So the Australian government had a booth at PAX. I'm not really sure why the Australian Government decided it should have a booth at PAX. Maybe they wanted to get 'down' with the 'kids'. Maybe someone with a cushie government job really wanted to go to PAX. All I know is the above picture says it all. Actually I don't know what it says.
I mean you could say it represents a half-arsed attempt by the Australian government to engage with young people, but the truth is that booth space at PAX Australia is expensive, and I guess the fact they were there at all is representative of something.
But to have that booth? Then leave it unstaffed with a sign that says 'help yourself'? I think that says it all, particularly when the Australian federal government, by removing the $10 million Interactive Media Fund in the last budget, is quite literally telling the Australian games industry to 'help themselves'. Because that's the only help they're gonna get.
And that engagement. Look at the crowds. Look at the swarms of young people enthusiastic about federal politics, beaming with the optimism of democracy. Look at them flock to the Australian government booth with questions, suggestions, enthusiasm for the political process.
UPDATE: I've recently confirmed with PAX organisers that this stand was set up by the classification board in an attempt to engage on the issue of classification. Which makes the above article above a little unfair. I apologise for that.
That being said -- the stand was marked 'Áustralian Government', surely it would have made more sense to label it 'Classification Board' if that's the issue they wanted to discuss. A very strange way to go about the task of reaching out to gamers.