PAX is Australia’s biggest gaming festival. EVER.
Tens of thousands of people come together over three days in October to celebrate everything they love about games. And we are not fussy when it comes to our games.
PAX takes over the entire Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and covers over 30,000 square metres, will be attended by more people than a Queensland State of Origin match, run by over 2,000 staff, exhibitors and volunteers, and takes place over 3 days (Friday 26th to Sunday 28th October). Yes, we need all that space. No, you still won’t have time to do everything.
In 2017, PAX Aus was the 3rd most tweeted about Melbourne event, behind only the Melbourne Cup and AFL Grand final. And since we’re all about records, everyone at PAX consumed a collective 5.5 tonnes of hot chips over the long weekend.
You might have seen events like E3. Big trade shows where publishers unveil their upcoming video games. But PAX does things a little differently. Yeah, of course we have a huge slate of the hottest new games from the biggest publishers in the world. But that’s only a slice of the gaming pie.
Gaming today is… broad. And it’s our mission, our quest, our raison d’etre to make sure if there’s some part of gaming you love, you’ll find it at PAX. From the person who earns every achievement in every new Xbox title, to someone who wants to have a crack at D&D for the first time, to the defending champ who holds the record on the pinball machine at their local, to the person who missed their stop this morning playing Candy Crush, PAX is made for you.
This year’s PAX will hold everything from AAA blockbuster titles to cult Aussie indie games, hundreds of panels with local and international gaming personalities, game previews and demos, tournament sessions, esports spectacles, freeplay tabletop gaming, VR gaming, arcade cabinets and pinball machines… the list goes on. And yes – there will be FORTNITE.
It’d probably take a full three days to list everything we had going on, so here’s just some of what you can expect to find at PAX 2018…
With over 140 panels sessions hosted by game developers, publishers, journalists, media personalities, voice actors, community groups and fans, subjects can range from debates about hot topics in the gaming world, to cult classics, to incredibly academic analyses of Simpsons memes. No really. That’s a thing this year. They are fun, entertaining, informative and most of all – very passionate about gaming.
Storytime with Rhianna Pratchett
Storytime is our keynote event. This year kicks off with our keynote speaker, Rhianna Pratchett, a multi award-winning writer for games, comics, film and TV. She has written for blockbuster titles such as Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Heavenly Sword and Mirror’s Edge.
You might have heard talk of esports. You know that dream, the one where there’s five minutes left in the game, and you get called up and win the whole damn thing? The Omegathon is kind of like that. We start with 20 randomly selected Omeganauts from among our attendees, and across the three days, they’ll play a random selection of games from across history. Players are eliminated each round until the last 2 compete in the Final Round in front of thousands of cheering fans.
Pax Rising is an area dedicated to indie developers. This year features over 70 of Australia’s amazing indie devs with the most exciting and creative locally developed games and our specially curated Indie Showcase — what we consider to be 6 of the most innovative games made in Aus in the past year.
This is our esports stage and will feature some of the world’s very best players competing against each other in this year’s hottest games.
Friday night will feature 2 iconic geek-rock bands – Nerf Herder, best known for their theme song to the iconic Joss Whedon TV show, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and 7Bit Hero, a Brisbane bitpop band that utilises video games and interactive visuals as part of their performance. Opening the show will be another PAX Aus staple — stand up nerd comedy, a free-for-all where comedians with a nerdy side can finally run that geeky material that a different crowd would scratch their heads at.
The gaming community is a wonderfully diverse place and the Diversity Lounge is just one place that we celebrate that at PAX Aus. It’s a place to meet like-minded individuals, get in some board gaming, hear even more talks and connect with some amazing people in the LGBTQIA+ community.
We have hundreds of PC and consoles running from our library of thousands of games, VR set-ups, retro classic arcade machines, handheld lounge, hundreds of tables for tabletop gaming – all completely free with ticket admission. Pick up something and play it with friends. Didn’t come with friends? Look around. That person next to you is your friend now. If they say no just make them read this. Then join in on our community tournaments and beat them so bad the friendship is ruined forever! Games are great.