s no doubt.

I then met up with Elroy, a fixture of the Melbourne landscape, for lunch. He was working the Tinman games booth in the Indy area of the expo hall.

Hey good lookin was a talk about what makes games attractive. Panellists concluded – in a controversial reveal towards the end of the talk, that even games like Journey are subject to personal preferences in terms of what makes them attractive. One persons trash is another persons treasure after all.


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