Over the weekend, I attended PAX Australia, the first Penny Arcade Expo to be held in Australia.
I attended the first two days and even then, I could have done with another day. I never once felt I had nothing to do between looking at all the indie games, playing board, card and table-top games, free play on PCs, consoles, both handheld and TV; attending panels and presentations and just looking at merchandise and booths.
I’m pretty sure the whole event was sponsored by World of Tanks, that free online game that seems to have engaged in a virulent marketing campaign on half of the internet. In the centre of the main expo area was a large tank surrounded by booth babes (yes, booth babes are still a thing).
While this all sounds like I’m shining the expo in a negative light, these were probably my only criticism for the entire show.
The only time I had to wait in a queue for more than an hour was at the end of the day when I wanted to try the Oculus Rift glasses, which are the closest thing we have to virtual reality. They were worth the hour wait as they were a surreal experience as I got to become a Treant and walk through the jungle and then become a Griffin as I fly over it (been there, done that).
I got to attend several panels; one about tabletop games which are alternatives to Dungeons and Dragons and another that was a panel of game developers who had been chosen to showcase their games.
It was also one of the most relaxed and friendly events I’ve been to… ever. Cosplayers were happy to have their photos taken, people were happy to join each other to play games, Magic tournaments were full of smiles and chuckles. Definitely looking to go back next year.
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be reviewing games that were on display in the Indie Pavilion at PAX.