PAX Australia, as known as the Penny Arcade Exhibition, finally hit Down Under on Friday July 19th, 2013, in not so sunny Melbourne. Filled with exhibitors, Q&A panels, demonstrations, and anything you can think of that is gaming and anime related. For us proud nerds and gamers alike, it is almost like Christmas in July. I was lucky enough to attend for DBG as media, alongside our own Matt, and got to prod, play, and chat with attendees and exhibitors.
Friday was just like any other Friday except I was not at work. Matt arrived from Brisbane the night before and luckily a couple of beers allowed us to get a good night’s sleep and wake up without a hangover – we were going to need it (especially as we had tickets for the football that night too) so it was definitely a big day ahead of us.
As media, we were able to jump the long, long queue of the general admission and step right into the showgrounds an hour before the public. Most of the exhibitors stalls were still setting up or had most of the basics available, but it was a good experience to get in there with some air to breathe before the masses broke through.
At the Ubisoft stall, Matt and I played some Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist during this time as well. Blacklist presented a ‘spies versus mercs’ team deathmatch-style game, that is presented in 3rd person and had some interesting dynamics and time pressure thrown into the mix. We had a bit of fun with that, and looking forward to see what else the game beholds (i.e. whether or not other game modes are in the mix, if there is a campaign component – I probably should have asked them that).
We also attended the panel of Gaming and Anime: A Cultural Crossover, which I really enjoyed because of my love for both video games and anime, and the discussion, was interesting when the two realms collide. As sourced from the PAX Australia schedule, this is what it involved:
The worlds of anime and gaming cross over in many ways. With similar cultural sources, common inspiration in character design, they are equally loved in pop culture.
There are similarities in storytelling, art and character design, and of course, direct adaptations both ways.
Join an expert panel of Japanophiles who’ve seared their eyeballs and taken into their hearts the crazy and the cool in anime and gaming.
We’re going to show some clips, explore the themes, discover the must play and must see games and anime, how they connect, and even dig up some obscure examples. So prepare for a weird and wild journey as we expose and celebrate the heartland of gaming.
Come armed with questions and be ready to name your favourites. Prizes and surprises are assured.
Daniel Chlebowczyk [Product Manager, Madman Entertainment], Jason O’Callaghan [Executive Producer, New Game Plus TV], Bradley Jolly [Presenter, Anime Reviewer, New Game Plus TV], Kwenton Bellette [Reviewer, Festival Director, Twitch Film, Fantastic Asia Film Festival], Tristan Jones [Comic Writer and Artist, GamePLAY Creator and Host, Image, IDW, Archie Comics, GamePLAY Podcast], Nathan Cocks [Freelance Journalist, CoHost, PC Powerplay, The Fourth Player Podcast]
Afterwards, we went to the nearby shops in search of food, and ended up eating some fried chicken in a car park that we waited a good twenty minutes for with the queues of people all having the same clever idea for sustenance.
The rest of the afternoon was cruisy with us visiting the Indie game stalls and saying hello to various people. Many people we had known for a long time on social media and finally got to meet. I got many hugs, and I was happy. More time was spent with the Indie stalls on Day Two, which will continue next. In the meantime, enjoy some happy snaps I took on the first day.
A knight in shining armour playing some Fruit Ninja Kinect at the Halfbrick stall. With his sword.
Matt at one of the Indie game stalls.